The Last Manual Mustang?
I imagine that a lot of purists will be upset about this one. I might be too.
There have been tons of articles flying around this week about Ford's decision to discontinue the S550 Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R. This is a huge disappointment, because those cars are incredible. With this announcement, Ford also announced that there will be no future Shelby Mustangs with a manual transmission. They did not say that it also means the end of the manual transmission in all Mustangs, but I am going to explain why I think that the manual Mustang will soon be going extinct as well.
Shelby GT350 with, of course, a manual transmission.
As unfortunate as this may, I believe that it is the future. People simply don't drive manual cars anymore. According to the Chicago Tribune (www.chicagotribune.com/autos/sc-auto-cover-manual-transmissions-20180710-story.html), less than 2% of U.S. buyers were purchasing new vehicles equipped with manual transmissions in 2018, leaving 98% as automatics. The same article states that the case is exactly opposite for performance cars, such as the Shelby GT350, which has a vast 98% majority of units sold that are equipped with a manual transmission. For some reason, Ford did not deem it worthy of further production.
This glorious beast of a car will soon be extinct.
The S550 Shelby GT500, which enthusiasts had been anticipating for a long time, was offered with only a dual clutch transmission (DCT). DCTs are significantly faster, and can shift more quickly than nay person could ever hope to with a manual, but enthusiasts will say that they are less fun, take away from the driving experience, and rob drivers of some of their connection with their cars. At least the normal Mustangs will still have a manual...
S550 Shelby GT500 at the racetrack (manual transmission not included)
In all seriousness, I think that the normal Mustang may not have a manual transmission for long. The Mustangs that have manuals now don't even work well. There was a serious class action lawsuit concerning the MT82 transmission paired with the 5.0 Coyote V8 in Mustang GTs in which owners sued Ford for $5,000,000 when repairs did not solve the issue, the cars just broke again, which obviously was not helpful.
Shelby Mustangs have always been some of my favorite cars.
There are still manual Mustangs being produced by Ford, but I really don't think there will be for much longer. With most buyers opting for automatic transmissions, it probably costs Ford a lot of money to continue offering the manual transmission in cars like the Mustang GT where very few people choose to buy it. Development and production costs are probably not worth the it to Ford since very few are used and they cannot make much money with it. I have met people that didn't even know what was happening when they were riding in a car that had a manual. They were confused by the shifting and the weird thing moving in the middle of the car. There are some people that simply don't know what they are. It's the way the world is changing, so I suggest either buying a new one while you still can or holding on to one you already have, because I don't think they will be around much longer.