After years of a dwindling acceptance of standard transmissions, it seems like Americans are going back to the world of manual gearboxes.
But the REAL question we want to know is: Would YOU want a manual transmission or a dual-clutch transmission?
The real reason I want to ask is because I've had a hypothesis for the past 12 months that stipulates the enthusiast is a dwindling minority; however, if you were to look at the recent data, it seems that Q1 of 2012 is painting a different picture.
Even MORE interesting is that many of today's standard transmissions are less efficient than autoboxes after years of the manual reigning supreme.
This is what we know, right off the bat:
MANUAL transmissions are more fun and engaging. Definitely a plus for the enthusiast; however, not so much fun when you're stuck in an urban traffic jam.
DUAL-CLUTCH boxes are the fastest way to shift. Definitely something you NEED on the track nowandays; however, they do take away from that engaging driving experience that so many gearheads adore.
That said, WHICH transmission would YOU get if you were in the market for a car TODAY?
Americans have a growing crush on manual transmissions.
To be sure, the percentage of new vehicles with stick-shift gearboxes remains a small slice of the new vehicle market, because most of today's models don't even offer manuals.
But the first quarter this year manuals were in 6.5% of new vehicles sold, and that's getting close to double each of the past five years. It's also highest since 7.2% in 2006, according to Edmunds.com.