Manual Transmissions are still “clutch” for VW enthusiasts!
In the modern automotive scene, there’s a sharp divide between perceptions of optimal driver experience. Some drivers look forward to the quiet, comfortable, safe and sedate future promised by vast fleets of autonomous electric vehicles, connected smartcars that use GPS to route you to your destination and park themselves with no driver control needed except to open and close the door. Even Volkswagen aims to get in the game, with over 10 Million electric vehicles planned for production as part of the I.D. line.
In the world of the gearhead, however, that future portends the end of their cherished way of life. Hydrogen electrics may be great for the planet, but don’t offer the effusive roar of a V8 or snarling growl of a V6. There are no turbochargers for electric people-movers, and for the crowds who tune into Top Gear and The Grand Tour, speed and power are still the watchwords.
It should come as a relief to the latter folk that VW still races ahead with production and sale of manual transmission vehicles. The Golf R and Golf GTIs sold nearly as many 2018 six-speed manuals as they did eight-speed dual clutch transmissions that enable automatic or flappy-paddle F1-style shifting. Even the Golf Sportwagen clocked in nearly 30% of sales with three pedals and a full-time shifter. With the standard Golf and the Jetta rounding out the stick-shift selections for Das Auto, VW remains poised to offer drivers looking for responsiveness and thrills their shot to tame the terrain with the driver still in control and the road trip still an interactive experience.