Ever since automatic transmissions became popular, the battle between the manuals and the automatics has been ongoing. Engine designers created automatics as a more comfortable option for people who are not skilled or just don’t want to have to shift gears. However, for decades, most people have considered automatics a lame option. A true driver needs to use a manual since it is more engaging and analog, so it provides a pure driving experience. And most driving enthusiasts won’t argue with that.
In the last two decades, thanks to the development of electronic aids, intelligent systems and new technologies, automatic transmissions have earned a lead over manuals. The automatic transmission shifts faster than any human can. They are also much more efficient and precise. They can have more gears than manuals, so they adapt to more driving styles and dynamics, too. In one word, modern automatics are almost perfect.
But, despite being so efficient and fast, automatics are still not as engaging as manuals. Driving a manual means you understand the processes happening under the body of your ride. A manual transmission is for drivers who want to be in full control and are more skillful than the average driver. It also means you could lose a drag race if you go against a modern car with a double clutch intelligent automatic transmission.
If you put more value into a pure, analog driving feel than into half a second better 0 to 60 mph time, a manual transmission is for you. So, for those dedicated drivers who think performance cars should only come with manual transmission, keep reading for a special treat. This list of modern vehicles with a manual transmission that are available for driving enthusiasts and car fanatics alike.
1. Shelby GT350
For those who want a classic screamer in a Mustang with a Shelby heritage, but with modern technology and V8 performance, the new GT350R is a perfect choice. Although they based the Shelby on the classic Mustang GT, much of the suspension, design, aero package and engine are new. The single biggest difference is the fantastic Voodoo engine, which has 5.2-liter displacement, 526 HP and 429 lb-ft of torque.
One main feature of this high-revving powerplant is the flat plane crank technology. It allows the big V8 to scream to almost 9,000 rpm. It is the same technology exotic manufacturers like Ferrari use, but this is the first time a muscle car has such an advanced engine. Ford’s investment in the Shelby GT350R paid off. The performance is mind-boggling with 3.9 seconds for 0 to 60 mph.
But the numbers don’t do justice to this car. The Shelby GT 350 R is a pure sports car that delivers fantastic driving dynamics and experiences to drivers. It is closer to the Porsche GT3 for precision driving and cornering speeds than to the humble Mustangs of yesterday. This car is one of the fastest Mustangs ever. It is also one of the best sports cars to enter the market in recent years that comes with manual transmission only.