It’s no secret that the modern-day car industry is not fond of the manual gearbox, and according to a few sources, some even believe that the manual gearbox is making a comeback. However, we do need to keep in mind that those who crave a manual are mostly enthusiasts who also prefer manual daily drivers.
With the release of the new Ford Bronco, Ford has officially confirmed that the new Bronco will also be available as a manual. The long-awaited new BMW M3 will also be available as a manual, but rest assured that the vast majority of buyers will still opt for an automatic.
Manuals are indeed more fun and more engaging, but they are mostly lusted after by those who already own daily drivers with automatic gearboxes, so they want a manual as a weekend car. It’s safe to say that manuals will not cease to exist, nonetheless, the manual gearbox is not making a comeback.
It’s just way easier to live with an automatic, especially so if you primarily drive in the city. Furthermore, a huge portion of the younger generation is not even familiar with how a manual operates because there is no need for them to know as there are hardly any manuals around these days.
Benefits of a manual gearbox – #SaveTheManuals
Some people believe that manuals are superior to automatics no matter how you look at them, and that might be true to a certain extent. Nevertheless, the general public prefers an automatic because it’s more convenient, and convenience is a big factor for those who spend a lot of time behind the wheel.
However, the first thing we need to talk about is the price because manual gearbox cars are way cheaper when compared to automatics. On average, if you want an automatic gearbox, you are looking at an additional $1000 over a car equipped with a manual gearbox.
Manual gearboxes are extremely popular when it comes to performance cars because they offer an additional level of engagement and control which makes the entire driving experience that bit more involving and rewarding.
Manuals are often a preferred gearbox option for rock crawling as well because a manual gearbox enables you to control your car better. Manuals have fewer moving parts which also means that they are lighter, easier to fix and more reliable at the same time.
Drawbacks of a manual gearbox – #KillTheManuals
The general public values a safe, comfortable, easy and affordable car. As such, a manual is inherently more difficult to master because the learning curve with an automatic is easy and manageable extremely fast. On the other hand, learning how to drive a manual can sometimes last for months before you are 100% confident in your abilities.
Furthermore, manual cars are exponentially more difficult to drive in hilly areas because you need to adequately manage both your throttle and your clutch while preventing the car from rolling down the hill. Of course, many cars these days have features such as Auto-Hold, but these features are not available on all manual cars.
Another issue with a manual gearbox is the fact that only a few dozen cars are even available with a manual these days. Some extremely popular brands such as Mercedes have sold exactly 0 manual cars in the US for as long as 10 years.
Furthermore, you need to be careful driving a manual because improper use can virtually destroy a brand-new gearbox. Finally, a manual gearbox is slower than an automatic which to some extent is not all that beneficial for a performance car after all.
The destiny of a manual gearbox – #LoveTheManuals
Ultimately, a manual gearbox should never cease to exist because all those aforementioned benefits are both substantial and enough for us to prefer a manual car in a certain situation. Manual performance cars are indeed slower, but we value them because they are more exhilarating elsewhere.
In today’s day age, even 4-door sedans can reach 60mph in under 3 seconds, so it’s not really all that exciting to be quick, yet it is exciting to heel and toe a manual sports car, and chances are that will always be a rewarding experience for an enthusiast.
Manual cars are just more rewarding when you get it right and the added level of control makes the entire experience that bit more fun, especially today when cars are slowly turning into robots. Even though manuals are surely not making a comeback, they will still be around for those who know how to enjoy them.
Are manual gearbox cars more efficient?
Many people believe that manuals are more efficient than automatics, but this highly depends on how you drive the car. That being said, a manual can be more efficient than an automatic, but that’s only the case if you know how to drive economically.
This is not enough to call them more economic from the get-go, but a torque converter automatic car does indeed use more fuel more often.
Why do cars have gears?
Cars have gears because gears enable an engine to be more efficient, more powerful and they also enable you to change the rotational direction. Lower gears are designed to initially push the car from a standstill, and when the vehicle has enough velocity, you can shift to a higher gear which enables the engine to be more efficient.
The more gears, the lower the gear ratio which is beneficial if you want the engine to operate in a specific manner. For example, Chevy uses a 10-speed gearbox to increase efficiency while the Porsche GT4 uses a 6-speed manual because it makes the engine more thrilling to drive and more enjoyable at higher RPM ranges.
Do EVs have gears?
Even though most EVs don’t use a traditional gearbox, some of them do, and the reason why is simple. VAG is one of the world most powerful and advanced automotive mammoths, and they decided to offer the Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-Tron GT with a 2-speed gearbox even though they are EVs.
The reason why decided to do so is that the first gear enables the car to accelerate rapidly, and the second gear is more tailored to efficiency which is exactly the same ethos ICE cars follow.