Save the manual changes. Warning spoiler: we can’t save them

Not you can get an idea of the sensation it has caused in motor the Porsche Cayman GT4 after trying it a few days ago. For sample, the test that has published my companion Pepe. It is likely to be one of the sports that we have marked, perhaps even more than the 911 GT3. And beyond its precision plotting curves of its enormous traction, of the perfection inherent in its architecture, and the feelings they gave us, we were fascinated your manual change, a delicious change manual. So much that we could not help but recall the debate raised by the GT3 in their submission in 2013, with the launch only with a change of PDK.

¿why are we so excited for a sport with manual change?

We love the changes manually, by the control that provides the driver, and his ability to connect with the machine. It is not a question of “postureo”, we talk about feelings. Hit our back against the seat to change with a quickness infernal. To strengthen our left leg, and concentrate even more on what is happening to synchronize the travel of our right hand between the steering wheel and the gear lever. Of squirm in pain every time we miss a gear. Call it masochism, but we love it, hard and uncomfortable that at times may seem to us some manual changes in certain sports (and we don’t talk anymore of those famous changes in hache of the sports of yesteryear).

The manual changes have also improved its accuracy and speed, with technical solutions that automate the spike-heeled, such as those used for sports such as the 370Z or Porsche.


we are Also thrilled the manual switch by the fact that, from time to time, it has become the story, and not the norm. Each time there are less sports to be offered with manual change, especially when it comes to machines of high-flying, see Ferrari or Lamborghini. Even in cases in which still offers a manual workaround, to us, professionals of the sector, we still find sport with manual shift mode. In the press departments of the brands are often chooses the auto alternative, because it responds better to the demand of the customer. And this is why he also enjoys a greater interest in publishing, although for us it is less rewarding. Also imagine that this way will be more simple to give output to this unit after more than 10,000 kilometers of testing, going through the hands of the journalists of the Spanish press.

An example. We have tested the new BMW M3 (berlina), M4 Coupe and M4 Cabrio, in all cases with automatic change. And is that let us look at the particularity of these models, in which the price of setting up a manual switch is exactly the same as that of an automatic change. How many clients osarán take it with manual change? We imagine that very few. Even so, let us give thanks to BMW the fact of not having finished with the manual change in its flagship sport, and have kept the two choices, the manual switching and the automatic switching.


The case of GT3 we even understand it. Porsche came to the conclusion that practically it was more expensive to develop a manual change, the height of the expectations of the new GT3, that the benefit that they would get by selling those GT3 manuals. Which brings us to the denouement of this article, your customers will end up preferring the PDK, a change needed, which makes the GT3 is faster, easier, in the hands of any driver, and even more similar to the sport of racing that is still keeping a close technology transfer.


The case of the Renault Clio RS, for example, we continue without understand it. We understand that Renault wants to show off his technology, and his new change of double clutch, but eliminating from the equation the change handbook have committed a historical error. It is true that a very low percentage of customers of the Porsche 911 is decantarán by the manual change, but how many customers of a small GTI as a Clio RS opt for an automatic change? Despite the fact that the new Clio RS we love, I would be a good example of the client that is never what I would choose, over their competitors, by the mere fact of not having a manual change.


When it comes to sports in certain power ranges, see BMW M3 and M4, or the range Porsche, it is understood that in the end the client ends up preferring the automatic. The price difference, in comparative terms, it is insignificant, often not even exist, as in the case of the BMW M3 and M4. And in the end what premium, and that it is becoming more apparent in this industry, it is the virtue of getting a sporting is rapid and radical, but also comfortable in the day-to-day. And to achieve that duality, we fear that there is nothing like developing a good automatic change.

And the problem is that we, quemadillos that would do anything for living with a good manual gearbox in a sport of these features, in good and in bad, until death separates us, we are not part of the majority group of customers that access to these machines. And in the end the client is that, as stated in the famous saying, always take the reason. And if the business trends to confirm that this type of sports end up being acquired, mainly, with automatic change, I’m very much afraid that all our efforts to save the manual changes will be in vain.

we Cannot do anything to save the change manually. The only hope that we have passed precisely by the manufacturers, by tradition, and out of respect to a party, increasingly in the minority, of its customers, to maintain this alternative as an option.

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