In the “old days,” you had two transmission options if you wanted to buy a car. More often than not, a manual transmission was the standard choice, but buyers increasingly had automatic transmission options. Then, ‘ze Germans started using dual-clutch transmissions in racing cars, leading to the array of the gearboxes seen on the market today. That’s about to change for BMW, at least, as the company’s M division head of development told Top Gear that the DCT would die as it shifted to electrification.
Very few quirky cars remain in today’s homogeneous vehicle landscape, but the Hyundai Veloster can count itself among that offbeat cohort. The Veloster N cranks up the fun quotient considerably, adding 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque to the oddball three-door package. More power can be drawn from the turbo 2.0-liter via a performance package.
A recent entry to the Hyundai lineup, the Veloster N has thus far been available only with a six-speed manual. No problem there, this writer says, but Hyundai clearly felt otherwise.
If the fight to save manuals is going to continue for much longer, it had better make gains in one of its historically important battlegrounds.
Only around 1 in 4 new BMW M3 models have a manual transmission, according to the manufacturer. That’s a steep drop from the reported 53 percent of buyers who opted to row their own in the last-generation M3 sedan — and the news for the manual M4 doesn’t get much better.
Some time ago the Acura brand has lost its ways. The recent regroup of the brand’s car lineup resulted in the small ILX, midsized TLX, and top-dog RLX in a tried and true same-sausage-in-three-lengths setup. I recently had a chance to sample both the entry-level 4-cylinder TLX, as well as the loaded V6 all-wheel-drive version.
The first fruits of a large scale joint venture of a leading U.S. supplier and a consortium of Chinese automakers will debut in FAW’s Hongqi (Red Flag) luxury sedan. BorgWarner United Transmission Systems (BWUTS) will supply DualTronic control modules and clutch modules for a seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission (DCT) that goes into FAW’s Hongqi in late 2013.
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