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      09-22-2020, 03:16 AM   #1
sygazelle
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Will the manual transmission be around forever?

I've read on car forums that real enthusiasts will choose a manual transmission over an automatic. Here's my question: Will this continue to be the case for years to come or are car enthusiasts beginning to embrace the much improved auto transmissions now available on cars?

Having driven manual for 20+ years before I made the switch, I totally get why there are diehard manual fans. Manual is more engaging and fun in most situations.

However, as time has gone by, automatics have actually gotten really good and my personal attitude about auto has changed.

For years after I switched to auto, I had a dream of buying a weekend car with a manual. With other priorities in the way, I never actually bought that weekend car. As I delayed that dream, my desire diminished to the point where I just don't care about manual transmissions anymore.

I'm just wondering if I'm the only one who's life-long passion for the third pedal is diminishing.
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      09-22-2020, 03:40 AM   #2
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There's already alot of high level performance cars such as Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini that say that auto is way more faster than stick
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      09-22-2020, 06:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ..Rush.. View Post
There's already alot of high level performance cars such as Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini that say that auto is way more faster than stick
Auto has been way faster forever, look at drag racing. As far back as I can remember serious street and track drag racers were running autos because they shifted quicker.

The question regarding speed of shifting has been asked and answered at nauseam.

The debate really revolves around whether or not the manual is dead or dying. Part of my sports car driving experience is the romance and joy of driving an analog car, rowing the gears, heel and tow etc. I know that someone driving a paddle shifter can shift faster, I'm not racing against anyone and frankly most of us aren't. I'd venture to say that there are many people who have modern paddle shift cars that are frankly more car than the driver/owner can manage and a talented driver with a similar model manual car will beat your pants off all day everyday on a track.

Is manual dead, not as long as I'm alive. I'm not dissing paddle shift cars for the record I'm simply addressing a few simple points that seem to get lost in this ongoing discussion.

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      09-22-2020, 07:34 AM   #4
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Manual as a toy car. Automatic for daily driver.
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      09-22-2020, 07:44 AM   #5
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There used to be many functional reasons to buy the manual over the automatic but they have all been reduced to the point they don't matter or eliminated. Pluses on the manual side now include "joy" and "connected to the car". As time goes on there will be fewer manual cars offered to the point that they will be eliminated. Next problem is fewer and fewer young people have ever had a chance to drive a manual. If you don't know how to use something you are far less likely to spend tens of thousands of dollars to give it a try, especially when it doesn't do anything measurably better.

I am also on the daily automatic, weekend manual car program but I will never buy a new weekend car so I am not helping the situation. Good news for me is I can drive the rest of my life on weekend manuals already produced, I don't need new cars to supply what I want.
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      09-22-2020, 07:47 AM   #6
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Had manuals for years then kids, vans and sedans later, back in manual. Its simply not the same. Some call it "real enthusiast" I just call it enjoyable.

I can get a painting off a computer faster and probably "better" I prefer to put the oil on the canvas myself.
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      09-22-2020, 07:47 AM   #7
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The bigger question is what and if there will be a performance car market where manuals tend to have better adoption. But even with performance cars, how many of them are optioned/available with manuals? It's a slowly dying option. I think all of the super/hyper cars are now autos. And for the cars that do have a manual as an option, how many of those are ordered with a manual? This point is a little touchy in my opinion as it's sort of the chicken and egg thing. I think a big part of the low manual orders is because dealers are ordering cars in auto in larger numbers than manual. Many customers are not willing to wait for a custom ordered car and will settle for what's on the lot. But in the end, it's up to us consumers to actually put our money where our collective mouths are and actually buy manual cars. In the end, sales numbers don't lie.

The other aspect is regulation. With increasing EPA fuel economy standards, getting manuals to comply is an increasingly difficult proposition especially with the low sales numbers. Add to this the drive to autonomous vehicles, and you have a convergence of the perfect storm to drive manuals to extinction. This doesn't even get into the ICE vs electric vehicle debate.
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      09-22-2020, 07:58 AM   #8
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Manuals are fading/have faded away.

I count myself as a car enthusiast and drove manuals as daily drivers for 20 years. That’s enough of that.

For a weekend/hobby car, if you like the nostalgia, go for it. If you are talking about your daily driver, get any of the wonderfully competent and sporty auto transmission vehicles.

ZF and Aisin are at the top of the auto transmission field in my view. Mercedes is below average for most models.
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      09-22-2020, 08:03 AM   #9
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For myself and most of my family we drive manuals (7/8 cars are stick).

