Bernard Murphy, via email

I’M referring to the latest marketing ploy by the carmakers. BMW has been doing this for some time, and now I see that Porsche has joined in with the launch of their latest GT3.

What is it? The manual as a ‘no-cost option’.

They must be kidding. Auto boxes normally have a premium of $2K-$5K on top of a manual ’box. Your Hot Source lists the Cayman S with PDK a $4990 premium.

So can anyone explain why, as a buyer, I should pay the auto price but get a manual ’box with no price reduction? Is it because the manufacturer is ‘doing me a favour’ by allowing me to have a manual box?

Bugger me if I don’t feel like a mug accepting this.

For our money, Bernard, the issue is not so much that manual is a no-cost option, but more that automatics still attract a premium when in virtually every performance car the take-up rate is vastly superior to the manual. If you’re working on economies of scale, surely the more popular variant should be the cheaper of the two?