Long we’ve been told that the days of the manual transmission were numbered. And yet, here we are, and the stick is still alive – if not flourishing.
In fact, Road & Track just compiled a list of thirteen cars on the market today which ship with a manual transmission as the sole, exclusive offering. While the proprietors of that magazine might well have missed a few models, one thing is at least tentatively clear from the list: Ford Performance is leading the charge to save the manuals.
Out of all thirteen models named with only manual transmissions available, Ford Performance can take credit for four of them: the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang, Ford Fiesta ST, Ford Focus ST, and Ford Focus RS. The next highest quantity of manual-only offerings is a tie between Porsche and Honda, each with two models on the list.
We have to admit that this is a bit surprising. The United States has historically been less keen to cater to those customers who would rather row their own gears than let the car shift for them. That an American company like Ford Performance would offer the highest number of solely-stick options definitively shows that brand’s commitment to true motoring enthusiasts the world over.
Long live the stick!