Hooniverse Asks: Do You Still Care About Manual Transmissions?

stick_shift_generic At one time manual transmissions not only offered a deeper sense of connection with the driving experience but also greater economy and efficiency. Back then, automatics while possibly more convenient, squandered far too much power for that amenity, sapping both ponies and MPGs. Hell, they didn’t call them slushboxes for nothing! At that time Real Drivers© took pride in being able to double clutch, heel and toe, and come to grips with the intransigence of a non-synchro first. Mastery of the manual was a rite of passage for any and all true car geek. Automatics were looked down upon as the tool of the dilettante, and something that could never match a real driver for the selection of the proper gear. Today however, things are different. Or, more accurately, automatics are different. Now they’re controlled by a computer that not only can think faster than you can in selecting the perfect gear, but that also talks to the engine’s computer to make sure everybody’s on board with the choice. Not only that, but they are vastly more efficient these days, often offering even better fuel economy and acceleration times than their manual counterparts. Here in the U.S. automatics are the choice of about 97% of all car and truck buyers. The question is, does matter to you any more whether a car is a stick or a slusher? Image: NBCDFW

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