These days, automatic transmissions have become pretty damn good at extracting every bit of performance, fuel economy and control from your car. That being said, most of us car people still love manual boxes too. Most of the time, they are a more engaging experience, even though they’re slowly becoming extinct. Despite this, here are 5 weird cars you never knew came with a stick!
Even though manufacturers try so hard to present big and heavy SUVs with powerful engines as true driver`s cars, everybody knows that 2.5 tons of steel, plastic, and leather with an automatic gearbox aint exactly the definition of a sports car. That being said, in the case of the Cayenne GTS this might be an odd one out. Bizarrely, Porsche offered this luxury performance SUV with a 6-speed manual transmission, but of course, no one bought one.
Its unclear just how many customers chose a manual over the automatic which is, truth be told, much more suited for this type of vehicle. As well as the Cayenne GTS, the first-generation base models also got a manual transmission. They are occasionally known to appear on the classified ads with prices somewhat higher than similar automatics, but if you are looking for a unique piece of Porsche history and possibly the only performance SUV with three pedals, then 6-speed is your thing. Out of 880 cars currently for sale on Autotrader.com, only 10 come with a stick!
In its relentless quest for speed and performance, Ferrari was one of the first companies in the world to adopt the computerized automatic trans. Its F1 gearbox from the `90s may be a bit controversial but it started a revolution that other brands soon followed. Ask any purist though and they’re likely to say that the best Ferraris must be red and have a manual transmission.
Luckily, the 2008 to 2014 California is available with both, despite the fact that most customers chose the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. In fact, the California is one of the last Ferraris offered with s manual, which seems a shame don’t you think? I say it’s available with both, but only 2 were built and one recently sold for $435,000, used! A 4.3-litre V8 up front and 453 horsepower to the rear wheels is worth a fair bit I guess, and that’s only exaggerated by the fact that a manual California is the last Ferrari with a stick shift!
Nobody expected Cadillac to become a formidable competitor of the Mercedes AMG division or BMW`s M department but over the years, the Cadillac V Series models have gained a lot of respect from fans and the motoring press. It deserves it too, putting America on a level playing field with the German stuff.
The second generation CTS-V was once the fastest production sedan in the world and showcased all of GM`s know-how in the performance department. With a 6.2-litre supercharged V8 upfront pushing 556 horsepower, its no wonder that most of the customers bought it in automatic but despite the majority settling for an easier automatic, there were those who wanted to really feel the car`s power and performance, for which Cadillac offered a special Termec manual transmission with throw shifter, twin disk clutch, and dual-mass flywheel. Basically, a racing gearbox for the luxury performance sedan. Knowing how brutal the CTS-V was, shifting gears must have been an amazing driving experience.
The BMW 5-Series is one of the most famous executive sedans and for most, the automatic is the only reasonable choice for such a vehicle. With advancements in modern gearbox technology, automatics are far better suited luxury type vehicles. This is why is so surprising that BMW decided to offer a 6-speed manual option for its top of the line 550i sedan. If you don’t know what the 550i is, it is pretty much a BMW M5 super sedan but in more stealthy packaging and without the M badges. This model was introduced with the E60 and continued with the F10 generation.
As the latest M5 models were never offered with a manual, some driving enthusiasts opted for the 550i which provided almost identical performance with a more engaging driving experience. The E60 550i had 380 HP and the F10 550i had 444 HP which meant that in combination with BMW`s precise 6-speed manual, it delivered unforgettable and rare performance. In fact, so rare that there is only one such vehicle currently on sale in the UK! If you think that BMW M1 is a rare car with 453 examples built, think again since the 550i Manual might be even rarer.
Chevrolet Colorado Pickup Truck
The pickup segment was one of the first classes to fully go automatic. Simply, in most cases, there isn’t any need for manual transmission in a vehicle designed to carry stuff, tow trailers and go over rough terrain. When you have a vehicle like this, it is better to stay focused on the road ahead and the load in the back and leave shifting gears to the auto box.
Surprisingly, Chevrolet decided to offer a 6-speed manual transmission in its new mid-sized Colorado truck. Even more surprising as it’s mainly for the American market! The latest Chevrolet Colorado has been somewhat of a sensation in the pickup market since it offered as much performance, capability and space as bigger vehicles but at a significantly lower price. In an effort to appeal to a much wider audience Chevrolet decided to throw in a manual option as well. The only downside is that you can get the manual only with the base Colorado trim which means you get the two-wheel drive, 200 HP four-cylinder engine and extended cab configuration. It is still a good working truck but we wish Chevrolet offered a manual version of its fantastic Colorado ZR2 off-road ready model.