Some disconcerting news for Subaru fans has come out from the Geneva Motor Show. Subaru's U.K. managing director told Auto Express that he doesn't see the manual transmission as having a future at the automaker. He explained that the company is really focusing on safety, and in turn Subaru's Eyesight technology. As a refresher, that system uses stereo cameras to enable features such as automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. The feature isn't currently available on manual-equipped Subarus, and the executive said he wasn't sure if the system was compatible. And with Subaru's push for safety and Eyesight, he said that continuing to offer manual cars without the system could undermine that push.
This sounds dire at first, but we shouldn't panic yet. First, this is just an executive for Subaru's U.K. branch, not for the global company or the U.S., and car companies don't have the same offerings everywhere. For example, the Crosstrek is only offered with a CVT in Europe, but here in America – land of the free, home of the clutch – Subaru offers a six-speed manual. So, while it is possible that certain regions will have reduced or no manual options, that doesn't mean it would be across the board.