Most of us will continue to buy manuals for toys and our daily drivers. I just enjoy driving that way and will purchase cars based on their manual availability(that's the reason we bought a few bmw's).

For us I have driven many good automatics/DCT and could care less on how "good" or quick the shifts are. I really do enjoy the engagement to the car and the connectedness. Even if the car is slower and not as fast on the track etc.
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      09-22-2020, 08:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sygazelle View Post
I've read on car forums that real enthusiasts will choose a manual transmission over an automatic. Here's my question: Will this continue to be the case for years to come or are car enthusiasts beginning to embrace the much improved auto transmissions now available on cars?

Having driven manual for 20+ years before I made the switch, I totally get why there are diehard manual fans. Manual is more engaging and fun in most situations.

However, as time has gone by, automatics have actually gotten really good and my personal attitude about auto has changed.

For years after I switched to auto, I had a dream of buying a weekend car with a manual. With other priorities in the way, I never actually bought that weekend car. As I delayed that dream, my desire diminished to the point where I just don't care about manual transmissions anymore.

I'm just wondering if I'm the only one who's life-long passion for the third pedal is diminishing.
I don't think that you're not a 'real enthusiast' if you choose to drive an auto. I prefer manual for my sports cars. I just like the engagement.

As far as 'Will they adopt'? I think the answer is yes and no. At some point the manual will die and we'll be forced to. Until then, however, I will always buy the manual option.

It's never been about performance for me. It's always been about the driving experience.
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      09-22-2020, 08:30 AM   #11
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A good sign is that we still sell 50% of our M2s in three-pedal format. To me that means those who want to drive their cars still have a passion for a manual. There has over the past few decades been more of a demand for manuals in the secondary market (other than the first owner) where the demand will soon outstrip the supply. Since so few manuals are made in any model anymore, those seeking manuals in the future won't have much to choose from. This can't help but increase the value of good manual cars over time.

Oddly the KBB values still dock the manuals around $2k when true manual buyers would willingly pay that much more over an automatic for the right car. I did this when I purchased my E39 530i over 5-years ago, and did the same when I recently purchased by '13 128i M-sport stick. We have only three autos among our 20-something BMW, an E39 528i, a 128i Sport my wife has had for over one year, and the 1970 2000 sedan we bought when we first had kids. Everything else is a clutch vehicle, including six motorcycles.

My wife has an arthritic left knee, otherwise where we live a manual can still be a daily driver/commuter vehicle. My 128i M-sport takes me back to my 2002tii days when that was a new car, but with modern technology and better seats in deference to my advanced age! Driving new BMWs in my daily job has only enhanced my appreciation for a good stick—and good steering feel!
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      09-22-2020, 08:32 AM   #12
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It was different for me when the automatics were power sapping, slow shifting slushboxes. But the performance automatics are so good these days, I don't miss having a manual much.

There's only a few cars where I'd feel like they're worth it and they're all RWD burnout machines. lol
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      09-22-2020, 08:36 AM   #13
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my life-long passion for the third pedal sure isn't diminishing.

Before I picked up my F83, I really wanted a GT-R and also considered the new Supra but ultimately decided that I couldn't go without a manual transmission. No regrets.

Oh and i love the sound/control of open dual air intakes with a manual transmission
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      09-22-2020, 08:53 AM   #14
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Life long manual transmission owner 1M+ driven miles, and drove professionally in city traffic. Took my driver's license test in a manual trans car.

So my opinion is MOST manumatics in the current vehicle fleet for sale are not millisecond-shifting DCT, but are computer-controlled torque converter automatics. The point of shifting yourself is, as the driver, you can see the road and traffic environment and decide when and what gear you want to use to make the driving move you want to make. In auto mode, no manumatic can emulate that level of driver control. So if you drive like I do, which is fully engaged in the driving activity and use the lack of other drivers attention to their environment to gracefully make your way through traffic, you need to keep a manumatic in manual mode. MOST manumatics still suck at shifting manually (read as SLOW and less precise), so my preference is to use a 3rd pedal and shift when and how fast I want to at ANYTIME I want.

The art of street driving is profiling the cars and drivers around you (i.e. part of the driving environment), so that you can better control the situation. As Murf said, who gives a shit about millisecond shift speeds for street driving.

One man's opinion and preference.
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      09-22-2020, 08:55 AM   #15
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I think in the near future we will be all driving electric cars and that's fine with me as they should be safer and better for the environment. At that point manual cars will be like buying an old record player. Everyone is different but I love my manual car and the rarer it gets the better it feels. Manuals are sort of the last analog cars vs the new digital cars.
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      09-22-2020, 08:58 AM   #16
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Auto with the +/- is faster and auto is great in heavy traffic. BUT

I find it easier to get through traffic with a real stick than the manual-matic. It is more intuitive to me than manual matic. It's also more fun.

