Ford Authority

Here’s Why The 2021 Ford Bronco 2.7L EcoBoost V6 Won’t Be Paired With A Manual Transmission: Exclusive

When the 2021 Ford Bronco was revealed to the world just a couple of months ago, people really only had three complaints about it. First, they weren’t happy that Ford wasn’t planning on offering it with a V8. Second was the fact that customers couldn’t get the new seven-speed manual transmission with the Sasquatch Package. Lastly, buyers seeking to pair the manual transmission with the more powerful 2.7L EcoBoost V6 were out of luck, as the stick is only available in conjunction with The Blue Oval’s 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 engine.

Bronco Reservations

Ford has since corrected one of those “oversights” by announcing earlier this week that it would offer the Sasquatch Package with the manual transmission. However, it doesn’t look like Ford is going to change course and offer its new manual gearbox with the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 – at least for the time being.

“So basically when you look at what’s going on in the marketplace with similar competitors products, the take-rates for models with manual transmissions is relatively low,” Bronco Chief Engineer, Eric Loeffler explained to Ford Authority executive editor, Alex Luft, in an interview. “So what we wanted to do is to provide it to the traditional user that wants the manual transmission and wants to do things that are very technical that are afforded by the manual.”

“The beauty of the product is that it still allows those who want to do it the old-fashioned way to do it, and also someone who’s a novice to let them try the technologies that we offer, you can do either in any one of our products,” Loeffler continued. “The manual in the 2.3 was paired up with what someone would want to do in the rock-crawling world, and that creeper gear is fantastic, so it’s well-tailored to that engine and that particular application.”

That means that, for now, Ford Bronco buyers who want a manual transmission will have to opt for the base 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 engine, which is projected to produce 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Ford also offers its 10-speed automatic transmission as an option with the 2.3L. By comparison, the Ford 2.7L EcoBoost V6 is projected to have an output of 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque in the new Bronco, but as we mentioned earlier, it’s only available with the 10-speed automatic gearbox, at least as of this writing.

2021 Ford Bronco Powertrain Availability By Trim Level
Base Big Bend Black Diamond Outer Banks Badlands Wildtrak First Edition
Standard Engine 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 2.7L EcoBoost V6 2.7L EcoBoost V6
Available Engine 2.7L EcoBoost V6 (requires 10-speed automatic transmission) 2.7L EcoBoost V6 (requires 10-speed automatic transmission) 2.7L EcoBoost V6 (requires 10-speed automatic transmission) 2.7L EcoBoost V6 2.7L EcoBoost V6 (requires 10-speed automatic transmission) - -
Standard Transmission 7-speed manual with crawler gear 7-speed manual with crawler gear 7-speed manual with crawler gear 10-speed automatic with Trail Control 7-speed manual with crawler gear 10-speed automatic with Trail Control 10-speed automatic with Trail Control
Available Transmission 10-speed automatic with Trail Control 10-speed automatic with Trail Control 10-speed automatic with Trail Control - 10-speed automatic with Trail Control - -

But there might be a small glimmer of hope for those who wish to see the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 paired to a manual, as Loeffler admitted that Ford has not completely shut the door on the idea.

“Well, never say never… it’s something we usually don’t really talk about – what we will do in the future, but we’re a company that sells products, so if customers start asking for it, we’ll end up having to consider it,” he concluded.

We’ll have more on the 2021 Bronco very soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Bronco news and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. George S

    I wonder if Ford is laying out some confusion. All articles and teasers show it as an off roader first and foremost, not a highway cruiser. To me they are targeting a young buyer, not much different than 40 years ago as when Jeep was becoming a popular vehicle for the young and adventurous. So why not offer a manual on every model? When we were all at that twenty something age, manuals were no problem and usually preferred.

    1. Alex Luft

      Yes, Bronco is an off-road vehicle that can also drive on roads. I’m not sure about the younger demographic you describe, however. That remains to be seen once people actually begin to buy it.

      With all that said, today’s vehicle buying patterns are significantly different than they were 40 years ago. For better or for worse, manuals today are a niche offering, even among younger buyers.

    2. Ash

      Please give us the manual in the V6. I would really prefer the manual in a V8, but apparently thats crazy talk.

      While you are granting crazy wishes….please bring back the Excursion diesel.

  2. Adithya

    My thought is that ford already has a manual setup for the 2.3 in the mustang, so they know a thing or 2 about how the engine interacts with a manual. The 2.7 has never before been paired with a manual so the upfront engineering effort would have been higher.
    This is where the 5.0 would come in handy, since its the only other mainstream ford engine with a manual, and the development costs for a manual version would have been less. But the Coyote may not be compatible with CAFE.

    1. Roy Chiles

      I totally agree with you

      1. Alex Luft

        The manual in the Bronco is very different than the ones used in the Mustang. The same holds true for the Bronco’s other mechanical elements, especially the axles. Given how different Bronco is from Mustang from a mechanical standpoint, I’m not sure Ford would have realized any efficiencies in having already done the engineering and validation work of pairing the 2.3L EcoBoost in the Mustang to a manual transmission. The same holds true for the 5.0L, which is not planned for the Bronco, as we reported here:

        For what it’s worth, Coyote is fine as it relates to emissions regulations, especially the new “relaxed” ones.

        1. Philip

          Of course the “take rate” will be low on the manual transmission when you only offer it with the base engine! Why wouldn’t you think the enthusiasts who want the manual would also want the most available power?

  3. Squeeze

    Please get the big engine and manual Ford. Do it right and drop the mike!

