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Manual transmission is dying out: why an era is coming to an end

2022-08-10T12:15:56.724Z

Manual transmission is dying out: why an era is coming to an end Created: 08/10/2022, 14:02 While many novice drivers struggle with the gear and clutch in the game, PS fans are happy about the control of the manual work. But the days of manual transmission are numbered. The news hit. When Mercedes confirmed the end of the manual transmission in its models from 2023 in the spring, one camp of mo



Manual transmission is dying out: why an era is coming to an end

Created: 08/10/2022, 14:02

While many novice drivers struggle with the gear and clutch in the game, PS fans are happy about the control of the manual work.

But the days of manual transmission are numbered.

The news hit.

When Mercedes confirmed the end of the manual transmission in its models from 2023 in the spring, one camp of motorists was relieved and the other horrified.

Because while many consider playing with the gear and clutch to be complicated or at least uncomfortable, depending on the routine, for others it is the epitome of a sporty pace.

Do it yourself: Numerous manufacturers still offer many of their models with a manual gearbox - that could change soon.

© Thorsten Weigl/Opel Automobile GmbH/dpa-tmn

Manual transmission is dying out: why an era is coming to an end

But as loud as the discussion between novices and pleasure drivers on the one hand and conscious manual workers on the other flared up again after the report, it is also obsolete.

At the latest since the introduction of the double clutch transmission and its triumphant advance to small cars, the manual transmission has been on the decline.

To put it simply, a dual clutch transmission is an automated manual transmission that can change gears very quickly either all by itself or by pulling a rocker switch or a lever.

It also does not need a clutch pedal, which is why many simply perceive it as an automatic.

The manual transmission comes to dwindling sales compartments, says Peter Kerkrath from the expert organization KÜS.

The fact that this camp war and both variants exist at all is due to the specific properties of the gearbox:

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The manual transmission is not only considered a sportier, but also a more economical solution that enables lower consumption, while the automatic is assumed to be more comfortable, especially in heavy traffic, but also less efficient.

"But these sweeping judgments no longer apply and automatic transmissions have caught up considerably," says Kerkrath.

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In particular, dual-clutch transmissions shift faster than any racing driver.

It is not for nothing that they have long been the first choice for sports cars such as McLaren, Ferrari, Aston Martin or Porsche.

And it doesn't matter whether it's Formula 1 or the Dakar Rally - even in motorsport, hardly anyone moves a gear stick through the corresponding lanes anymore.

Manual transmission is dying out: variety in the model range is being reduced

"The consumption disadvantage has also continued to decrease," says the expert.

The times when the average fuel consumption of a model was one or two liters between the version with a manual switch and an automatic are long gone Step.

This is because manual transmissions are less complex to manufacture and correspondingly cheaper.

The car manufacturers have often passed on the price advantage to the customers.

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But in times of further falling installation rates, the parallel development is noticeably less worthwhile.

And since the manufacturers have had to test and homologate each individual model variant at great expense, they are also trying to further reduce the variety in the model range, says Britta Seegers, Head of Sales at Mercedes.

A lot of equipment is bundled in packages or lines and some options such as the manual transmission are completely left out.

Manual transmission dies out: Mercedes and VW present

Mercedes is not alone with this announcement.

According to a report in the industry newspaper “Automobilwoche”, VW also wants to phase out the manual transmission by 2024.

BMW, for example, also only offers automatic transmissions in the new generation of more rational cars such as the 2erActive Tourer, according to a spokesman.

The manufacturers not only save money with this decision, but also space - and this in turn benefits the customers.

More storage space for the occupants: the small automatic control unit in this Opel still leaves room for a compartment.

© Dani Heyne/Opel Automobile GmbH/dpa-tmn

Where they previously had to accommodate large gear sticks and widely branched shift gates on the center tunnel, a handy stub is now sufficient.

According to a developer from Opel, another cup holder, a wireless charging cradle for the smartphone or another storage space often fits next to it, where more and more often only a rocker switch is mounted at the base of the center console.

Manual transmission is dying out: selector lever does not necessarily disappear

Anyone who thinks such space-saving buttons, rockers or steering column levers are unadorned and mourns the loss of gears for aesthetic or haptic reasons should take a look at the new De Tomaso P72.

Splendor and glory: A selector lever for the automatic does not have to look bland, as this sparkling one in a De Tomaso P72 proves.

© De Tomaso Automobili/dpa-tmn

In the case of the super sports car from Italy, which is limited to 72 units, the designers have staged the selector lever for the automatic, including an open backdrop, as artfully as if it were the movement of a wristwatch worth millions.

But you don't have to go that far:

The current M models from BMW and the RS models from Audi also prove that the driver can still keep something handy, even with automatic cars.

Grippy: selector levers like this one in a BMW M4 prove that you can still have something in your hand even without a manual transmission.

© BMW AG/dpa-tmn

And anyone who has ever touched the scythe-sized paddle shifters milled from solid metal behind the steering wheel of a Lamborghini will no longer want anything to do with crude sticks anyway.

Manual transmission or automatic - this question may still divide drivers for a while.

But in the foreseeable future, this decision will no longer be necessary anyway.

Because if there will soon be only electric new cars, they usually do without gears at all.

Only Toyota is developing a kind of manual transmission for electric cars.

(dpa)

Source: merkur

All tech articles on 2022-08-10

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