You won’t find a manual model in the local Mercedes-AMG line-up, while even Renault’s little Clio RS is these days available exclusively with a dual-clutch transmission. In fact, a whole bunch of manual vehicles were recently killed off in SA.
So, what’s left for fans of three pedals? Well, we’ve had a rummage around to find the seven most powerful vehicles currently available new with a manual gearbox (six-speeders all round) here in South Africa. See last year's list for comparison here.
1. Porsche 911 GT3: 368 kW
Somewhat predictably, the most expensive car here is also the most powerful. Yes, some R2 750 000 will buy you a manual GT3 (which can now also be had with a so-called Touring Package). Thanks to a 4,0-litre naturally aspirated flat-six sending 368 kW and 460 N.m to the rear wheels, the GT3 completes the zero to 100 km/h sprint in a claimed 3,9 seconds, before topping out at 320 km/h. If you’re looking for something a little less extreme, there are various other 911 derivatives – from the Carrera coupé and Carrera 4S cabriolet to the 911 targa 4 GTS – also each offered locally with a manual transmission.
2. Aston Martin V8 Vantage S: 321 kW
The V8 Vantage – which starts at R2 250 000 – takes second place in “S” form, with its 4,7-litre naturally aspirated V8 directing 321 kW and 490 N.m to the rear wheels. The result is a claimed 0-100 km/h time of 4,5 seconds and a top speed of 305 km/h. While a roadster version with a stick-shift is also offered locally, the V12 Vantage S with its seven-speed dog-leg manual sadly isn’t available in SA.
3. Ford Mustang 5,0 GT fastback: 306 kW
Like the two vehicles above, this R852 900 fastback’s 5,0-litre V8 heart is naturally aspirated, sending its 306 kW and 530 N.m to the rear wheels. The obligatory sprint from standstill to 100 km/h takes a claimed 4,8 seconds. Interestingly, the convertible with the same eight-cylinder powerplant is available locally only with an automatic transmission. Drop-top lovers apparently don't like to use their left feet...
4. Jaguar F-Type coupé: 280 kW
With the recent facelift of the F-Type range, Jaguar saw fit to add a handful of new manual variants, including stick-shift versions of its most powerful supercharged 3,0-litre V6 engine. With 280 kW and 460 N.m sent to the rear wheels, the R1 140 596 coupé (there’s also a convertible manual version available) sees off the dash to three figures in a claimed 5,5 seconds, before topping out at 275 km/h.
5. BMW M2 coupé: 272 kW
Three-pedal versions of the M3 and M4 may have been culled locally, but the manual gearbox in the facelifted M2 is still alive and kicking, linking the rear wheels to a 3,0-litre turbocharged straight-six. In this application, peak outputs come in at 272 kW and 500 N.m, with the claimed 0-100 km/h sprint taking 4,5 seconds. The price? Some R914 506…
6=. Ford Focus RS: 257 kW
The final spot on this list is, in fact, occupied by two vehicles. The first is the Focus RS, a hot hatch priced at R699 900. Its 2,3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine sends 257 kW and 440 N.m to all four corners, facilitating a 4,7-second sprint to 100 km/h, according to Ford. Top speed, meanwhile, comes in at 266 km/h.
6=. Porsche 718 Cayman S: 257 kW
The 718 Cayman S (along with its Boxster S sibling) ties the Focus RS above on power, but makes some 20 N.m less. Priced at R950 000, the Cayman S hits three figures in a claimed 4,6 seconds (a tenth of a second quicker than the Ford) before topping out at 285 km/h.
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