December 2022

Revology customers defy market trend away from stick shifts

As manual transmissions virtually disappear from major automakers’ vehicle line-ups, Revology Cars remains a strong stick shift supporter.

Revology offers a choice between a 10-speed automatic and a six-speed manual on all its products. To date, just under half of Revology Mustang and Shelby models sold have sported manual transmissions.

In the overall car market, the take rate on stick shifts has slumped to just 1.4 percent with some automakers dropping manuals altogether. The companies still offering manual transmissions do so only on a few selected models.

By comparison Revology offers a manual on every car made, and the take rate is much higher than that on even the most exotic of sports cars.

“It is not surprising that our manual take rate is so high,” says company founder and CEO Tom Scarpello.  “Revology vehicles are built to drive and enjoy, and many of our clients like the increased level of interaction a manual transmission provides.” 

Stick shifts have become so rare that not all drivers know how to use a manual. “We have a client who is an NBA player, who had never driven a manual,” says Yoshi Amano, Revology’s marketing and sales director. “However, he ordered his ’67 GT500 with a manual because he felt that was the way a GT500 should be built.  He learned how to drive a manual because of this car.”

A look at the manual transmissions currently on offer from automakers is revealing. Ford has dropped manuals from most of its vehicle range, although today’s Mustang still offers a stick shift.

General Motors provides a manual option in two Cadillac sports sedan models, and the Chevrolet Camaro can be specified with a stick shift.

Among other sporty cars, there are a few manuals to be found, notably in a handful of models from Porsche and BMW, plus Mazda’s MX-5, Nissan’s new Z coupe and the Toyota Supra.

In the world of exotic sports cars, it is notable that Italian marques, Ferrari and Lamborghini, dropped manuals altogether some years ago.

The fact that close to half of Revology cars are sold with manual transmissions is testament to the customers’ enthusiasm and desire to be engaged in the driving experience, notes Amano.

Scarpello adds that modern electronically controlled, dual-clutch transmissions shift faster than a human driver, and therefore are preferred by automakers competing to deliver the quickest acceleration time. However, while automation may achieve better objective performance figures, it also dilutes driver involvement. 

“There is a saying, ‘it is more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slow’, and it is true,” says Scarpello.  “Our cars are already extremely fast, and we’re not racing, so if we have to give up a few hundredths of a second to make them more engaging and rewarding to drive, why not?  As long as people want to buy them, we will continue to build them.”