More and more manufacturers are ditching manual cars of late, choosing instead to swap the transmission for smarter dual clutch systems instead.
Instead of being the default choice, manuals have been relegated to the niche enthusiast section of the car world. Mercedes-Benz have become the latest manufacturer to commit to this by choosing to ditch the manual. This comes after Audi became the first of the big Germans to announce their decision last year.
The head of Merc’s R&D- Marcus Schaefer, confirmed that the famous German marque is putting manual transmissions on the chopping block as part of cost cutting initiatives that also includes “a very dramatic reduction in combustion engines”.
However, this statement will only come as a shock to Merc’s European buyers because I’m pretty sure they haven’t sold a brand new manual car in New Zealand for a long long time. Even in the UK, you can only have the manual option on the A-class.
While the future may seem bleak for manual enthusiasts, remember that BMW still continue to offer manual options and both the new M3 and M4 will be offered with manual options. The bad news is that New Zealand will only get the dual clutch option. This act should crush any notions of BMW not caring about their enthusiasts, let’s hope it stays this way!
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Words by Matthew Dsouza, pictures sourced from Pexels.