The manual way of changing gears is currently going extinct at an alarming rate. In Europe, the manual transmission is still readily available on lower-end and some sports cars. In the U.S., the manual transmission is only standard in a small number of automobiles, with it being an option on even fewer models.
The manual transmission was the original way of changing gears and stayed the most popular choice in sports cars, European sports coupes/sedans and economy cars until the 1980s when the automatic gearbox became more popular in those segments and offered better performance and economy. Many sports cars and supercars still used the manual gearbox in the 1990s and into the early 2000s, but many have ditched the manual for faster and more efficient torque-converter, multi-clutch, and sequential automatics and semi-automatics.
Today, the automatic transmission is the dominant offering in the motoring industry – from small subcompact hatchbacks to massive SUVs and pickup trucks and even exotic sports cars. The automatic has now become the most advanced transmission choice, with some gearboxes even being connected to the car’s satellite navigation system to make sure it is in the right gear depending on the upcoming terrain. With the manual being more of a fun choice rather than a logical one, here are 10 cars that will still be available with a manual transmission to look forward to in 2023.
10 Hyundai i30 N
The Hyundai i30 N will get an update for the 2023 model year with the introduction of the i30 N Drive-N Limited Edition. This special version of the car will have some of the normal i30’s options as standard, along with some unique trim pieces, such as matt-bronze wheels and new side decals to make the car stand out.
The N-Drive Limited Edition will only be available with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, but do not worry, the normal i30 N will retain its 6-speed manual for the foreseeable future. The i30 N produces 273 hp from a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, with all the power going to the front wheels only.
9 Mini Cooper S
The Mini Cooper S is a great small car for city driving, thanks to its perky styling and easy maneuverability. Mini has halted production of its manual transmission cars due to the global pandemic and the subsequent semiconductor shortage but has stated that the 6-speed option will be available again in 2023.
The Mini Cooper S is fitted with a 2.0-liter turbocharged i4, producing 190 hp and 207 lb.ft of torque mated to a choice of either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT. The Cooper S is available in normal 3-door or 5-door hatchback body style, or as a convertible.
8 Acura Integra
The Acura Integra is back after a 16-year hiatus and has been confirmed to have a 6-speed manual transmission. The 2023 Integra will share a platform with the eleventh-generation Honda Civic and the only engine choice available at launch will be a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder producing 200 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque.
All new Integras will be fitted with a CVT as standard; however, the top-tier A-Spec Technology Package will have a 6-speed manual and a limited-slip differential as options. The production version of the Integra will be nearly identical to the pre-production car, with some minor changes and the exclusion of the yellow exterior color and decals.
7 Honda Civic Type R
The new sixth-generation Honda Civic Type R’s reveal is imminent as Honda has announced that they will showcase the prototype car at the 2022 IndyCar 200 in July. This will be the first time the US will see the new Type R as the prototype has already broken the front-wheel-drive record at Japan’s Suzuka Circuit.
The new Type R will most likely be powered by an evolution of the K20 2.0-liter turbocharged i4 engine from the previous generation. This means at least 300 hp and a 6-speed manual, with power going to the front-wheels only. The new Type R has so far been shown to be the best yet, doing away with the over-styling which the previous two generations have been criticized for.
6 Mazda MX-5 (ND3)
The Mazda MX-5 is set to get a refresh for the 2023 model year, which could include the addition of another engine choice below the 2.0-liter engine currently available. The refresh would also include various new features and innovations, as well as a restyling on both the exterior and interior.
The rumor is that Mazda will lighten the car even more to just over 2,000 lbs, which will result in an even sportier and more fun to drive vehicle. Of course, the 6-speed manual currently found in the MX-5 will remain and continue to be an option for any previous models.
5 Porsche 911 Sport Classic
The new Porsche 911 Sport Classic has been announced, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. As per usual, the Sport Classic is a special model of 911 which features some of the best bits from the current generation of 911 but also has some retro-inspired styling cues to add a bit of nostalgia.
The 992 911 Sport Classic has the Turbo’s widened body, some special wheels, a ducktail spoiler (reminiscent of the 1973 911 Carrera RS) and a 3.7-liter flat-6 producing 542 hp, all going to the rear wheels only via Porsche’s 7-speed manual. This makes the Sport Classic the most powerful manual transmission 911 currently on sale. Fantastic!
4 Toyota GR Corolla
Toyota is on a roll with their Gazoo Racing sub-brand churning out new models on a regular basis. The newest one is the GR Corolla hatch, which promises to be one of the best hot hatches on the market.
The GR Corolla is powered by the same 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-3 as in the pocket-rocket GR Yaris, but it has been tuned to deliver around 300 hp. The power is sent to all four wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission (the only option) and will feature a configurable GT-Four all-wheel-drive system – which will most likely have a ‘drift mode’.
3 Nissan Z
The new Nissan Z is a highly anticipated car that launches somewhere in 2022 as a 2023 model year car. The Z is fitted with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, producing 400 hp and the vehicle will come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission.
The Nissan Z’s pricing has been announced in Japan and based on that, the sports car will have a starting price of around $40,000 – undercutting the Toyota Supra 3.0. Of course, adding options will raise the price, and we are yet to see what a fully spec’ed Z will cost. Regardless, the new Nissan Z looks to be a great addition to the sports car market.
2 BMW M2
The upcoming BMW M2 has been spotted testing and BMW has confirmed that the car will be offered with a manual transmission. The spy shots indicate that the body has changed quite dramatically from the normal 2-Series and even the M240i, showcasing wider wheel arches, quad tailpipes, and a redesigned front grille.
The M2 will most likely be the last of the small, straight-six-powered, manual-gearbox BMW models before everything goes electric. There is also a rumor that the M2 will only have the option of a manual in North America, which follows the current trend of BMW M-cars.
1 Toyota Supra
Shout it from the rooftops: the Toyota Supra is finally getting a manual transmission! Many argue that this should have been an option from the beginning, but we are still glad that Toyota has gone through with it. Strangely, the manual will only be offered on the 3.0-liter straight-six, with the 2.0-liter four remaining automatic-only.
The manual conversion has necessitated a host of modifications to the car, including a new suspension setup and some alterations to the interior. The addition of the manual also includes a new A91-MT special edition, of which only 500 will be made available for the US market. The manual Supra indicates that Toyota has listened to its fans and while this doesn’t solve the issues which the Supra has many of, it is a step in the right direction. Better late than never.
For The Driving Purists: Toyota Unveils New GR Supra With Manual Transmission
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