We love manual gearboxes, but sometimes we have to admit that a car is better off without a third pedal. These are cars that either have a manual option but are better in automatic, cars that used to offer a manual and don't anymore, or cars with a predecessor that had a manual but are now paddle only. Here are cars that are better off auto, according to you.
In case you weren't aware, NSX stands for "New Sports car eXperience." It makes sense then that the new NSX be equipped with a futuristic all-wheel drive hybrid drivetrain and a state-of-the-art dual-clutch transmission.
A case could be made that the AMG GT deserves a manual, but the hardcore R version is best left with a dual-clutch. It's built to get as fast around a track as possible, and it can't do that if it's slowed down by a third pedal.
It's easy to see why the Demon is better off having a fast-shifting auto. It's a factory-built street-legal drag car with the sole purpose of getting down the quarter-mile as quickly as possible. Having a manual would make it much slower at the drag strip/
Ferrari hasn't offered a manual in a mid-engined V8-powered car since the 430. While the 458 probably would have been great with a manual, the turbo power of the 488 GTB demands an automatic—it's so fast, you probably couldn't keep up, and then you'd have a jerky mess of bad shifts, poor power delivery, and you'd look like an amateur.
While you can get a manual on the M3 and M4, you don't really want it. The way the turbocharged inline-six delivers power is perfectly suited to a dual clutch. If you want to take advantage of that mountain of torque, you need the DCT. And if you really want a manual in your M car, then you want the slightly less powerful M2.
The Nissan GT-R is an exercise in meticulousness. The engines are assembled in a clean room, the tires are filled with nitrogen, everything is pored over until it's perfect. It's the most Japanese car you can buy. And the gearbox is an extension of that, it's one with the engine and the all-wheel drive system. Adding a clutch pedal would mess with the character of the car.
The McLaren P1's predecessor is the McLaren F1. Like the F1, the P1 is an exercise in building the ultimate road car. In this case, the P1 is a high tech tour-de-force with a hybrid powertrain, carbon fiber construction, and a dual-clutch gearbox to harness all that power. And it works perfectly.
While the Enzo might have been better if it offered a manual, the LaFerrari would be worse for it. Delivering nearly 1000 horsepower with a manual just wouldn't work.
Porsche's supercars tend to reflect the prevailing tech in sports car racing at the time they're built. The Carrera GT was lightweight and simple, a V10 monster with a simple six speed gearbox to change gears. The 918 is as complex as cars can get, with a high revving V8, all-wheel drive, hybrid-assist, and a paddle gearbox. It's as close as you can get to an LMP1 car for the road.
In all honesty, the One:1 would probably be fantastic with a manual. However, the intent of the car isn't straight line speed: Koenigsegg wants to set huge track records with this car. And if they want to be fast at Spa, the Nürburgring, and elsewhere, then they need to give a driver the ability to concentrate on the track and not necessarily on shifting. The move to paddles is a big help.
While we think that the Huracan might actually be better with a manual, Lamborghini's Head of R&D, Maurizio Reggiani, knows that the car would be worse. Here's what he told us in an interview:
All the systems that are integrated in the car need to have a dialog with one another. The clutch is one of the fuses of the system, whether you're engaging or disengaging the torque. This creates a hole in the communication between what the engine is able to provide and how the car reacts to the power of the engine. For this reason, unfortunately, I must say I am sure that in a premium supersports car like the Huracán, we will only do a semiautomatic.
Unfortunately, it's the demand of the control of the chassis. If you want to control the chassis, you must control the power. If you want to control the power, the clutch must be under the control of the brain of the car, not your brain.
Manual trucks are nice, but there's no keeping up with the 10-speed auto featured in the latest F-150 Raptor. When left in automatic mode it always seems to be in the right gear, ready to deliver all that Ecoboost torque at a moment's notice.
While much of the 911 range is best enjoyed in manual-spec, the top-tier 540-horsepower Turbo and 580-horsepower Turbo S are much better suited to the fast-shifting seven-speed PDK dual-clutch. Being a well-rounded every-day supercar means it needs to cater to all types of people and situations, and the Turbo does just that.