Volkswagen continues its commitment to stand by the manual transmission, and make the gearbox available in much of its models in the long term. Company tech chief, Matthias Rabe told Autocar: “Some people enjoy going back to their roots and changing gear manually, and so long as there is a demand, we will continue to offer them.”

So committed, in fact, it had just release a new state-of-the-art manual transmission in July 2019, known as the MQ281. According to Volkswagen, it helps save up to five grammes of CO2 per kilometre, and almost all vehicle classes within the Volkswagen Group will be equipped with it. The MQ281 has a torque spectrum of 200 Nm to 340 Nm, which means it can almost supersede the current MQ250 and MQ350 gearboxes.

At the time of launch, Volkswagen said no one really took much notice of manual gearboxes, and explained that only slight modifications were sufficient to improve efficiency and fuel consumption. It also said manual gearboxes have a significant share of the global gearbox market due to high installation rate. This is especially trendy for SUVs with large-diameter wheels, the company added.

Company head of manual gearbox and four-wheel drive development, Helmut Göbbels said: “With the MQ281, we have developed a highly efficient manual gearbox that reliably meets these demands – and is soon to be introduced into a number of vehicle classes in the volume segment.”

Meanwhile, another member of the Volkswagen Group, Porsche, also voiced its loyalty to the stick-shifter. Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger revealed that the manual gearbox and naturally-aspirated engines have a strong future that will last for at least another decade, and said that companies which are moving away from those technologies are making a blunder.

BMW M has a slightly different approach to this. Cars designated for purists, such as the M2, M3 and M4 will all be available with manual transmissions, and this includes the next-generation models as well. BMW M boss Markus Flasch said the stick will be equipped on ‘purer’ models, which means it will likely only be available in rear-wheel drive M3s and M4s.