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Road & Track

March/April 2015

Section: Go Lutz Yourself

Article Quote:

Dear Bob (Lutz),

As a seasoned car exec and an unabashed car guy, what's your take on the manual transmission disappearing?

Answer:

You're suffering from what I call "famous-import myopia". Many premium foreign models are now available only with automatics, which reflects the average age and driving ability of their potential buyers.

But the Detroit three ride to the rescue.

Whether it's the Ford Mustang, the Camaro ZL1, or the V-10 Viper, all are available with great, robust, manual transmissions. In the case of the Corvette Stingray, there's a slick-shifting seven-speed Tremec.

On the more affordable side, Chevy has the Cruze turbodiesel with a stick and the SS.
 

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With all due respect to Mr. Lutz, that may be a heck of a typo.

Does he know something, or has he been out of the loop too long? With the NG Cruze in the torpedo lock, and Cruze diesel sales in a free-fall due to the fuel price factor, now may not be the best time to introduce a manual option.

Oh, and when did Road & Track become a bi-monthly?
 

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Well for 2015 they pulled the plug on the 2LT with the manual. Since the Diesel is based on the 2LT trim, I'm doubtful there is a stick in the offing...
 

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I just bought a manual-tranny Sonic, the 5sp is excellent! Very light clutch, nice "snicky" feel to the shifter. Can't beat it. I've never owned an automatic, and absolutely don't want to start now, so I'm putting my dollars where my mouth is. Keep those manual trannies coming!

I went with a LS with 1.8L/5sp (zero options). Sure the 1.4T/6sp would be cool, but I love my Sonic so far. Averaging 38mpg so far in rural driving...only 104 miles on the odo but it's a start!
 

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I just bought a manual-tranny Sonic, the 5sp is excellent! Very light clutch, nice "snicky" feel to the shifter. Can't beat it. I've never owned an automatic, and absolutely don't want to start now, so I'm putting my dollars where my mouth is. Keep those manual trannies coming!

I went with a LS with 1.8L/5sp (zero options). Sure the 1.4T/6sp would be cool, but I love my Sonic so far. Averaging 38mpg so far in rural driving...only 104 miles on the odo but it's a start!
Best of luck with your new vehicle, and thank you for buying a General Motors product!
 

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I hope this gets out to the two or three hundred people in the US that will care enough to buy.
 
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there are tons of manual TDI's out there...dumb for GM not to offer one
Exactly right. Latte lovin' organic buying, fuel sipping diesel economy car buyers in Oregon and like places do like manuals. I don't know what VW TDI manual sales figures are, but I'd be willing to bet they're the highest proportion of sticks outside the sports car market.

Besides, driving a diesel stick is fun - all that torque makes it easy and enjoyable. You can play truck driver! If you like a stick at all, you'll love a diesel with a stick.

I rented a diesel stick Cruze about 4 years ago in Europe. Loved driving it. Great economy, plenty of torque punch, and easy cruzing at 80. 85, 90 mph.
 
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