After the novel coronavirus, the automatic transmission is the next influx that is slowly overcasting the automotive industry around the world. It is evident that the majority of high-end, as well as entry-level cars in the domestic market, offer an automatic transmission.

Manual Transmission Mistakes | GoMechanic
Manual Transmission

Almost all the car manufacturers are offering an option of an automatic transmission alongside a stick shift. Hyundai and Kia can be the perfect example of this dying trend. Both the Korean manufacturers offer not one, not two but three automatic transmission options for their vehicles.

Well, what we are trying to say is the manual transmission is dying. Let’s study this curious case. But before moving further we’ll look at why we need a transmission in a vehicle.

The Use of the Transmission

Manual Transmission Diagram
Manual Transmission Diagram

From the day IC engine entered the automotive industry, manufacturers have to offer a transmission to set the power down on the road. It was the manual transmission that was commercialized before the automatic gearbox.

  • An engine has a specific RPM range in which it works the best. By best we here mean, that the engine in its power band balances the efficiency and the engine speed (RPM).
  • This is where the transmission comes in, which we all know is connected to the engine with a clutch assy (Depending upon the transmission).
  • The transmission has many gears that provide different gear ratios which transmit the different amount of power to the wheels at different RPMs.
  • One has to change these gear ratios to stay in the engine’s power band and to extract the most out of the vehicle.
Driving in a wrong gear affects fuel mileage
Driving a Manual

By now you may have guessed it that in this day and age there are two ways the gear ratios can be varied. Either via a manual transmission or an automatic, that does all the work for you.

There are various pros and cons of a manual transmission as well as an automatic transmission. And to get a detailed knowledge we’d recommend referring here.

With that out of our way, here is what we think is the reason for the dying manual transmission.

Manual Transmission, a Curse? or a Boon?

A petrol head or the person who likes to drive a manual transmission loves the way he/she interacts with the car to get it in motion.

Boon! (For Some)
Porsche Manual Transmission
Porsche with Manual Transmission

In the automotive community, it is said, you ride a car with an automatic transmission but you drive a car with a manual transmission.

Moving on, here are some pros of a manual.

  • It is cheaper to maintain and a lot of fun to drive.
  • The constant connection offers the right emotion between the man and the machine.
  • Manual transmission allows drivers to change gears when they want.
  • This can be helpful when setting doing hot laps around a race track or a tricky off-road terrain.

Refer here to know more about manual transmission

Curse? (For Many)
The miserable Bangalore traffic.
The miserable Bangalore traffic.
  • Where this interaction may be fun to some, it sure is a hassle for many
  • The use of Gears? the Driver has to select the gears according to the output (power) and the engine RPM.
  • Also, it requires constant attention.
  • Besides, shifting the gears is an art and not everyone can operate the stick shift with fitness and precision. In turn, hampering efficiency and power delivery.
  • In addition, the constant use of the clutch in the stop and go traffic mimics a leg day at the gym.

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Comes the New Normal, An Automatic Transmission

Harrier's automatic transmission
Harrier’s automatic transmission

Every new technology in any field first starts as a luxury. Then, after it is perfected, the technology is released for the average consumer. This is the exact case with the automatic transmission.

Click Here to more about automatic transmission

Well, the Christler and General Motors were the first auto manufacturers to introduce the automatic transmission in a passenger vehicle.

  • Back in the days when the automatic transmission was new, only the high-end vehicle was pampered or rather spoiled with this transmission (Not quite literally).
  • Also, the old automatic gearboxes were not at all economical and took a huge toll on the wallet.
  • In most cases, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, were more about convincing than driving with an automatic.
  • People were paying a premium just to get lethargic.
  • But that was just the start of automating everything
  • Later when the technology advanced the automatic transmission started overcasting the market like an outburst.

Sad, But the Truth!

Hyundai i20 DCT
Hyundai i20 DCT

In the old cars, the automatic transmission was sluggish and a lot less fuel-efficient. This was the Achilles heel for the gearbox at the time. With the rushing technology, the automatic transmission took a huge leap and now it is far from any flaws.

  • In the current era, there are numerous automatic gearboxes offered with the vehicle.
  • And all these transmission options offer a different driving (riding) experience.
  • Depending upon the use and the way you like to drive your vehicle, the automotive industry has got you covered.
    • DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission): For the quick and lightning-fast shifts.
    • Torque Converter: The heavy-duty transmission.

      Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Torque Converter Gearbox
      Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Torque Converter Gearbox
    • CVT (Continuously Varying Transmission): To extract the maximum mileage from a 4 wheeler.

      Maruti Suzuki CVT
      Maruti Suzuki CVT
    • AMT (Automated manual transmission): Cheap and economical

      iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission)
      iMT gearbox
    • iMT (intelligent Manual transmission): Cheap but confused.

In these terms talking manual is like going back to an ancient age. Manual transmission can be slow when compared to the DCT and less efficient than the CVT. Well, this is the ugly truth for almost all the petrol heads.

Nevertheless, we car guys still and always prefer the manual transmission over the granny gearbox  (pun indented).

A Whole New Competition | EVs

Tesla cars in India
Tesla Model 3

Time is the variable that will decide whether we’ll see electric vehicles on road in the future or not. What’s more concerning is that in some countries the number of electric vehicles sold is more when compared to the IC engine powered cars with manual transmission.

EV Gear Selector
EV Gear Selector
  • And if you are now aware, electric cars don’t use a transmission. Why is that, you may ask?
  • Well, the motor driving the wheels produces maximum power and torque at all times.
  • In simple terms, the motor can produce ultimate power and torque at any RPM.
  • So they too have only 2 pedals.

What do you think of the manual transmission? How can we save the manual transmission? let us know in the comments.

Interesting: 10 Best Cars With A Manual Transmission in 2020

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Also, Read The Manual Transmission Explained – All The Basics


  1. I find the characterization of the automatic transmission as a “plague” a desperate cry for attention….who edits the articles that go mechanic publishes?

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