• The Manual Transmission: Dying Breed or Beacon of Automotive Expression? [News]

    Subaru BRZ 6-speed manual transmission
    [Photo: Subaru of America]
    The manual transmission seems to be a contentious thing these days in the automotive world. Enthusiasts like myself cannot fathom life without three pedals. Fortunately, there are a fair number of manufacturers still producing cars for our breed. However, there is also an industry trend that is leaving the manual transmission in favor of the faster, more efficient, and more marketable automatic. This post should serve as a status update to explain where the manual transmission stands, who intends to keep it, and who is choosing to drop the manual altogether.


    Genesis, a subsidiary brand of Hyundai, has the upcoming 2019 Genesis G70 set to release later this year. It was unclear whether or not this vehicle would offer a manual transmission, but according to the fuel economy ratings released by the EPA, the 2019 Genesis G70 2.0L turbo will come with an optional manual transmission. The G70 shares a platform with the smoking hot Kia Stinger. However, the Stinger only offers an 8-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai is playing the heart strings of those still interested in doing their own shifting.


    2017 Subaru BRZ

    Subaru, by contrast, might be headed in the opposite direction. This comes as somewhat of a surprise considering Subaru offers most of their vehicles with a manual transmission. This rumor was started by Auto Express, who is asserting that Subaru’s focus on safety may drive the company away from manual gearboxes. The reasoning being that Subaru’s CVTs work better with their Eyesight driver assistance technology. Subaru have not confirmed that they are ditching the manual. However, Subaru UK managing director Chris Graham said, “There are certainly no rumors we’ve heard that manual will continue or Eyesight will be [offered] with [a] manual.” He went on to say “My gut tells me it will be EyeSight with Lineartronic ongoing and long term.”

    Please be sure to drop your thoughts on this industry debate in the comments below! We here at TFL love manual transmissions, but also understand that the industry is moving further and further away from them. Especially in the US market.

    Be sure to stay tuned for more news about Subaru’s use of the manual transmission and Genesis’ supposed G70 Manual.
    While you wait, why not check out Mike and Nathan’s fun video featuring a 2018 Honda Fit Sport – with the 6-speed manual transmission, no less:

    Michael Curtis
    Michael Curtis
    Michael has always had a passion for things with four wheels and an engine. His parents often joked that his first word was "Porsche." He currently spends his time as a Communications student at CU Boulder and writes for TFL as an intern trying to learn the ways of the automotive journalist. In his spare time, he attends all the local Cars and Coffee events he can possibly make time for.

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    7 thoughts on “The Manual Transmission: Dying Breed or Beacon of Automotive Expression? [News]

    1. Subaru has decided that in New Zealand, the “won’t make it up Goldmine Hill” CVT will be the only transmission offered on all models except the WRX and WRX STI. I suspect this will happen in other markets too

    2. Evolution always disappoints somebody. You know you’re not a youngster anymore when you find yourself on the disappointment side, more and more.
      Long live the clutch!

    3. “This rumor was started by Auto Express, who is asserting that Subaru’s focus on safety may drive the company away from manual gearboxes.”

      For the record, drivers who learn manual are more alert and perceptive. An alert and perceptive driver will be safer than a person who drives as an after-though and relies on electronic aids.

    4. Manual is simply more enjoyable to drive. It’s not about choosing your gears, it’s the clutch. It’s skill in leaving the line or just a stop sign smoothly. It’s properly rev matching a downshift or the embarrassment of missing a shift.

      Sure you can manually shift an auto, but that gets boring in a hurry. The magic is the clutch, not the gear shift

    5. My step dad once said, when it comes to sports cars real men drive manuals. I grew up driving his 94 5.0 convertible mustang gt 5spd and now on weekends we drive his 04 GTO 5.7 6spd the feeling that a father gives when showing you how to drive a manual is unmatched by any type of automatic due to the mechanical connection you have with the vehicle.

    6. They’re leaving because a lot of the younger generation only learn to drive automatics AND the manufacturers make more money with the dual clutch or Automatics. I have a 16 GTI 2 door, 6 speed. The same car with DSG would have cost about $1500.00+ more.

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