Here's news sure to make performance car fans happy – the manual gearbox is making a comeback. At least in high-end, track-focused sportscars.
Recent times has seen most performance car manufacturers ditch the traditional manual transmission in favour of high-tech automatic gearboxes that can deliver faster shift times and better fuel economy.
But two brands are bucking the trend. Both Aston Martin and Porsche have revealed plans to offer upcoming models with manual gearboxes to boost driver involvement and to meet rising demand from their customers.
The Aston Martin in question is latest version of the British brand’s V12 Vantage S, which will now come with the choice of a new seven-speed manual.
The gearbox itself is interesting, and features a race-inspired ‘dog-leg’ first gear, which groups the gears used most (second, third, fourth and fifth) in a double H-pattern for easier shifts.
The manual gearbox will also feature an ‘auto-blip’ system that can mimic heal-and-toe downshifts.
The next version of Porsche’s track-honed 911 GT3 road racer will also gain a manual gearbox, though unlike the Aston, it will be a more conventional six-speeder.
The news marks a significant change in tact for Porsche, which decided to offer the current GT3 solely with an automatic gearbox.
But Aston and Porsche aren’t the only ones embracing the manual gearbox. Hypercar maker Pagani is also reported to be considering a manual shift for upcoming models.
We’ll have to wait some time before these new cars arrive in Australia, but when they do, their manual transmissions are sure to boost the fun factor.
As WhichCar wrote earlier this week, people who drive manual cars are much more engaged with their cars than those who drive auto-only.
Good work, Aston and Porsche!