Torque talk

Which do you prefer? A car with an automatic, or manual transmission?

There was once a time when both the option of shifting gears yourself or letting the car do it for you equally shared the stage across the New Zealand automotive landscape. Today, things are very different.

Like the Sumatran Tiger, the manual gearbox as we know it is an endangered species. One could argue this is partly down to just how good a modern automatic actually is. There is plenty of weight to this as any current dual clutch auto is infinitely quicker and more refined than the equivalent manual.

Also, there is the aspect of our second-hand market. Nearly all of New Zealand’s second-hand imported cars are automatic examples from the likes of Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, where the congestion of big cities results in real need for an automatic gearbox. Contrast that to Europe where new and used manual cars are far more numerous.

I don’t believe the concept of swapping cogs manually will go extinct. It is more likely to be available only as
a bespoke option on a select few New Zealand new performance cars aimed at keen drivers.

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