Long live the stick! It's the idea of Cars.com Holiday, National Shift Day.
To coincide, a poll measuring Americans' opinion of the manual transmission was conducted.
More people than you might initially think can actually drive a car with a manual transmission.
National Shift Day helps deepen the appreciation and connection we have with automobiles.
Back then - like in 1994 - my friends and I loved the arcade hit Daytona USA. The racing game developed by Sega puts you in a large car-like structure with a motorsport-style seat and steering wheel. It was the first 3D racing game of its kind. In terms of video game development and graphics, Daytona USA was ahead of its time. Saturday afternoons at the local bowling alley melted together spectacularly, thanks to the sublime visuals and sensational wrecks. You can choose from different views via the “VR” buttons; those above the car or just inside the cockpit, for example.
And you can choose between an automatic or manual transmission.
Rolling Starts & Time Extensions
A poll says
No love for the CVT
Manual Transmissions vs. Standalone Transactions
daddy knows best< p>Grinding Gears & kill engine
Rolling Departures & Time extensions
Of course, my friends and I would squeeze on the four-speed stick located just below the screen and offset to the right of the steering wheel. There was no “well, the advanced technology of the automatic makes it faster”. . . no, none of that. Daytona USA's best bragging rights went to the person who won the race with the manual shifter. Plain and simple. Such love and appreciation for the manual transmission is the inspiration behind National Shift Day, this Tuesday, July 16. Cars.com kicked off the holidays last year to celebrate the times we had to shift gears; or as some might call the good old days.
"We're disappointed in how they're slowly disappearing from the market, especially here in the United States," said Cars.com editor Joe Wiesenfelder. "We created National Stick Shift Day in hopes of inspiring other fans to support stick shifts and perhaps encourage others to learn to ride and consider buying them."
National Stick Shift Day is Tuesday July. The 16.
A survey reveals
Ahead of National Stick Shift Day 2019, Cars.com conducted a survey of over 1,000 consumers. Participants shared their thoughts on manual transmissions although automatic transmissions are more common. Interestingly enough, 78% can actually drive a manual, while 72% say it's something everyone should learn. 48% said they would be happy to learn if given the chance.
“At a minimum, people learning to drive the stick have a sense of accomplishment and they are prepared in case they find themselves in a situation where they need it. drive a stick, whether in an emergency or while traveling abroad,” Wiesenfelder said. "We also believe that a manual driver is a more engaged and, arguably, better driver."
Cars.com then analyzed internal data to determine the top five most purchased shifters on their website. In the lead, the Subaru WRX, followed closely by the Honda Civic and the Ford Mustang; then the Civic Si and the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Wiesenfelder says they were a bit surprised to see the roster shake off the way it did.
“Until we dug a little deeper and thought it through, and within a short time things started to make more sense,” he said. continued. "The Subaru WRX as a whole doesn't sell in as high volumes as the Civic, Mustang, or others, but it's a performance-oriented model that appeals to enthusiasts, and it's drivers who are drawn to it. manual transmissions these days. . »
2019 Subaru WRX. Photo: Subaru of America, Inc.
No love for the CVT
The Subaru WRX is available in an automatic version, but it is a continuously variable transmission. According to Cars.com, nearly 85 percent of WRX models are sold with the manual, the highest rate for any nameplate offering both transmission types. Wiesenfelder says that's because CVTs, in any form, from any manufacturer, are the opposite of what driving enthusiasts want. Last year, Subaru overhauled the WRX's six-speed manual transmission with a new synchro design to improve shifter feel and clutch grip. in the textbook list despite its relatively low overall sales,” added Wiesenfelder. “People may think of the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro as sports cars first, but these volume sales are also popular for cruising and also come in convertible versions, which historically have leaned more toward automatic transmissions. .”
In comparison, the top five vehicles with a manual on Cars.com differed slightly from the top five vehicles purchased. Among the most viewed, the Ford Mustang topped the list, followed by the Camaro and the Corvette. Seats four and five belong to the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and Dodge Challenger.
2019 Ford Mustang interior. Photo: Ford Motor Company.
Manual transmissions versus autonomous transactions
Last year, Hagerty began hosting a series of town hall talks about the importance of driving. Autonomous vehicles and their impact on society was one of Hagerty's first discussions. Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars and former General Motors Vice President Bob Lutz served as panelists. At the same time, Hagerty commissioned a survey in response to the development of autonomous vehicles. The survey was made up of millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers.
"One of our goals will be to work with policy makers so that in years, if not decades, when most cars are fully autonomous, the act of driving is protected," explained McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. , Last year. “We also want to facilitate discussion about what driving will look like in the future – now is the time to have those conversations.”
Related: The Disconnect Between Self-Driving Car Industry and Consumers.
In this survey, 79% of all respondents of ALL generations are still passionate about driving. 81 percent said learning to drive is a rite of passage worth preserving. Another 85 percent said driving is an important part of American culture; the same percentage said they wanted the option of driving a car themselves, whether autonomous or not.
“Having covered self-driving technology for 20 years, I don't think autonomy is going to overtake the market anytime soon,” Wiesenfelder said. “But if it ever does, I wouldn't expect driving enthusiasts hand over the keys quietly.”
“I think getting driver training and getting your license is important for young adults. It not only teaches them a skill, but also a responsibility,” added Lauren Witt, a Detroit-based automotive product specialist who works with manufacturers on their driving and driving programs. "For most, this is their first step towards freedom and adulthood."
In Hagerty's survey, 81% said learning to drive is a rite of passage worth preserving.
Related: Younger Generations Are Embracing Classic Cars.
Dad Knows Best
Indeed, automatic transmissions are now superior to manual transmissions in terms of performance and efficiency; more gears, wider ratios and computer technology have made this possible - but that's only part of the equation. National Stick Shift Day digs a little deeper into something – something even the best technology can't replicate. In American culture, there is a pervasive image of a father teaching his children how to care for and drive a car properly. In the center is often a manual gearbox, especially for those who grew up in a rural area.
In the Cars.com survey, 67% said they learned to drive a manual gearbox from their father.< /p>
“I counted the days until I got my driver's license; then when I was 17, my dad taught me how to drive a stick,” Witt said. “So for me, driving really was and is an experience and a skill that I love and am proud of. I'm excited to see what's happening with self-driving vehicles, but they can't replace the feeling you get when you're actually driving a car."
In American culture, our elders often teach us about cars.
Grinding Gears & Kill Engine
Wiesenfelder says don't worry about it — it's part of the process when you bend over to drive a manual. "There's really no way around it," he adds, saying beginners should take it in stride. Understand that while the gears may whine and the engine may stall, you probably won't break anything. In other words, it's not the end of the world. If you're feeling dodgy for National Stick Shift Day, watch Wiesenfelder's video below. Once you're done, you'll be an old pro.
“While we are clearly proponents of manual transmissions for many reasons, we are first and foremost journalists, so we must make it clear that manual transmissions are rarely the most fuel-efficient consumer choice,” he added. "If you're buying a stick-shift car, it's probably for your own enjoyment - or to reduce its chances of being stolen by a millennial."
Carl Anthony studied mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, served as a board member of the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and was a huge Detroit Lions fan. Before returning to school, he also worked in the automotive industry. He took on the role of product development and experiential marketing.
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