  4. Jim Shull

    Please , at least provide a manual with the 6 cyl. I cannot find weights for these Broncos, but I will be doing a heck of a lot more freeway driving than rock crawling…I cannot find a comment anywhere on the web regarding how much of a “dog” the Bronco 2.3l might be when pushing a 4000lb plus vehicle…4500? Not a word… I am looking for a manual transmission in the Bronco, but with no test drive before down payment, Ford owes us some PWR info at the very least before we blindly put down money on what could be a huge disappointment.

    1. Alex Luft

      Agreed that there’s a certain amount of “chance” that goes into ordering a vehicle without driving it or seeing it in person. From what I understand, you’re not obligated to take delivery even if you order it.

      That said, the prowess of the 2.3L EcoBoost is often underestimated. In the Mustang EcoBoost, which weights 3,798 pounds in its heaviest configuration, the engine does a very good job of accelerating the vehicle… and that’s in a muscle car, whose image commands an inherent amount of performance credentials. I think the engine will be just fine in the Bronco.

  5. Patrick Russell

    Is not the 2008 Fusion 4cyl a 2.3 and with the auto trans eventually loses enough power over time that even the AC causes overtaxing the engine, causing the trans to down-shift too often. Just imagine the same engine pulling a big rock climber (even in Granny). Even the Jeep YJ couldn’t maintain well over time with that 2.5L engine uphill on the highway, needing to downshift to 4th. 4cylinder engines are for tiny sedans, let’s face it Automotive Engineers. “Where’s the BEEF?”

  6. Daryl Mason

    Hmmm….. No 7 speed manual with the 2.7L v6. This sounds like a great opportunity for Jeep. If enthusiasts want 310 HP and a rock crawling tranny it appears they will need to look elsewhere. Ford really should step up to the challenge.

  7. Patrick Russell

    And while we’re whining about corporate cheapening, how about the many radios in the Focus that overheat and must be replaced by a $500 replacement radio (vs a $80 to $100 fix of those two amp chips on the radio motherboard)? How about a warrantee on those parts or a recall, or doing it right the first time? It seams someone must die before the company will stand by their product and recall the rest of the lot. Radios don’t kill people so suck it up?!! This is NOT capitalism!!

  8. Philip tompkins

    Of course the take rate for the manual transmission will be low when it’s only offered with the smaller engine.
    Why would ford even reason that the select few enthusiasts who want a manual wouldn’t want the best engine?
    It doesn’t make sense.

  9. Peter

    The most powerful engine in the first generation Bronco was the 302 which produced a whopping 220hp and 295ftlb gross, and eventually got strangled down to as low as 130hp by emissions regs. It was a very competent and popular vehicle.

    Complaining that 270hp and 310ftlb net is not enough for a manual transmission just because it is a four makes no sense. No one will use any thing close to 270hp with a rock crawler gear. Driveshafts and U joints would be flying everywhere.

  10. Matt

    I believe no 2.7L just due to the shear torque difference, its another 90ft-lbs and with all that gear multiplication going on you need a very tough transmission. 90 does not sound like a huge number but that becomes another 8500ft-lbs force when multiplied by the drivetrain in creeper gear… 10spd auto in 1st has ~30% less force from multiplication, I suspect if they do add the manual they will detune the 2.7 in those lower gears/multiplication scenarios, or they will likely need to rebuild it to be tougher.

  11. Frank Santa-Teresa

    After the warranty period, just swap out the 4 cylinder and swap in the Coyote motor…

  12. Ryslan Yedinak

    If Ford had a good manual, they would offer it in a v6 Bronco as well.

  13. Ryslan Yedinak

    I guess if anyone wants a manual with a V6, Jeep has you covered.

  14. pf

    While I’m ok with the 2.3L being tied to the manual transmission, I just used the Bronco ‘configurator’ and found out the Sasquatch suspension package also requires the automatic. This is a huge mistake.

    The chief engineer says “The manual in the 2.3 was paired up with what someone would want to do in the rock-crawling world, and that creeper gear is fantastic, so it’s well-tailored to that engine and that particular application.” Then they refuse to offer the rock crawling suspension with the rock crawling transmission. They really don’t know what they are talking about.

  15. York

    I’m still trying to decide if I’m better off with the 2.7l V6 in the 4 door Bronco I’ll be ordering, or should I go with the 2.3l engine . I’m ok with having the 10 speed transmission in either of them. I would be splitting its usage pretty evenly between highway driving and back road adventuring, which includes (dirt, gravel, water crossings, wooded off road trails), but not much rock crawling anticipated, if any. I’ve read a lot of articles and I’m more confused know than before. I guess my biggest worry is , will the weight of the 4 door Bronco, which is looking to be roughly 5000lbs. be too much for the 2.3l; 10 speed tranny, or should I go with the 2.7l V6; 10 speed tranny. I don’t want a manual. Any accurate information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  16. Casey Dick

    I really hope Ford decides to offer the 2.7 with their 7 speed manual in a later production year. Power is not the issue, I buy my cars to last and direct injection still worries me. It won’t be an issue for most buyers who sell before 100k miles, but I’d rather not have to deal with carbon buildup or even have to worry about it.

    Plus people who drive manual tend to drive sportier cars, forcing the smaller engine on manual takers is a sure fire way to sell fewer 7 speeds or push prospective Bronco buyers towards the Wrangler. Fingers crossed the limited options are just to streamline initial production!

  17. Badlands 2door

    I set my appointment to do the build for my bronco and was told if I order the 2.7 liter , or the 2 door i won’t get a bronco till 2022. Effectively the 2021 bronco is a 4door only with a 4 cylinder. Deeply disappointed.


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