It’s had a few good days recently, but there’s no doubt the manual transmission is a patient that’s rapidly slipping away.
BMW just did its part to hasten the demise by getting rid of the stick shift option in next year’s M5 and M6, according to comments made to Car and Driver by BMW M boss Frank van Meel.
Soon, only two pedals will sprout from the firewall of the famed performance midsizers. But don’t blame the automaker. They’re just responding to consumer demand, or lack thereof.
In my column on manual transmissions, I touched on how the only way to ensure the survival of the manual gearbox is to keep buying them. But a significant number of commenters expressed the sentiment that rowing your own was no longer worthwhile.
Meet Chris. Chris is a good friend of mine and a disgustingly handsome and successful young man. He’s 28 years old, has a mid six-figure job, lives in a swanky suburb of Boston, and dates a model who also happens to race motorcycles. Oh, and he also owns a 2013 Shelby GT500. Feel free to start hating him… now. Unfortunately, Chris is impossible to hate. He’s a genuinely good dude who comes from a long line of car guys. His family owned a Ford dealership for decades, and as a result, he’s a self-proclaimed Ford fan.
So when he received a promotion at work that caused him to start driving a lot more than he had previously, Chris did something sensible. He parked the GT500 in his garage and bought a Fusion on D-plan.
But it wasn’t just any Fusion.
After enduring what The Motor Report calls “a spiraling and damaging media campaign – run, in the main, by Fairfax media,” Volkswagen spoke up. According to Reuters, “Australian Managing Director John White told Australia’s Fairfax newspaper on Friday that VW “have issues” after car owners complained of transmission and engine failures causing loss of power, but did not order a general recall.” (Read More…)
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The death of an Australian woman who was rear-ended two years ago is making new headlines. In 2011, 32-year-old Melissa Ryan was killed when a truck with two trailers hit her Volkswagen Golf from behind. A coroner is looking into the matter. The report is expected to be completed in July. In the meantime, Australian media does not let simple technical facts get in the way of a bad story. (Read More…)
In a couple recent Piston Slap articles you’ve mentioned that when driving car with a manual transmission its most efficient to accelerate with the engine near its torque peak, then cruise in the highest gear possible. This raised two questions in my mind: (Read More…)
The folks over at Allpar are concerned about Dart sales. The initial batch of Darts were released as “Rally” models with manual transmissions for about $23,000 — and apparently, one of the Allpar reader’s dealers has an ADP sticker on top of that! The Darts don’t seem to be selling. Not for $23,000, and not with a manual transmission.
Now the Wall Street Journal is chiming in.
Even as the wagon Gods smile down upon on this Mother’s Day, BMW’s announcement of an all-new 2013 3-Series Wagon still has us waiting with bated breath with the announcement of not one but two diesel powertrains.
Hi! I’ll try to be concise.
I have a 2003 A4 manual sedan with 78K. I wanted a wagon but couldn’t find one and was in a hurry for wheels. Well, now I found one: 2003, manual, 107K. It’s at a dealer lot. Plus it’s got some desirable performance modifications, including exhaust. (Read More…)