Top 10 Cars We’re Sad No Longer Come with Manual Transmissions

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Top 10 Cars We’re Sad No Longer Come with Manual Transmissions

The manual transmission is a dying breed.

Over the past decade, numerous automakers have begun phasing out the manual transmission for dual-clutch units and more fuel-efficient automatics. Tragically, that means many of our favorite sports cars are ushering in a new generation without a stick shift, making many of us quite sad as driving enthusiasts.

SEE ALSO: 10 Cars That Only Come with a Manual Transmission

Then there are other sports cars where a manual transmission was never even offered as an option, like the Nissan GT-R. Unfortunately, sales figures don’t lie, and for many automakers, the take rate for manual transmissions is so low that it’s no longer worth the cost to develop a compatible unit – especially for cars pumping out ridiculous amounts of torque and require more robust transmissions. Automatics are also often faster and more efficient than manuals.

Here are our picks for the top 10 cars we’re sad no longer come with manual transmissions.

Acura NSX

acura-nsx

It might seem like it took forever to arrive, but the all-new Acura NSX is finally here and it’s missing a manual transmission. Sadly, Acura’s entire lineup now lacks a manual transmission and it appears the Japanese automaker has no intentions of going back, and for pretty legit reasons. The NSX is so high-tech now and a manual transmission just doesn’t suit the car’s philosophy any longer. The original NSX had a five or six-speed manual and a four-speed automatic (that absolutely no one bought).

Read our 2017 Acura NSX Review here


Audi TT RS

audi-tt-rs

Despite rumors that the new Audi TT RS would come with a manual transmission, that is sadly not the case. The German automaker recently introduced the latest version of its hot sports coupe packing 400 horsepower from a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine but no stick shift in tow. The only transmission available now is Audi’s slick seven-speed S Tronic.

Learn more about the Audi TT RS here


Audi R8

audi-r8

The Audi R8 is one of those brilliant sports cars that not only looks great, but is also a blast to drive. Unfortunately, a lot of the fun has gone out now that the company stopped offering it with a manual transmission for its latest generation. If you’re hankering for an R8 where you can row your own gears, you will have to settle for the previous-generation Audi R8, which was offered with a gorgeous-looking gated manual shifter.

Read our Audi R8 Review here


BMW M5

bmw-m5

The next-generation BMW M5 has been spied testing and it won’t be available with a manual transmission. In fact, BMW is phasing out the manual transmission option on the M5 later this year – so if you want one, you better act fast. Many enthusiasts are upset about this, but the ethos of the M5 has changed so much from its glory days. Plus, at least the new M2 is still available with a manual.

See Spy Photos of the Next-Generation BMW M5 here


BMW M6

bmw-m6

Like the BMW M5, the BMW M6 will also be losing its manual transmission. According to the head of BMW’s M division, demand on the manual transmission has dropped to zero on the M6. What’s crazier is that the current manual transmission was designed specifically for the U.S. market and it wasn’t cheap to develop a unit to control all 500 pound-feet of torque.

Read our BMW M6 Review here


Cadillac CTS-V

cadillac-cts-v

The new Cadillac CTS-V might be a formidable opponent to Germany’s high-powered sedans, but Cadillac also decided to scrap the manual transmission with the latest model. It’s understandable, too, considering the Cadillac CTS-V features a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine with 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque.

Read our Cadillac CTS-V Review here


Ferrari… Anything!

ferrari-488-gtb

Is it truly sad that even the best exotics in the world no longer offer manual transmissions. Although there are a few manual transmission Ferrari Californias roaming around, the last Ferrari most enthusiasts tie to a manual shifter is the 599.

Read our Ferrari California T Review here


Lamborghini… Anything!

lamborghini-huracan

With the introduction of the Lamborghini Huracan, which replaced the Gallardo, Lamborghini decided to dump the manual transmission. Then-CEO Stephan Winkelmann said that nearly zero percent of Gallardos were ordered with a manual transmission and it was so bad that when an order did come through with a manual, the automaker had to go and double check the order form to confirm that it wasn’t a mistake.

