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William Maley

Subaru News: Subaru's UK Managing Director Hints Manual Transmissions Could Go Away

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Some recent comments made by Subaru UK's managing director, Chris Graham has some wondering if manual transmissions will become an endangered species for the company.

According to Auto Express, Subaru has been putting more focus on their EyeSight driver-assist technology - comprised of stereo cameras on the windshield to provide adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist. Subaru doesn't offer this on any model equipped with manual transmission and there doesn't appear to be any plans to engineer EyeSight for manuals.

”I’m not sure if it’s compatible at all with a manual gearbox. There are certainly no rumours we’ve heard that manual will continue, or Eyesight will be [offered] with manual," said Graham.

“My gut tells me it will be Eyesight with Lineartronic ongoing and long term. They want to steal the mantle of the safest car in the world. I think if they do that, then they say ‘here’s a manual without Eyesight’, they’ll just ruin that [message]."

This decision could affect the next-generation STI. Graham said he would like to see the manual stay, but Subaru has the final say.

"For me an STI has to be a manual in the guise it is today, however if you look at [auto-only] M-series BMWs, I don’t think this is the end and I’d be very excited if they had a hybrid petrol STI. That would be phenomenal in terms of its acceleration,” said Graham.

Before you start getting out the pitchforks and torches, let us take a few steps back. The comments made by Graham could only be for European market vehicles. As an example, the Crosstrek in the UK is only offered with a CVT. In the U.S., Subaru offers both a CVT and manual transmission.

Source: Auto Express


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Manuals are on their deathbed. Very few people can drive them, very few want to even bother with them anymore. The day of a manual is coming to its end.

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Aside from the driving enthusiast, the manual doesn't offer any benefit. They no longer shift quicker, get better efficiency, offer better performance, or any of the other advantages they used to be able to claim. I would imagine just from a manufacturing cost standpoint, it will start to make little sense for any company to keep it as an option. 

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