Shifting your own gears was the only way to drive before 1939. GM’s Hydramatic automatic transmission was launched by Cadillac and Oldsmobile, and the rest is history. Nowadays it is rare to see any car with three pedals and a shifter. Lamborghini and Ferrari haven’t offered them in years, and it seems like everyone else might follow their lead. But if you enjoy a proper heel-toe blip as much as we do, here are our top sticks for Model Year 2018.
10. Jaguar F-Type
Although a manual is not offered on the wild SVR series, you can have a six-speed with 380 horsepower V6 in the F-Type S. Fun, fast and 24 MPG, oh and the price will surprise you also!
9. Cadillac ATS-V Coupe & Sedan
Cadillac’s smallest car packs a massive punch thanks to a twin-turbo 3.6L V6. It has 464 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque sent through the Camaro’s six-speed. But the latest Tremec transmission is augmented by active rev-matching. The computer anticipates the rpm of the next gear, which makes the clutch action much quicker.
8. Camaro ZL1
The fastest & most powerful Camaro ever built can be had with a 10 speed automatic or a six-speed manual. If you have 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, you don’t really need six gears. The ZL1 can start in 2nd gear without a problem, and you can use 2nd,4th, and 6th without stressing the big 6.2 liter LT4.
7. Porsche Boxster/Cayman GTS
Porsche’s mid-engine twins have 365 horsepower and perfect weight distribution. The 2.5 liter turbocharged four-cylinder offers 25 mpg and a perfect clutch pedal. The same chassis and powertrain, the Boxster is convertible and the Cayman is a hardtop coupe.
6. Audi A4 Sedan & A5 Coupe/Cabriolet
5. Dodge SRT Challenger Hellcat
If you don’t need the 797 horsepower of the Hellcat Redeye, the “base model” Challenger Hellcat offers 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed with this much power is a recipe for fun.
4. Corvette ZR1
Corvette’s first two years were automatic only, but it has offered some form of manual since 1955. The latest ZR1 is no exception. It ups the game by offering a 7-speed manual along with 755 horsepower/715 lb-ft of torque. It is mounted at the rear axles and it has separate cooling circuits for the gearbox and differential.
3. Ford Mustang
Ford has always offered a bulletproof manual transmission in the Mustang, and the upcoming GT500 is no exception. The Roush Stage 3 we had as a press car had a cueball shifter and perfect ratios.
2. BMW M Series
1. Porsche 911 GT3 Touring
This subtle GT3 doesn’t have any of the wild aerodynamics of the GT3 RS, but it does have a small Gurney flap on the rear deck lid. You would be hard-pressed to spot it at a distance because it is easily mistaken for a normal Carrera. But it has 500 horsepower, six gears, and a leather interior. It is the successor to the 911.R, which was built on the 991.1 Chassis. The 991.2 GT3 Touring Edition is the ultimate factory sleeper. It has 339 lb-ft of torque with a 9,000 rpm redline and does without AWD. It is not a limited production model, so don’t fear the dealer markup. If you need 7 gears, the Carrera T is a retro-inspired lightweight cruiser.
Tell us which one you want in the comments below and stay with us for all your automotive news!