Shifting Gears: Honda Celebrates the Manual Transmission
It’s no secret that the manual transmission is an endangered species these days. The era of seeing supercars with stick shifts is pretty much over, and manual gearboxes are no longer available in many entry level models.
One company that has bucked this trend is Honda, who still offers manual transmissions in all of its passenger car models, and has always been known for delivering some of the best-feeling manual gearboxes in the business. Perhaps that's not surprising given the company's roots in motorsport.
With this in mind, Honda recently started a program called “Shifting Gears” that is designed to teach drivers how to master a manual transmission and just as importantly, show the enjoyment that can come from driving a manual-equipped car. The program is aimed especially at the millennial generation, who has come of driving age in an era where manual transmissions are few and far between.
To kick things off, Honda recently held a Shifting Gears event in Southern California designed to teach and encourage young people to drive manuals. Along with special training courses, experienced participants were also able to take to the open road in a variety of manual-equipped Hondas.
The coolest thing is that not only did they bring out current models, but a selection of vintage models as well, including a CVCC, Prelude SH, S2000 CR and an EM1 Civic Si. What better way to experience a manual than in some of these classics from Honda’s own collection?
In an industry that has increasingly left the manual transmission behind, we have to tip our hat to Honda who not only keeps the stick shift alive in their current lineup, but celebrates it as something more than just a means of operating a vehicle. Here’s hoping this is just the start of a larger movement not just for Honda, but for other automakers as well.
Images courtesy of Honda Media