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.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Our Verdict

Ford Focus ST
This four-cylinder Focus feels lighter at the front than its five-pot predecessor

The Ford Focus ST has gained a new four-pot motor, but does it have what it takes to gun for the Golf GTI?

Join the debate

Comments
3

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.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S line
    First Drive
    28 June 2016
    We've driven the facelifted version of the ever-popular Audi A3 Sportback in 2.0 TDI guise on UK roads for the first time
  • Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI S-Line
    First Drive
    26 June 2016
    The Audi Q2 is the German brand’s smallest SUV yet. Can it impress in production guise on European roads?
  • Ford S-Max Vignale
    First Drive
    24 June 2016
    The Ford S-Max Vignale is the company's premium executive express. Can it really be worth the extra over the standard S-Max?
  • Volkswagen Scirocco GTS
    First Drive
    23 June 2016
    Still a really fun and likeable coupé but the extra power doesn't justify the VW Scirocco GTS's high price
  • Ford Fiesta ST200
    First Drive
    23 June 2016
    Fresh from testing it abroad, we've just got our hands on the Ford Fiesta ST200 for a blat on UK roads