The Automatic Choice is a Manual

Automobile Staff

I was on vacation in England last week. During my stay, I drove the newest Land Rover Defender. This off-road focused beast is only available with a diesel engine hitched to a manual gearbox. This got me thinking. Isn't it great when a vehicle is only offered with a manual transmission?

I remember searching the classified ads for my first car around 1990. I wanted a VW Rabbit GTI or an Audi 4000 Quattro. What's great about these two cars is they both were unavailable with an automatic. There was no need to ask what tranny the car had or gasp at the horror when the seller tells you the car you dreamed of owning was ruined with a slushbox.

Not many cars in the USA these days are only available with a manual 'box. A quick review of my brain and I've come up with the following list:

-Aston Martin DBS (for now, automatic coming later this year) -Audi RS4 (car is about done) -BMW M-Coupe and Roadster -Dodge Viper (rumored to RIP soon) -Corvette Z06/ZR1 -The hot Ford Mustang models -Honda S2000 -Lotus Elise/Exige -Mazdaspeed 3 (new Mazda 3 coming soon) -Dodge Caliber SRT4 -Subaru Impreza STI -Porsche 911 GT2 -Porsche 911 GT3 (almost gone, next one will get PDK automatic) -Chevy Cobalt SS -Honda Civic Si

It will be interesting to see how large this list is in five years time. For now, let's be happy there is a list.

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