SHIFTING TIMES

David Thompson, via email

I applaud your resilience in the face of the Aussie auto driver to acclaim a manual car in todayís market (September í16). It appears most manufacturers donít bring their manual cars to Oz for fear of their inability to sell them in the local market.

Perhaps Iím a dying breed, but I feel there can be no greater pleasure than driving a well-engineered manual shifting car through a great twisty section of road. I recently owned a manual Toyota 86 GTS, but had to sell the car due to my ageing frame continuing to complain every time I tried to enter or exit the car. Every day since, I have regretted the sale. I enjoyed shifting through the gears and considered it to be one of the carís greatest attributes.

In replacing that car, I scoured the market for a viable replacement. On paper, the Golf R was up there Ė until I was informed it was DSG only. Enough said. I ended up with a Megane 275 Trophy and, although I love the car, I doubt any front-wheel drive car like the Polo GTI or the Megane could ever attain the distinct and positive feel of a rear-drive gearbox such as in the 86.