Newer automatic transmissions with manual modes are becoming so convincing, in fact, that a Porsche engineer predicts the 911 will lose its manual transmission in less than a decade, even though Porsche just designed a new seven-speed manual for the 2012 911. Michael Schätzle, project manager for the new 911, told Automobile magazine this week that the manual has no more than "one or two generations" left to live.
Other European exotic carmakers have already eliminated manual transmissions on some cars. The new Aventador LP700-4 will be sold exclusively with Lamborghini's new automated seven-speed single-clutch transmission. Lamborghini plans to phase out the manual transmission option on the entry-level Gallardo, too, and we certainly don't expect to see it on its third model. Ferrari has also eliminated manual options in models like the 458 Italia and FF.
GM's TapShift technology shows why automatic transmissions may soon replace manuals