Read our Lamborghini Huracan Review here


Mercedes-Benz SLC

mercedes-benz-slc

It might not be a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, but the Mercedes-Benz SLK was one of the few luxury roadsters that offered a manual transmission. But alas, the German automaker replaced the SLK with the new SLC-Class and out went the manual transmission. In fact, you will have a really tough time finding any Mercedes-Benz model these days with a manual transmission.

Learn more about the Mercedes-Benz SLC here


Porsche 911 GT3

porsche-911-gt3

When Porsche introduced its latest-generation 911 GT3 at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, enthusiasts were appalled that there wasn’t a manual transmission. So much so that Porsche recently created the purist’s 911 R, which is like a GT3 but with a manual. Now, the German automaker has seen the error of its ways and will re-introduce a manual transmission for its next-generation 911 GT3. The big question is, why aren’t other automakers following in Porsche’s footsteps? Maybe Porsche drivers are the only ones that actually buy manual transmissions?

[Update: The 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 has returned with a manual transmission! Read about it here.]

Read our Porsche 911 GT3 Review here

  • Transpower

    Most vehicles now have paddle shifters; I always hated the clutch pedal anyway!

  • Joe Tahan

    yea flappy paddles is just another automatic transmission setup. The clutch is life. Without that, are you even really driving?

  • NewGuy

    Yup, automatics may shift faster and return better gas mileage now but a stick shift will always be more fun to drive.

  • smartacus

    even i gotta admit, the gated shifter and knurled knob in the R8 were beautiful.
    I could only imagine what a redline clutch drop would be like if the upcoming 400HP TT-RS came with a manual (i meant manual shifter, not owners manual)

  • Aditya Ganesan

    i love the TT RS. Its a formidable sports car that doesnt burn a hole in your pocket. Im planning to buy it when it releases. Thing is, i prefer DCT and not manual.

  • DougN

    Are you kidding me? I couldn’t afford any of these vehicles anyway. I’d be happy if there were anything worth a damn under $35KUSD instead of an array of two-liter 4 bangers with front wheel drive and cvt/rubber band transmissions. Under-powered, over-steering, roly-poly econoboxes with plastic interiors and poor rearward visibility that fall apart after 3 years.

  • Yal100

    Its because Porsche makes the best manual transmission in the game and has done for years. Even manual drivers who can’t afford one aspire to one day drive a Porsche stick 🙂

  • BUT I AM HAPPY THAT IT’S GOOD RIDDANCE TO THE MANUAL TRANSMISSION!

  • Diesel Driver

    When the automaker’s idea of a sports car is loaded down the electric windows, electric door locks, stereos that put out hundreds of watts and 18 speakers or so, and electric moon roofs or convertibles with automatic transmissions, you know that they’ve forgotten what a sports car is supposed to be. It should be LIGHTWEIGHT so no electric accessories and absolute maximum options is power steering and brakes and AC for us in deserts. Put a manual trans in because it’s FUN!!! Put a big engine in it too because that’s FUN TOO! Give me something the size of a 65 Malibu with a Duramax diesel with twin compound turbos and 800 horsepower and an 8 speed manual trans. Move the engine and trans back… Oh wait, Just put the Duramax with the twin turbos in the corvette. They would freak out at Le Mans. Probably wouldn’t let you run it… LOL. That’s what they did to the Ford GT with the 427 back in the day. Instead of building a competitive car the European manufacturers made them change the rules to 3 liters maximum for prototypes. BTW, the late 60’s Ford GT was clocked at 245 mph at Le Mans. Now that was a real sports car!

  • Diesel Driver

    Why would you deny others the pleasure of driving something that actually takes a bit more skill and is a lot more fun to drive? Could it be that you simply aren’t coordinated enough to drive one? Anyone who opts for an automatic in anything other than a minivan is just not a car enthusiast.

  • Diesel Driver

    You betcha! I’d love to have a porsche! Weee Fun! I like a big V8 but there’s something to be said for a high winding 6 too. I’d love to see them combine about a 6 or 7 liter V8 with double overhead cams and an ultra short stroke so it could turn upwards of 9,000 RPM and That would be nirvana to listen to at a race track. I really miss the V-10’s, V-12’s, H-16’s, W-12’s that used to abound in Formula 1. They all had a different sound and they were all wonderful. Now all the cars sound the same. All the econoboxes sound the same. Bah Humbug. I think I’ll go buy an old MG.

