Volkswagen Wants To Kill Its Manual Transmissions

Industry News / 16 Comments

Here's when it'll probably happen.

All-electric vehicles and manual transmissions don't go together. EVs don't have a clutch or gearbox with different speeds but rather utilize a single gear plus reverse. The number of new gas engined vehicles with manual transmissions is already decreasing but the onset of EVs, in general, will cause this gearbox to go extinct. The growing list of automakers pledging EV-only futures continues to grow and Volkswagen is leading the charge (no pun intended). And that means the German automaker will soon drop manuals entirely.

A new report coming from Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claims every new VW model launched after the 2023 model year won't offer manuals, though this will only affect the European market (at first).

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Front Angle View Volkswagen
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rear Angle View Volkswagen
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Side View Volkswagen

The US and China will follow a few years later, by 2030. The good news is that this means things won't change immediately. You'll still be able to go out and buy a new VW GTI or Golf R with a six-speed for the next few years. But it also means the official countdown clock has started. European customers, however, are well-advised to act fast.

If it weren't the US market, where manuals remain popular with a relatively small but loyal group of enthusiast buyers, then chances are VW would have phased out the manual even sooner. This is somewhat ironic because Europeans, not just enthusiast drivers, have a long history with manuals. The gearbox type has been part of the mainstream there for years.

Front Angle View Volkswagen
Rear Angle View Volkswagen
Side View Driving Volkswagen

Automatics have been the transmission of choice in North America for a while now. In fact, the report goes on to claim the popular Tiguan crossover could be the first VW sold in Europe to drop its third pedal for the upcoming mid-life update. VW has not confirmed any of this but the timeline does make sense. It already intends to end combustion engine sales by 2035 in most countries.

By 2030, it's aiming for EVs to consist of 70 percent of total sales. The manual's life, sad as it is say, is nearly up. Enjoy them while we can.

Gearbox Controls Volkswagen
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Pedals Volkswagen
Source Credits: Auto Motor und Sport

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2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Gearbox Controls
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