Published at Tuesday, 14 April 2020. manual car. By Roy Masse.
The manual transmission is on the endangered species list. Every year fewer and fewer cars are offered with a clutch and a shifter. Why? Americans just don’t want to be bothered with the chore of working a clutch with their left foot and shifting with their right. And sports car manufacturers are the worst offenders when it comes to quitting on the stick shift. Because the newest computer-controlled automatics can shift more quickly than any human can, engineers see the manual transmission as outdated.
Manual transmissions haven’t seen the rapid increase in forward gears that automatic transmissions have with the rise of eight-, nine- and 10-speed automatics, but cars like the Porsche 911 offer seven-speed manuals rather than the more common six-speed gearbox. What’s the benefit? The extra seventh gear is very tall, which means better gas mileage during highway cruising.
A continuously variable transmission (CVT) has a nearly infinite range of gear ratios. In the past, CVTs could not compete with four-speed and five-speed transmissions in terms of cost, size and reliability, so you didn’t see them in production automobiles. These days, improvements in design have made CVTs more common.
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