Just when you thought manual transmission units are history, think again and think hard. Several fans of Ford's latest offering - Bronco - have reportedly filed a petition which demands that a gearbox option be added to the vehicle's off-road variant in the US.
Ford does offer a seven-speed manual transmission in the Bronco, but only with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four that puts out 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The ongoing petition seeks that Ford also offer the manual option with the more powerful 2.7-liter engine option or the off-road Sasquatch package.
(Also read: Battle off road: How Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco and Land Rover Defender stack up)
The petition, that has garnered more than 8,000 signatures at the time of filing of this report, seeks to 'save the manuals' in a world where auto transmission is trying to take the crown. The petition reads, "We believe Ford is missing an opportunity to both honor the heritage of the vehicle and to also give enthusiasts what they want. Ford should offer the manual transmission with any combination of engines or packages."
Recently, Ford's head of North American communications, Mike Levine, raised hopes for an availability of the gearbox on Bronco's off-road package. Replying to a question on Twitter about this, he said, "Sasquatch is only available with the 10-speed automatic. (But), we're open to feedback for those that feel otherwise."
The Bronco SUV has been slated to be launched in the fourth quarter this year. Ford recently announced that with in just 15 days of its debut, the SUV managed to garner over 1.5 lakh bookings.