I've kept a 2009 328i/Sport Suspension/6 spd manual for driving in the burbs and when I'm finding twistys. It's the car and stick that make a visceral difference in the joy.

And yes, I've driven a manual for 49 years. When I taught my sons, their legs couldn't take it even with the more friendly clutches. I shook my head in "what is the world coming to" mode when they were not looking. :-) And I was such a crap husband, that I sold my then-wife's Camry for a 6 speed stick - that was a mistake. But 20 yrs ago. You learn.
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      09-22-2020, 09:01 AM   #17
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I think in the near future we will be all driving electric cars and that's fine with me as they should be safer and better for the environment. At that point manual cars will be like buying an old record player. Everyone is different but I love my manual car and the rarer it gets the better it feels. Manuals are sort of the last analog cars vs the new digital cars.
To me electrics are a different animal; they are not automatic, nor are they manual. Most electrics don't shift. The beauty of the electric motor is the flat torque curve (err.. straight line), so to me electrics are like manuals since they are always in the "correct gear" for making driving moves.
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      09-22-2020, 09:32 AM   #18
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I've driven 60 years with manuals. Now have 5 cars, all autos including 2 that I race.
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      09-22-2020, 09:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Desmond79 View Post
Auto with the +/- is faster and auto is great in heavy traffic. BUT

I find it easier to get through traffic with a real stick than the manual-matic. It is more intuitive to me than manual matic. It's also more fun.

I've kept a 2009 328i/Sport Suspension/6 spd manual for driving in the burbs and when I'm finding twistys. It's the car and stick that make a visceral difference in the joy.

And yes, I've driven a manual for 49 years. When I taught my sons, their legs couldn't take it even with the more friendly clutches. I shook my head in "what is the world coming to" mode when they were not looking. :-) And I was such a crap husband, that I sold my then-wife's Camry for a 6 speed stick - that was a mistake. But 20 yrs ago. You learn.
No offense, but a young man has leg issues with a clutch? Lol. I was back driving my cars two weeks after knee replacement surgery.
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      09-22-2020, 09:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sygazelle View Post
I've read on car forums that real enthusiasts will choose a manual transmission over an automatic. Here's my question: Will this continue to be the case for years to come or are car enthusiasts beginning to embrace the much improved auto transmissions now available on cars?
Manual = more driver involvement

It's no more difficult to to understand than that.

If you want to be more involved, choose the manal.
If you want the fastest times, choose the auto/dct.

So it just depends on what you want from your driving experience, and what you want from the car.

And yes, there will always be guys out there, like myself, that want more INVOLVEMENT, and don't really care about the numbers.
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      09-22-2020, 10:07 AM   #21
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I learned on manual, have manual, DCT, SMG and automagic cars now. I have always chuckled at the irony of the moniker "real enthusiasts" preferring a lever and additional pedal as though anything otherwise emasculates them.

If your intention is to win inside of a vehicle you have chosen that is noticeably faster than most other road going vehicles (most people when racing....) then choose the faster option. If something tickles your brain to thrust a lever outside the shower environment, then do so.

Simply put, I believe the manual production will become what the flappy paddles once were, a rarity that certain manufacturers provide upon request and the rest of the world will accept the less involved and quicker more efficient option.
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      09-22-2020, 10:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sygazelle View Post
I've read on car forums that real enthusiasts will choose a manual transmission over an automatic. Here's my question: Will this continue to be the case for years to come or are car enthusiasts beginning to embrace the much improved auto transmissions now available on cars?

Having driven manual for 20+ years before I made the switch, I totally get why there are diehard manual fans. Manual is more engaging and fun in most situations.

However, as time has gone by, automatics have actually gotten really good and my personal attitude about auto has changed.

For years after I switched to auto, I had a dream of buying a weekend car with a manual. With other priorities in the way, I never actually bought that weekend car. As I delayed that dream, my desire diminished to the point where I just don't care about manual transmissions anymore.

I'm just wondering if I'm the only one who's life-long passion for the third pedal is diminishing.

All depends on the specific car and always will as long as manual is offered

Here's an example for you

BMW M4 Manual ALLLLL DAYYYYYY Not enough there to need or have fun with paddles

Porsche GT2 Paddles of course Manual wouldn't get the potential out by any means

Quick transmissions were made for race cars/exotics/super/hyper cars. If your car isn't a race car or damn near (Light Flywheel, short revs) and you have paddles its just a fad and serves no purpose.
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