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The Future Of The Manual Transmission

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    Yes, but with a caveat:

    "GM North America President Mark Reuss told Automotive News that, based on the history of the segment, offering a manual is probably not a "financially sound decision,"

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,632
    isn't the take rate for a stick on pick ups dismally low anyway? Might be a little higher on a smaller truck, but I doubt by much.

    I want Ford to bring over the new Ranger. they featured them on an episode of Amazing Race, and they looked slick.

    and yes, they were all sticks! A-R is famous for making the contestants drive themselves at some point, and put them in sticks. High comedy since there is always at least one that has no clue how to do it.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    edited November 2013
    Civic SI, and this might be the best shifter and clutch of any car I have ever owned. After driving around in this for a week, I think MAYBE I could make peace with the gradual attrition of manuals as long as they continue to offer them as the only choice in the "sport" trims of mainstream models. ;-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 5,654
    I want Ford to bring over the new Ranger. they featured them on an episode of Amazing Race, and they looked slick.

    and yes, they were all sticks! A-R is famous for making the contestants drive themselves at some point, and put them in sticks. High comedy since there is always at least one that has no clue how to do it.


    Wife and I love that show, and we always comment on the issues with manual transmissions and some of the teams.

    Missed the episode you're referring to, but remember a season where lack of manual transmission prowess (VW Touraeg?) caused a team to finish last and get eliminated.

    And, the season where they were in Spain and were given diesels ... two or three teams filled with regular gas, much to their dismay.

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Congrats, nippon! Sounds like you could get used to being in a FWD again? :P
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    Indeed, the need for four doors and a max budget of $30K pretty much dictated that I would relearn to love FWD! :-P

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    I'm very happy with my Fiat 500 manual. It's agile, economical, easy to park in tight spaces, and does just fine cruising at 75 mph.
  • ronsteveronsteve Posts: 435
    Wife and I love (Amazing Race), and we always comment on the issues with manual transmissions and some of the teams.

    It's been mentioned more than once in our house too... how I would have to do the driving if we ever got on that show.

    Doesn't bode too well for wanting my next ride to be a Jetta SportWagen TDI with a stick, especially since the wife doesn't think I'd be able to teach her at our now-40ish age.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 5,654
    Doesn't bode too well for wanting my next ride to be a Jetta SportWagen TDI with a stick, especially since the wife doesn't think I'd be able to teach her at our now-40ish age.

    My wife only drove stick shifts until we bought our '99 Ford Expedition. Took her some time to get used to the lack of engine braking when she took her foot off the gas.

    Now, with the 'manu-matic' automatics, I doubt that she'll ever go back to driving a traditional 3-pedal stick.

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,906
    edited December 2013
    ..."Took her some time to get used to the lack of engine braking when she took her foot off the gas. "...

    So when did FORD lock out DOWNSHIFTING? :)

    Downshifting and coasting in gear (sometimes out of gear also) use to be major reasons/benefits for M/T.

    With the advent of no fuel draw IN gear, ( mpg benefit on diesels are most dramatic) I have long since made it a point to coast in gear or after downshifting for the upcoming transition.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,845
    The Fiat version comes with a 5 or 6 speed manual (or an automatic) and Ram is reportedly re-engineering it for the US market.

    My guess is that they'll re-engineer the manuals right out of the picture but we can keep our fingers crossed.

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  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,707
    edited December 2013
    radius'.

    image
    2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

    It's time for "what would it be like ta have a daily driver as small as this?" again. Mitsubishi is making this pup with a 5-speed standard transmission. It has these features standard:

    ■1.2-liter DOHC MIVEC 3-cylinder engine
    ■Automatic climate control air conditioning
    ■140-watt CD/MP3 audio with 4 speakers and USB port
    ■Power windows with driver's side auto up/down
    ■Split folding rear seats
    ■P165/65R14 low rolling resistance tires
    ■Seven-airbag safety system with driver's knee airbag¹
    ■Active Stability Control (ASC)² with Traction Control Logic (TCL)
    ■Anti-theft security alarm system and engine immobilizer

    The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage DE has those features plus these for $12,995:

    Includes all standard features plus:
    ■5-speed manual or available Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
    ■14-inch steel wheels with full sheel covers
    ■ECO status indicator light
    ■Gloss black center console trim
    ■Rear spoiler
    ■Power door locks and side view mirrors
    ■Remote keyless entry with panic feature

    Options for the DE include:
    Alloy Wheels | Exterior Package
    | Protection Package | LED Illumination Package
    | Cargo Package | Chrome Package
    | Park Assist Package

    The 2014 Mirage ES starts at $14,195 and includes these features:

    ■5-speed manual or available Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
    ■14-inch alloy wheels
    ■Bluetooth® hands-free phone system
    ■FAST-Key electronic entry and start system
    ■One-touch Start/Stop (OSS) engine switch
    ■Leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
    ■Steering-wheel-mounted cruise control and audio controls
    ■Halogen fog lights

    The following are options that could be added to the ES model:

    Navigation Package | Exterior Package
    | Protection Package | LED Illumination Package
    | Cargo Package | Chrome Package
    | Park Assist Package

    With a sharp turning radius of 15.1 feet combined with a length of just 148.8 inches, city parking is a breeze. The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS is at 115,456 miles and running like a champ right now so dealing anytime soon is out of the picture. But this vehicle is getting me thinking standard tranny-time again. 37 mpg in the city, 44 highway. It's got the best ghastly mileage in America with an ICE rig, non-hybrid.

    One thing I like is that you can get the upper-optioned model, the ES, with a 5-speed standard transmission like you can the cheaper model. Not all manufacturers are doing it that way, but Mitsubishi, with its racing heritage, is following suit and doing just that.

