December 8, 2022
  • December 8, 2022

8 Best Manual Transmission Sports Cars Money Can Buy

By on February 19, 2022 0

There have been rumors that the traditional manual gearbox has been on the endangered species list for quite some time now. Manual, shifter, and standard are all names given to this type of transmission. Traditionally, textbooks have been much more popular in European markets than most other parts of the world where automatics are more common.

Among the general population, drivers appreciate the luxury and ease of driving that an automatic transmission provides. Hill starts, start-stop traffic and general urban navigation are undoubtedly easier in an automatic vehicle. However, driving purists appreciate the increased engagement and feedback provided by a manual transmission, especially when driving on rewarding routes such as country roads and alpine passes.

As technology has advanced, automatic systems have improved, fuel efficiency has increased and prices have fallen. All of these factors led to the rise of the automatic and disappearance of the manual gearbox. Perhaps the greatest threat to the existence of the manual is the new trend in the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles. Due to the lack of gears at the electric powertrain, a manual transmission is simply incompatible. Manuals are becoming increasingly rare these days, and some manufacturers only produce them for driver-focused models. Therefore, we should take advantage of the following equipped manual sports cars while we still can.

Related: Here are some of the best cars to learn to drive manually

8 Porsche Cayman 718 GT4


Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
On porsche.com

The second-generation GT4 is arguably one of the most driver-focused vehicles ever produced. At its heart is a 4.0-litre flat-six producing 420bhp and revving up to 8,000rpm. Compared to the previous generation, this represents an increase of 34 hp. Satisfyingly, Porsche made the car available with a seven-speed PDK automatic and a six-speed manual. The manual offers the most opportunity for driver engagement, although the long gear may take some getting used to. Top speed in second gear is a remarkable 85 mph.


Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
On porsche.com

The price makes the GT4 a relative bargain, starting at $101,200 it’s significantly cheaper than the GT3 which sells for $161,100. It can be said that the car offers almost all the performance offered by the GT3.

7 Aston Martin Vantage


Aston_Martin-Vantage_Roadster-
Via: NetCarShow

The Aston Martin Vantage is one of the brand’s most nimble and nimble sports cars. Sporting a dramatic new look for this current generation, the Vantage commands the attention of all who see it. To aid handling, the engine is mounted mid-front and power is sent to the rear wheels. A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 510 hp allows the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds and then reach a top speed of 300 km/h.


Aston_Martin-Vantage_Roadster-Reat
Via: NetCarShow

Nimble, powerful cars like this are great candidates for a manual option, and luckily that was the case with the Vantage. Unfortunately, the option will be removed after the 2022 refresh, so buyers should get on it quickly.

6 Porsche 992 911 GT3


2022-porsche-911-gt3-touring-exterior
By: Porsche

Currently the most hardcore 911 variant available, the GT3 is a top of the line of the 992 generation of cars. Porsche is expected to release details of the ultimate version, the GT3 RS later in 2022. Prices start at $161,100 for the standard GT3 and the wingless touring version. The car is powered by a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-6 capable of revving at 9,000 rpm. Perhaps surprisingly for a car with so much power, a 7-speed PDK automatic and a 6-speed manual are available.


Porsche-911_GT3-2022 Rear
Via: NetCarShow

Both cars produce 502 bhp, where they differ, the GT3 takes 3.2 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h while the Touring takes 3.7 seconds. Interestingly, the Touring has a slightly faster top speed of 199 mph while the standard car is slightly slower at 197 mph.

5 Ford Mustang Mach 1


Ford-Mustang_Mach_1
Via: NetCarShow

Powered by a 5.0-liter V8, the Mach 1 produces 460 hp. As standard, the car comes with a six-speed manual, although a ten-speed automatic is also available. The manual provides a smooth experience and the automatic rev matching enhances the experience.


Ford-Mustang_Mach_1-Rear
Via: NetCarShow

In the UK, the Mach 1 is the highest performance Mustang available, as the GT500 is not sold in that market. Top speed is 166 mph and 0-62 mph takes 4.8 seconds.

Related: 8 Ways The Mustang Mach 1 Stands Out From Its Siblings

4 BMW M2 Competition


BMW-MY20-Models-M2-Competition
via: BMW USA

The BMW M2 Competition is the smallest and cheapest M car that BMW currently produces. The formidable manual version starts at $58,900, while the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic costs almost $3,000 more. The M2 is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder engine producing 405 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The car is a lot of fun, with all the power transferred to the rear wheels via a BMW Active M differential system.


BMW-MY20-Models-M2-Competition
via: BMW USA

For buyers looking for more from their M2 comp, a $2,500 million driver’s package is available, which provides a raised top-speed limiter and a high-performance driving session.


3 Lotus Evora GT


Lotus-Evora_GT
Via: NetCarShow

The Lotus Evora GT is the only Lotus model currently available for sale in the United States. Compared to sports cars from other manufacturers, the models produced by Lotus offer a more stripped down raw driving experience. The Evora GT is powered by a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 developing 422 hp.


Lotus-Evora_GT-Rear
Via: NetCarShow

0-60 mph takes 3.8 seconds and top speed is 188 mph. A six-speed manual transmission provides drivers with mechanical feedback and adds a limited-slip differential improving power transfer.

2 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF


Mazda-MX-5_Sport_Venture-
Via: NetCarShow

No list of the best sports cars available with a manual gearbox would be complete without this iconic Mazda. Affordable and lightweight, the MX-5 has been produced in various styles since 1989. Its mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive combination provides excellent handling and maneuverability.


Mazda-MX-5_Sport_Venture-Rear
Via: NetCarShow

The car’s 6-speed manual transmission offers excellent driver engagement and the short stroke lets you shift gears.

1 BMW M4


BMW M4 Competition Coupe
By: BMW

Another BMW M car on this list, the sleek looking BMW M4 with its love it or hate it grille is a great sports car. Making it even bigger is the fact that it’s available with a manual gearbox in its “base” form. The more powerful 503 hp M4 Competition is only available with an 8-speed Steptronic transmission. The standard car still produces 473bhp from its 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 ​​engine.


BMW M4 Competition Coupe
By: BMW

0-60 mph takes 4.1 seconds in the manual with the automatic beating slightly, taking 3.8 seconds. In actual driving, the majority of buyers are unlikely to notice the extra power, but will no doubt notice the extra control and engagement offered to them in the manual variant.


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