Sources speaking to the publication anonymously said Ford has tasked Getrag to build the 7-speed manual transmission for the upcoming off-road-oriented SUV. Allegedly dubbed the MT-88, the report claims the 7-speed gearbox will pair with Ford's 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine. Jalopnik further backed up its sources' knowledge by scouring the LinkedIn profiles of Getrag employees.
A handful of employees list a current project with the codename 6/7MTI550. While the letters and numbers mean nothing to many outsiders, "MTI550" falls in line with a previous Ford project. Ford also worked with Getrag for the Mustang's 6-speed manual transmission, which used the codename 6MTI500. The profiles list the 6MTI550 codename as a 6-speed transmission with the "7" denoting seven speeds. Further, a specification page notes the 7MTI550 is a 7-speed manual transmission rated up to handle up to 405 pound-feet of torque.
The figure pairs quite well with the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6's 400 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the transmission will be ready for the 2021 model year and work with all-wheel-drive applications. The final nuggets of information on the potential 7-speed manual come from employee profiles at the Getrag Jiangxi facility in Nanchang, China. There, employees are working on a transmission codenamed MT-88, and they happen to be the same employees who worked on the Mustang's manual transmission, which was codenamed MT-82.
Ford's potential move to offer a manual transmission would buck horns directly with the Jeep Wrangler, which also offers a row-your-own option. Although the evidence for a manual gearbox is solid, it's not certain yet. What we do know is the Bronco will appear for the 2020 model year and share a platform with the 2019 Ford Ranger. Production will take place at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, and no, it won't look like the 2004 Bronco concept.