The unveiling of the 2021 Ford Bronco came with lots of good news for off-road enthusiasts: plenty of ground clearance thanks to tall tires, impressive approach and departure angles, and a staggeringly deep crawl ratio on the optional seven-speed manual transmission. Jason Fenske of the YouTube channel Engineering Explained took a look at the figures to break down how it’ll work out on the trail.
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With Ford's excellent 2.7 EcoBoost V6, no need for a heavy V8 (as much as many of us may love them - 5.0 forever!) My sister-in-law and her husband have the 2.7 EcoBoost in an F-150, and it pulls their 5-6000 pound trailer over the mountains without a whimper.
There are always those who want a V8 simply because they want it. It''s ingrained in the old school mind -- got to have a V-8!! Never mind that fact that many modern four cylinder cars will routinely trounce big block V8 muscle cars from the 60s. The ultra low crawl gear eliminate the need for lots of engine "grunt" on the low end, and with seven speeds and a turbo there's plenty power on the upper end. It's about the power and bearing, not the number of cylinders or cubic inches. We're not in the 60s and 70s any more... The turbo V6 would be a great option for those who just have to have more power though.
This will probably be the last manual available in any Ford truck period. That alone is worth the price of admission. Automatic transmissions are gateway drugs for electric cars.
Just be happy they are still making this type of vehicle, as in the onrushing electrification age, they will be forced out of the market as "envioromentally unfriendly". I see them as a way to go see the real outdoors, without competing with the Priuses and Teslas during the journey.
The crawl gear is all about keeping your foot off the clutch. They grazed the point by mentioning not needing to slip the clutch a few times, but staying off of it as much as possible in a rock crawl scenario is where very low gearing shines on a manual transmission. My ‘64 F100 with factory 4-wheel-drive has a Warner T98A trans with a 6.4 planetary first gear, to a Spicer 24 divorced t-case with a 1.86 low, to a Dana 60-2 rear with 4.11 gears for a 49:1 engine to wheel speed ratio. I use first gear and low range (with the front hubs disengaged) for parades. It works great; I only use the clutch to rev the engine and make noise.