A new study shows that far fewer people are ordering manual gearboxes on leased vehicles, and the drop even more pronounced among men.
Vehicles with manual transmissions have been equipped with shift indicators (illuminated or audible) for decades. While some are used to improve performance, most are designed to encourage more fuel-efficient driving. Regardless of the original objective, nearly all drivers become desensitized or learn to ignore the illuminated lights and arrows after just a few short hours behind the wheel.
From the headlines-we-never-expected-to-see file: "Stick shifts popular again..." Yes, we thought manual transmissions were on their deathbed, what with every carmaker bemoaning low take rates and reports that Volkswagen has decided to do away with them in both its Audi R8 sports car and throughout the range of Lamborghini models. But lo and behold, it seems that manuals accounted for 6.5 percent of new vehicle sales during the first quarter this year, the highest take rate since 2006, according
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