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The one area where Ford and GM remain kings in Australia

By Andy Enright, 16 Jan 2020 Opinion

Full list of RWD V8 manual models on sale in Australia

You can probably guess that this isn’t going to detain you for very long

Back in May 2017, I wrote a feature for this site on the last performance manuals you could buy here in Australia. I made the cut-off a fairly arbitrary 250kW and this was what I came up with.

It won’t have escaped your attention that quite a few of those cars are no longer available. We’ve lost the Holdens and HSVs, and you can no longer buy an Aston Martin Vantage with three pedals and a stick.

Ford Mustang

The Focus RS has passed on and, until late 2020 at least, you can’t get a manual gearbox with a Porsche 911. Jaguar has phased the manual out for the facelift F Type and BMW is even moving towards making its manual models the cost-plus option over the base price of the standard autos/dual-clutchers.

And that got me thinking. Even more sobering is the list of rear-drive manual V8s. You can now get a Mustang or a Camaro. That’s it (and variants thereof).

While there’s something slightly heart-warming about Ford and GM being the last holdouts of this particular genre, it’s an exclusively American segment now.

Ford Mustang badge

Gone are the days of BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin also offering us this template for a raw and charismatic driver’s car.

Yep, times change but have they really changed that much?

Chevrolet Camaro engine

Hit up the comments and let us know how you feel about the demise of this once-vibrant slice of the market.