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Is the manual transmission dead? Die-hard auto enthusiasts may shout out: “No way” but is anyone listening? If you’re in the market for a new car, a manual transmission might be a good idea, for a few key reasons. Continue Reading…
Sadly, manual transmissions are a dying breed. For many, the convenience of an automatic far outweighs the many advantages of driving stick, from the lower cost of the car, to improved driving enjoyment and vehicle control, to better fuel economy (although those pesky dual-clutch units are starting to make this argument obsolete).
Several months ago MINI announced the launch of a new “Manualhood” marketing campaign aimed at getting drivers to choose three pedals over two, while simultaneously building up the brand’s enthusiast appeal. More recently, the quirky British automaker followed up with its “Becoming a Manual” PSA video.
At the recent launch of the new MINI Coupe (review here), brand boss Jim McDowell didn’t provide any specifics on how the new campaign is going but he did point out just how popular stick-shift transmissions already are with MINI drivers. While total sales of manual transmission models make up just five to six percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. each year, the take rate for MINI buyers is vastly higher at 34 percent. Depending on the region, that number can be even higher, with roughly half (49%) of all MINIs sold in New England being manuals.
Long live the stick-shift!
With the launch of its new Coupe model, MINI is continuing to push ahead with its “Manualhood” marketing campaign, releasing a campy new video styled after a 1950s public service announcement. Titled “Becoming a Manual” the PSA outlines that this important stage in growing up. “Manualhood is when your body is craving more exhilaration than an automatic can provide,” explains the gym teacher.
Plus, the video highlights the many advantages to driving stick, like improved fuel economy, heightened driving enjoyment and a lower price. It even explains just how easy operating a clutch-and-paddle transmission is. And of course, there’s plenty of humor tossed in.
Still not sure you’re ready to drive stick? Thankfully MINI has also provided a “Becoming a Manual” handbook, which you can download from the brand’s Facebook page here.
Watch the video after the jump:
When the Scion iQ city car goes on sale this October it will be offered exclusively with a CVT transmission. That, however, is likely to change admits brand boss Jack Hollis
“We already have it,” he told AutoGuide, referring to the 6-speed manual currently offered on the Toyota-branded iQ in Europe. Now it’s just a question of getting it certified for use on U.S. roads.
“We can do it,” he said with enthusiasm, commenting that he’d like to see it introduced in the iQ as part of a limited edition Release Series model. Until then, find out why we don’t hate the CVT transmission here.
GALLERY: 2012 Scion iQ
Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Scion iQ review and discuss this story at iQ-forums.com
Plus, watch the video review after the jump:
With less than 10 percent of vehicles sold today equipped with manual transmissions, and an even greater number being taken off the road, Car and Driver magazine is on a campaign to “Save the Manuals”.
C/D Editor-in-Chief Eddie Alterman has this World Vision-esque video admonishing viewers to save old cars with manual gearboxes from rotting in the junkyard, or worse, LeMons races.
Really, the best thing would be to keep buying new cars with manual transmissions. Buying up used cars with stick shifts won’t make any car companies take notice, but if a whole lot of new cars start selling with manual gearboxes, supply with start to match demand. Vote with your wallets folks.
Hit the jump to watch the video
[Source: Car and Driver]