Has the hot hatch had its time? Once one of the most popular vehicle variants out there, in recent years hot hatch sales have began to dwindle alongside manual transmission sales. Are the two linked? One of the best things about driving a Volkswagen GTI was driving it in a manual, you got a much better feeling for the car and it added an additional element of fun and control when driving the vehicle.
Now more and more vehicles are becoming available solely with automatic transmissions, with Volkswagen for example dropping the manual transmission option for their GTD and GTE in favour of a direct-shift gearbox. Thankfully though, the German powerhouse has kept the six-speed manual for the GTI.
Another company who understands the need of a manual option for hot hatch owners is Hyundai who are introducing their latest N model vehicles (including the i30 N) with a manual transmission too. Product Planner for Hyundai, Howard Lam, told Carsales:
“Where possible, we would continue to like to offer buyers the choice of a manual transmission for purists or the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission”
We can understand the need for automatic transmissions, but its great that Hyundai are still keeping an eye out for the manual purists out there. The i30N includes the six speed manual option but is also available with a seven speed automatic configuration.
There was originally reports that Hyundai’s smaller i20 N wouldn’t be making the cut in terms of a manual transmission, but we can now confirm that the six-speed manual option will be available and is personally the option that we would choose.
Hyundai continuing to fly the flag for the stick shift enthusiasts out there is great and all, but the company do understand that demand for manual transmission vehicles isn’t particularly high anymore. Lam said to Carsales:
“It’s hard to say what growth we will achieve, but we understand that our competitors who offer an automatic have achieved significant mix with those transmissions … We’ll just have to wait. I would say more people will buy the auto than the manual.”
What transmission would you choose and why? Let us know in the comments.