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Don't call it a comeback...

Many automotive enthusiasts have been lamenting the fact that automakers are starting to shy away from the manual transmission. Most automakers cite that take rates for manual transmissions are in steady decline. This is due to several factors, one of which being that many modern automatic transmissions now get better fuel economy than manual transmissions thanks to having more forward gears.
 
Some sports car companies are sticking with the manual transmission and are actually adding gears, such as Porsche. Porsche unveiled a seven-speed manual transmission for its sports cars not long ago.
 
While Porsche is sticking with the manual transmission, BMW has announced that it is axing the manual as an option for its M5 and Audi has discontinued manual transmissions in some of its vehicles in Europe.
 
According to Edmunds.com, the manual transmission has made a slight comeback this year. According to statistics put together by the website, 7% of all new cars sold in 2012 are equipped with manual transmissions. That is a massive decline from 20 years ago when one out of every four cars sold had a manual transmission. However, 7% is much higher than the 3.9% take rate for manual transmissions last year. 2012 is on track to be the year with the highest rate for manual transmission vehicle purchases since 2006.
 
"A combination of factors - from the growing age of vehicle trade-ins bringing more manual drivers back to market, to a greater proportion of smaller cars on the road - is creating a small spike for stick shifts," says Edmunds.com Industry Analyst Ivan Drury. "But even though manual cars are on the rise now, they're on track to be virtually extinct in the next 15 to 20 years."
 
Edmunds.com also reports that 64% of all 2012 model year vehicles are only offered with automatic transmissions. Ten years ago, the number of vehicles that weren't available with the manual transmission was must lower at 48%.
 
It's worth noting that some sports cars are only offered with manual transmissions, including the Audi TT RS, Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Fiat 500 Abarth, Ford Shelby GT500, MazdaSpeed 3, and Volkswagen Golf R.

Source: MarketWatch



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By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2012 10:31:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As far as manual trans being "more fun or engaging" I'd say that is open to opinion and is purely subjective.


No that's pretty much a fact. The only people who would differ are those who don't CARE about a fun or engaging driving experience. The "point A to point B" crowd. And they don't count.

quote:
DCTs are the smart choice


Now THAT is a purely subjective opinion.

quote:
Probably 90% of U.S. drivers aren't even qualified to have a driver's license let alone be capable of properly driving a manual transmission vehicle.


Inflammatory and subjective. Come on, 90%? Don't be a troll.

Other makers can do what they want, but I'll say this: If Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. Subaru ever takes the true manual out of the Impreza line, life just won't be worth living.


By Spuke on 8/2/2012 10:47:29 AM , Rating: 2
You need to drive a DCT Rec77, they're awesome. Seriously. Not one of the half ass DCT's either like Ford's Powershift (that's really an auto with clutches replacing the torque converter), I'm talking a real one like BMW or Porsche uses. Roll down to your nearest BMW dealer and take a 135i with DCT out for a spin. Shifts are almost imperceptible (except for that pop between shifts!) and acceleration is relentless. I have no mufflers on my Solstice and I get pops on shifts and burbles when I let off the gas (manual trans), fun as hell. The 135i with DCT does the same. It's exhaust is MUCH louder than I expected. Maybe it's because I was driving a convertible that I could hear all that but my buddies 335i is super quiet. The 135i was WAY more fun than I expected. So much so that I'm considering one as a replacement for my Solstice in a couple of years BUT the Boss 302 is tugging at me too.


By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2012 11:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
Well I don't know (without Google) if this was a "real" DCT, but my racing buddy let me do a few runs in his Mitsu Evo X and it had the paddles. Yeah it was pretty fun, and way different. Maybe TOO different, my times sucked lol

I'm not discounting the technology, after all Ferrari uses them and you know how high of a regard I hold for them. I would just prefer it as an option, not a replacement of manuals.

That Beemer sounds fun man!


By Spuke on 8/2/2012 12:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
Evo has a real DCT. Drove one of those too once. Fun car! Awesome brakes. Not as fast as I expected. Probably better on track. Let me clarify, a real DCT is a manual tranny with two clutches and electronic control. Some automakers like Ford and Mercedes claim they have DCT's when they're really auto's with a clutch that replaces the torque converter.


By JediJeb on 8/2/2012 12:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
Is there a good DCT in something in the $20k range of vehicles?


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/2/2012 12:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hyundai has a 6-speed DCT in the Veloster. But then again, that thing has sub 140hp though.

The GTI has a decent one, and is priced around $25,000 I think.


By Spuke on 8/2/2012 12:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
Car and Driver said the DCT in the Veloster shifted pretty slow. At least theirs is a real DCT but they removed all of the benefits of having one in the first place.


By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2012 2:38:51 PM , Rating: 2
Pfft GTI, unreliable poor quality front wheel drive German crapbox.


By Spuke on 8/2/2012 3:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Pfft GTI, unreliable poor quality front wheel drive German crapbox.
I want to love VW so bad but they just plain suck.


By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2012 5:06:19 PM , Rating: 2
They really do. VW was basically on it's way out in America until they rode the New Beetle out of the pit.

http://www.cars-that-suck.com/

lmao


By Strunf on 8/3/2012 7:57:59 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 12 years old VW no problem whatsoever with it but there's a myth saying that VW keeps the best in Europe and sends the crap to the US...

The website you pointed is a piece of garbage probably written by whining fool.


By 225commander on 8/3/2012 1:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
BOTH my cars are manual, apparently VW thinks that if you would like a manual trans with V6 AND Leather/Sunroof then you must be crazy, b/c I had to search for 3 months to find 1! and had to travel over 900 miles to bring it home too.

I drive a '01 Vdub Passat, made in germany, I have 185k on it, all original clutch, the Throw Out bearing is *just* starting to make a little huming noise to let you know it's time for a swap, plenty of grab left on the clutch pads though.

Also, left out of the 'manual option only' list would be my other ride, Honda S2000, 1 engine option, 1 tranny option, 10 year production run, very much the slightly refined but still 'raw' sports car manual trans feel. I suppose the list only included 'current' vehicles,
R.I.P S2k '00 - '10


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