VW Is Fine Building Manual Transmissions, But Only If You Hypocrites Actually Buy Them

It's time to stop whining and start buying if you want to see the stick-shift survive.

1983 Volkswagen Golf Gti mk1
Getty Images—National Motor Museum

As most of the automotive world moves with consumer demand and away from manual transmissions, the options are immensely limited for old school gearheads. A few companies have stayed true, though, and still sell row-your-own gearboxes—luckily, that short list includes one of the world's largest automakers. In a recent statement to Autocar, Volkswagen’s tech chief Matthias Rabe explained that the German marque will continue to build cars with standard transmissions, so long as people buy enough of them.

More specifically, Rabe said, “Some people enjoy going back to their roots and changing gear manually, and so long as there is a demand, we will continue to offer them.” That sounds like a call to action to us. For everyone screaming that they’d buy this car or that “if only it had a manual transmission,” now’s your chance.

Volkswagen showed its dedication to the manual gearbox last year by developing an all-new six-speed transmission that can even be used in SUV applications. We don’t know if that new unit will make its way into vehicles destined for North America, but it’s a bold move nonetheless. That, on top of the fact that the company still offers several cars with a manual here in the States, should be enough to convince most people that VW is serious.

Even though VW killed the manual transmission Golf R toward the end of its Mk7 generation, a tried-and-true six-speed is still available in the 2020 Jetta GLI as well as the upcoming Golf GTI. Rest assured, if a German company is willing to build cars with fun options like plaid seats in this notoriously bland age, it probably won't take much convincing to offer a stick.

The Drive has reached out to Volkswagen for a statement on its plans and will update this story once we hear back.

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