The writing has been on the wall for a while for the manual gearbox, but another nail stuck in the coffin of the Mercedes MT.
This article originally appeared on Motor1.com.
From 2023, the clutch pedal will be gradually discontinued due to low customer demand. Speaking to a German publication AutomobilewocheA spokesman for the Three-Pointed Star argued that buyers’ tastes had changed because more and more people were opting for fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars.
“With increasing electrification, we see that consumer demand is shifting towards electrical mobility components, batteries and (partially) electric drive systems.”
Of course, it’s more affordable for Mercedes to invest in manual gearboxes. Not that it is not widely available now considering certain versions of the A-Class, B-Class, and CLA still comes with a three-pedal setup. In particular, more affordable configurations with fewer engines, which are not available in many markets, the United States is a relevant example.
In October 2020, Mercedes’ R&D boss Marcus Schaefer warned us about the luxury brand’s plan to “exclude manual transmission”, so the new announcement came as no big surprise. Take the recent C-Class (W206), for example, which is an auto-only matter.
Mercedes has already announced that it will be “where market conditions allow” by the end of the decade. Prior to this, new models powered by combustion engines would be based on platforms designed primarily for electric vehicles. This is a 180-degree change compared to the techniques used for EQA, EQB, and EQC crossovers because these three have their roots in ICE architecture.
While Mercedes itself is dropping the do-it-yourself gearbox, the archival BMW still allows drivers to line up at their own gear bases M3 and M4. The recently teased M2 (G87) will also have a clutch pedal, while lower-end models like the 1 Series are currently available in some markets with a manual.