No manual in the 911 GT3 and no manual in the Renault Sport Clio either – the end of manually operated gearboxes is probably near, but we reckon it needs to stay!
Many people will try and tell you that the manual gearbox is going the way of the dinosaurs. They’ll say that automatic gearboxes can shift faster and more smoothly while using less fuel. And that’s all very true, but there’s something extremely satisfying about swapping cogs yourself – be that the mechanical interaction with the car or thinking you’re pretty awesome for having that extra level of skill that it takes to change gears the ‘old-fashioned’ way.
A lot of performance cars now aren’t even available with three pedals and a lever between the seats, and that’s a shame. Because, changing gears manually, like a man, is cool and it allows you to do things which can’t be done in a car equipped with a lazy automatic.
So, here are five reasons why the manual gearbox needs to live on….
1. Without the manual gearbox, scenes from Fast and Furious movies will look about as exciting as a senile chap taking a Sunday drive in his beige Toyota Camry. Automatic Camry – the blandest of them all.
2. Along with the manual gearbox, the clutch kick will die, too! How ever will youngsters learn to drift!?
3. Manuals get respect.
Petrol heads’ reaction when you tell them your car has a manual gearbox.
4. Manual gearboxes can be things of utter beauty.
5. What’s going to happen to the standard of driving!?
If I’m honest, the standard of driving as it is currently is absolutely appalling. It’s impossible to go for a drive without somebody deliberately cutting you off then slowing down to 15mph below the posted speed limit, OR, really alarmingly, seeing somebody pass through a red light then slam on the brakes before stopping half way through the intersection and reversing up! Part of this must come down to not paying attention to the road, surely. Having a manual gearbox, though, keeps you involved in the driving experience, and keeps you concentrating on the road.
Quite simply, without the manual gearbox, we’re all doomed.