  • Diesel Driver

    That’s fine for you but that’s your choice. If they don’t at least option a manual then there’s a lot of people who wouldn’t be interested. I blame it on lazy people who don’t understand the sheer joy of shifting for yourself. It’s FUN!

  • Diesel Driver

    It would probably sound very expensive, like a lot of metal parts flying out of the transmission and maybe drive axle/differential.

  • Diesel Driver

    They are automatically shifted but you do control them. I doubt most people understand how twin clutch transmissions work. Some cars with the flappy paddles are actually automatics with paddles instead of a stick. Not in the racing world though. A true twin clutch has actually 2 transmissions tied to the input and output shafts with one providing the odd numbered gears and the other providing the even gears. Each has it’s own clutch and one side engages as the other disengages and goes to the next gear depending on whether you’re accelerating or not. It’s mostly computer controlled with the drive only telling it when to shift.

    It’s sad that so many people need a computer to shift their transmissions for them.

  • protosphere

    The exotic manufacturers cater to most people who buy them, for prestige with a gross inability to drive; drift, slide, and heel and toe in ballet to be specific.

    The all wheel drive vehicles make even a bad driver look good and the new Porsche who at least offers manual, went air cooled where it feels like a heavy BMW and hardly a sports car. They’ve all gone to pot.

    The era of a drivers car will be lost, except to those that will continue to produce manual gearboxes. I think paddle shifts are for Nancies.

    Anyways, it’s all about money, under the guise of performance than a by far more fun to drive car that requires experience and talent. After all, who cares about the fraction of a second increase in acceleration when these buyers can not drive in the first place!

    Especially Ferrari with its weight to HP ratio with a sound and ride from heaven to butcher its masterpieces into total garbage like this, strikes me as the ultimate sin in true sports car manufacturing. Maybe because F1 drivers went paddle they think this is best for the track and Nancies talking the joy out of the sole purpose of driving than just acceleration for all the difference it makes, who knows… I think they dropped the ball, big time, huge…needless to say.

  • protosphere

    Excellent comment, and a great reason why Corvette got brilliant enough to make their cars LIGHTER.

    However, this rev-matching nonsense really disappointed me because downshifting takes the fun out of double clutching (again, catering to people who can’t drive for a buck like all other manufacturers). I’d be make I could disable it before I bought the car, even if I had to supply the salesman some profoundly strong sedatives to ensure it worked..

    At lease Vette still makes a standard, thank goodness.

  • protosphere

    I had 2 Porsche and loved the tranny so long as the bushings were worn or greased enough so I could switch gears in a fractions of a second, slapping the shift ball in my hand with a quick flick and slap into the palm, A normal driver would crunch the gears unable to find them. I also used a lighter spring on the throttle body for a feather light acceleration pedal. Add a hypersensitive braking system to it and you have the ultimate ballet machine that any normal driver would wrap around a pole during his first outing but I lived to drive.

    Anyway, and Otherwise, Porsche makes nothing different to any other manual now days. New Porsche are just big heavy prestige machines and hardly a sport car even though an experienced track driver could still make them dance exponentially better than the average person. I all new Porsche except maybe he 918 or its V10 Carrera variant.

  • protosphere

    can’t have everything… they say the Miata is fun!

  • protosphere

    automatic transmissions and paddle shifters are for Nancies who don’t know how to drive

  • protosphere

    The stick shift has the added benefit of being a time proven birth control device.

  • DougN

    Got 4 of them already. 😉

  • TheCarMan

    Why?
    You can buy any car you want with an automatic. You are deprived of nothing just because some models offer it as an option. Your comment makes no sense. Or maybe it’s your socialist ideology showing; you know, your way (for everyone) or the highway.

  • TheCarMan

    You do know that the manual in their GT3 is made in Japan, right?

  • babyangel

    i love driving stick ! 2 of my 3 vehicles have a manual transmission 2000 mustang gt and ’95 isuzu pickup both were very old already when i got em from an impound auction but the clutch on both work great and it shifts well !

    i had the manual transmission fluid / gear oil changed on my truck once a few years ago how often does the transmission on a manual trans need to be changed ?
    thanks i appreciate anyhelpfull tips !