    Kind of reminds me of the late 80's Kia Festiva and Chevy Sprint.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    just named autonomous driving as the technology of the year, and in the article where they discuss it they say this will be the final nail in thhe coffin of the manual transmission, as it cannot be adapted to the manual and will be pervasive in the industry by 2040 or earlier. :-(

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,845
    Might just halve car sales too, not to mention killing cabs.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    It's useless to fight major trends, and, besides, 2040 is a long way off. It's unrealistic not to expect change. There are still numerous choices of models with manual transmissions, even though, increasingly, a spirit of compromise is required in terms of matching models and transmissions.

    Peoples' preferences often change over time. In 5 or 10 years you may actually prefer an automatic over a manual.

    I think that one of the major factors hurting manual transmission demand, besides the fact that fewer young people desire the experience, is that many automatics now achieve similar fuel economy and performance as manuals.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    "In 5 or 10 years you may actually prefer an automatic over a manual. "

    it's already happened to people ordering the new Corvette Stingray.

    So far, 3 out of 5 are going automatic.

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,906
    Being as how the new 7 speed M/T is probably one of the better M/T's to come along in quite a while (Tremec) , an interesting observation (60%) . But then in the short past, the trend was more like 75% A/T. (overall)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    I actually applaud the choice. The Stingray is too big a car to be rowing around with a manual transmission. There comes a point in terms of power, speed and dimension where a paddle shifted automatic really makes sense, to get the most out of the car. I'd say the same for a Ferrari.

    Actually the MT percentage is 38%, come to find out, which seems low but is actually the highest percentage of any GM car. The Camaro is in the low 30s.

    My preference is to keep the manual transmission in smaller cars with smaller engines, and in trucks. I don't feel they work in luxury cars or formidable large sports cars.

    Would I order a Stingray in MT or Auto? You know, I'm not sure. I'd have to drive it hard. For something like a Boxster, definitely MT, but for those big babies....I dunno.....I might not want to be fussing with a stickshift while working through narrow twisty roads overhanging a cliff into the ocean.

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,906
    edited December 2013
    I think you hit the nail on the head, CHOICE. I actually have grown to like the Tremec (product line) . But then on the other hand, when I see one of my relatives, it is hard not to like the M/T on the Porsche Carrera. We (you included) on the far left coast are blessed with some of the MOST iconic American "backroads." Higher speed freeways when we want those also ! :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    edited December 2013
    Yep the west coast has some of the most beautiful and challenging roads in the country--Highway 1, in some places, leaves little room for error if you are really on the loud pedal. It requires concentration. Even in the MINI you're busy in the cockpit with a MT--5th and 6th speeds are virtually useless and with the supercharger you don't ever want to be below 2000 rpm. I suppose in a Stingray you could just do the entire thing in 2nd! :) But boy, would you suck in it everytime your Stingray went around a blind corner on the south side of the road (the cliff side---the one without the guardrails) and met an F250 dually going the other way. With the MINI at least I have a little breathing room.

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,906
    edited December 2013
    Indeed torque is more the emphasis in those TWISTIES rather than speed. With pretty close to 1 G capability, one really does not want to make a power slide mistake, (even if one is a legend in ones' own mind) . It's bad and stupid enough to kill one self. It would be unconscionable to take someone else to multiple others.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043

    In a recent group conversation at a car event, I overheard someone saying that they didn't like to drive a manual transmission because they found it "too distracting, what with everything else you have to do in modern traffic"---to which I thought, but did not say: "If moving around a gearshift and stepping on a pedal is too distracting for you, you are in way over your head operating a 2-ton vehicle at 65 mph".

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,906
    edited December 2013

    @MrShift@Edmunds said: In a recent group conversation at a car event, I overheard someone saying that they didn't like to drive a manual transmission because they found it "too distracting, what with everything else you have to do in modern traffic"---to which I thought, but did not say: "If moving around a gearshift and stepping on a pedal is too distracting for you, you are in way over your head operating a 2-ton vehicle at 65 mph".

    Indeed ! ? I think that all of us drive for different (combination of) reasons and it changes all the time for a lot of different reasons, For some reason/s it was important to me, when learning how to drive (years ago, to as a minimum) to drive manual transmissions proficiently. One skill that I think it does develop/emphasize is the ability to structurally think AHEAD. In traffic with an A/T, it would seem that guy you overhead was more into reacting, and being in the moment.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508

    That's the way with drivers these days, is it not?! I mean, being reactive rather than thinking ahead. I actually had someone tell me last week that my rear brake light (center) was not working after driving behind me for a while through town. We had gone through four or five intersections, three of which were red when we approached.

    He thought I was mad when I told him that my brake lights work fine, I just had not used the brakes during that period! :s

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,632

    I can see if you are a real newbie not wanted to get into a bad driving area, but if you know how to do it, it really takes no thought. Basically just becomes automatic.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692

    Just checking in to say my new SI has got me loving stick shift more than ever - it has one of the sweetest shifter and clutch combinations I have ever driven. I don't see how you could drive this car and not become an instant convert to the cult of the manual! :-P

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205

    @nippononly said: Just checking in to say my new SI has got me loving stick shift more than ever - it has one of the sweetest shifter and clutch combinations I have ever driven. I don't see how you could drive this car and not become an instant convert to the cult of the manual! :-P

    Congratulations on your new SI. Is it a sedan or coupe?

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692

    @hpmctorque said:

    Congratulations on your new SI. Is it a sedan or coupe?

    It's a sedan. Use the back seat all the time, need those extra doors. ;-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • I am going to follow the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage and how owners/test driver's feel about its driving dynamics. I like the great ghastly mileage, late 80's Ford Festiva/Chevy Sprint looks yet 5 doors ta choose from and $13,000 price range.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

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