Ford's vice president of global product development confirms that customer demand is for manual gearboxes
4 February 2015

Manual gearboxes will be a mainstay of Ford RS products for the forseeable future, according to the firm’s vice president of global product development, Raj Nair.

With the Focus RS being sold globally for the first time, including in the American and Russian markets, speculation had suggested that an ‘auto option may be made available. However, speaking at the launch of the new Focus RS, Nair confirmed that the car’s 2.3-litre turbocharged engine would be linked to a six-speed manual gearbox only.

“All our current research says that customers really like these kinds of cars to have a manual gearbox,” said Nair. “We’ll keep looking at market trends, and of course we’ll give customers what they want, but for now the manual stays.”

In contrast, the Ford GT, revealed at the Detroit motor show, is set to be powered by a mid-mounted 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine that develops more than 600bhp and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

More technical details of the Focus RS, plus its price and on sale date, are expected to be revealed at the Geneva motor show next month.

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4 February 2015

I guess Renault's (and until recently, VW's) customer research told them buyers want automated gearboxes.

4 February 2015

If you will recall the previous incarnation of the BMW M5 (with the V-10) was auto only until enough Yanks kicked up a fuss that BMW sold a manual version in the States only. The lament of auto-only Ferrari and Lamborghinis is probably louder here as well. Having a transmission like an F1 car is nice and all but there is still a significant demographic that likes to stir their own gears.

4 February 2015

Can only be good news for owners when these cars are 5-6-7 yrs old. DSG = big bills for someone down the line.

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