The new Bronco’s crawler gear ratio is seriously impressive

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Matt Tierney

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.

Fenske notes that the tremendous torque multiplication of a 95:1 crawl ratio would mean the Bronco could theoretically put more than 29,000 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. That’s the kind of crawl ratio that rock-crawlers go to great lengths to achieve, typically be installing an aftermarket transfer case or, in the case of full-size rigs, a transfer case doubler. Of course, crawl ratios are about going slowly, and even if Ford allowed full engine torque in that crawl ratio, who’s gonna go full-throttle over an obstacle?


Actually, we’ve been on enough press drives to guess who would go full-throttle over trail obstacles, but that doesn’t mean that owners will routinely be wringing the 2.3-liter EcoBoost out while rock crawling. As Fenske lays out, the Crawl gear means that a Bronco driver won’t have to slip the clutch to get the low speed necessary for navigating precarious climbs and descents. Instead, with the clutch fully engaged and the engine humming along at a lazy 1000 rpm, the Bronco will be traveling at just 1 mph.

That unstoppable torque, plus big tires and good trail visibility, should allow drivers to pick their line and climb just about anything, helping the 2021 Ford Bronco to live up to the name of its Go Over Any Terrain (GOAT) traction modes.


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