It turns out, a stick shift isn't always better.
Car enthusiasts are guilty of giving a little too much praise to the manual transmission. Yes, the manual is the purist’s choice, and it is a shame that less and less cars are available with one, but that doesn’t mean that every car would be better if it had three pedals and a stick. In fact, there are many amazing cars on the market that would be worse if they came with a stick. In the past, we have dreamed up which cars we think should come with a manual transmission. This is the opposite. These five cars absolutely do not need a manual.
The Porsche 918 Spyder is a world-conquering car thanks to its 4.6-liter V8 mated to a hybrid drivetrain. The 918 sends 886 horsepower to all four wheels through a seven-speed PDK transmission. The quick-shifting PDK and AWD combination get it to 60 mph in 2.2 seconds, which would be impossible with a stick shift. Porsche’s previous generation hypercar, the Carrera GT, came with a manual transmission and a screaming V10. That car is beast in its own right, but the 918 is much faster, and much more advanced. Such an advanced piece of technology doesn't deserve an outdated transmission.
While not on the same performance level as the 918, the Nissan GT-R benefits heavily from its AWD and dual-clutch transmission combination. When the R35 GT-R first debuted back in 2008, it dominated almost everything at the drag strip. Exotic supercars like the Gallardo and F430 were still hampered either by clunky automated single-clutch manuals, or a gated-manual. The GT-R only had 480 horsepower back in the 2009 model year, but it could rip off 60 mph in just over 3-seconds, and would have been much slower with a manual. The old Skylines were great with manuals, but the new GT-R is better with the dual-clutch.
Even track-focused cars have begun to move towards dual-clutched. Cars like the 911 GT3 have even made the change. That is why the McLaren 675 LT absolutely needs a dual-clutch transmission. If the point of a track car is to be as fast as possible, why would you ever want a transmission that is slower? The 675 LT sends 666 horsepower to the rear wheels, which would be extremely difficult to manage if you also had to worry about shifting perfectly. The old McLaren F1 had a manual transmission, but modern supercars are moving away from them, and it makes complete sense that no current McLaren has been offered with one.
Speed is not the only reason why a manual transmission is not always ideal. In fact, if you want to make a car as comfortable as possible, you give it a smooth-shifting automatic. That is why the Rolls Royce Dawn uses an eight-speed automatic that can even predict gear changes based on the GPS. Driving a Rolls Royce is all about forgetting that you are even behind the wheel of a car, and a manual transmission would definitely hamper the experience.
The Tesla Model S is a pretty obvious choice as a car that would suffer with a manual transmission. Since the Model S is electric, it can take advantage of the instant torque of the electric motors and only having one “gear” for smooth and blisteringly fast acceleration. This may seem like too obvious of an answer because the Tesla doesn’t technically have a transmission at all. However, the Detroit Electric SP:01 is also an electric car, which surprisingly comes with a six-speed manual transmission.