Volkswagen Won’t Be Saving the Manuals

Volkswagen has been very vocal about its plans to have a mostly electrified lineup by 2025. And while that makes me feel sad that certain sporty gas cars like the Golf R and GTI likely aren’t part of the future picture, but what makes us even sadder is that the German automaker plans to completely do away with manual transmission in its cars in the coming years as well.

Manual transmissions and electric vehicles don’t mix well

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S EV SUV model parked on a barren plain near mountains and a setting sun
The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S EV SUV model | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

While we can all mourn the loss of the manual transmission in most cars, any Volkswagen fans will really be sad in the coming years. Automotive News reports that VW is looking to become the electric car sales leader by 2025 with a target of one million EVs sold by then. It’s a lofty goal, that could likely be extended. However, the German brand is making decent headway with its new ID.4 EV.

As you can imagine, that car isn’t available with a manual transmission. In fact, no electric vehicles currently are because manual transmissions and EVs don’t mix well together. Given the linear power delivery and motor configuration in most EVs, automakers typically attach a single-gear transmission to them for better efficiency and overall drivability. As such, Volkswagen will no longer need to install them in any of its vehicles in the future.

Volkswagen is aiming for EVs to make up 70 percent of sales

The front end and VW logo of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 EV SUV
The front end of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 EV SUV | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

While we can expect that no Volkswagen models will come with a manual transmission by 2030, the German automaker plans to ax the stick shifts in every European model after 2023, reports Car Buzz. The U.S. and China markets will follow shortly after. Volkswagen is planning to have electric vehicles account for 70% of its sales by that 2030 mark.

Although, Volkswagen isn’t the only brand to do away with manual transmission models. Mercedes-Benz is planning to do away with all of its manual transmission models as well in order to cut costs and streamline production, reports Shifting Gears. And while we can all keep our fingers crossed that more automakers don’t follow suit, it could be likely to happen as many brands like Honda and Toyota are adding more hybrid and electric vehicles to their lineups as well.

What about the other gas vehicles in the lineup?

Rear view of blue 2022 Volkswagen Golf R driving on a curvy road
2022 Volkswagen Golf R | Volkswagen

You can still currently purchase certain Volkswagen models with a manual transmission. Cars like the GTI and Jetta are still available with a stick shift, however, we don’t know how long they will be around. If anything, now is a great time to enjoy them if you’re looking to shift your own gears into the future.

Otherwise, you’ll have to get used to the single speed of a CVT as well as the quiet hum of an electric motor if you’re planning to buy a Volkswagen in the future. At least we have until 2030 to buy a stick shift, after that, we can likely say goodbye to the manual transmission, whether it’s Volkswagen or just about any other brand.

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