The manual transmission has long been the gold standard of automotive performance. Increasingly however, the list of compelling reasons to opt for a stick shift in lieu of an automatic is diminishing. Technology has advanced automatic transmission performance to the point that it is no longer a given that a manual would provide for a faster, more efficient drive.
The BMW 650i with manual transmission not only costs $250 more, but demonstrates approximately one mpg less efficiency. Jonathon Ramsey of AOL Autos, says the following on stick shifts: “Automatics have also become so efficient that most of the time their fuel economy is on par with manuals — and in some cases even better. There are even several cars with automatics on the market that are faster than the same cars equipped with manuals.”
Many performance cars, the CTS-V and Porsche 911 Turbo among them, actually achieve 60 mph faster with an automatic than with a manual. In fact, the manual is no longer an option in the Ferrari 458 Italia or Lamborghini LP570-4 Superleggera. With fewer than 1/10th of drivers selecting manual, it appeared as though the manual shifter is on severe deathwatch.
- By: Stephen Calogera