Will the Six-Star brand put its third pedal to bed?

In a bid to make its cars safer, Subaru will look to double down on its high-tech Eyesight suite of features. Unfortunately, that could mean the death of its manual transmission offering, which so far is not compatible with Eyesight.

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The Full Story

2019 Subaru Ascent
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2019 Subaru Ascent shown above
“There are certainly no rumors we’ve heard that manual will continue, or Eyesight will be [offered] with manual,” said Subaru U.K. managing Director Chris Graham.

As automakers race to offer consumers the latest and greatest safety tech items, it looks like enthusiasts might get left behind, as Subaru could be the newest make to leave its row-your-own fans out in the cold.

According to a recent report from Auto Express, Subaru’s third pedal could end up on the chopping block in order to make room for the automaker’s Eyesight safety systems, which are expected to trickle down to the entirety of its lineup over the course of the next few years. Breaking the gloomy news was Subaru U.K. managing Director Chris Graham, who recently spoke with Auto Express at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show.

2018 Subaru WRX STI Final Edition Interior
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Interior of the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Final Edition shown above

“I’m not sure if [Eyesight is] compatible at all with a manual gearbox,” Graham said. “There are certainly no rumors we’ve heard that manual will continue, or Eyesight will be [offered] with manual.”

In lieu of a manual transmission, Subaru would likely utilize its Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic.

“My gut tells me it will be Eyesight with Lineartronic ongoing and long term,” Graham continued. “They want to steal the mantle of the safest car in the world. I think if they do that, then they say ‘here’s a manual without Eyesight’, they’ll just ruin that [message].”

Subaru has been big on the message of safety for years now, highlighting its grippy symmetrical AWD system and boxer engines as evidence of the focus. Of course, beyond the oily bits, digital systems like Eyesight are the next logical step in auto safety evolution.

“All these things are reinforcing the safety message. The safety message is the thing Subaru will want to take forward,” Graham added.

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept Exterior
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Longer, lower, and wider than a WRX
Eyesight will also presumably lead Subaru’s charge towards autonomous vehicles. Unfortunately, all of that doesn’t play nice with a stick shift.

Eyesight utilizes an array of sensors to enable features like automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, cruise control, and more. Eyesight will also presumably lead Subaru’s charge towards autonomous vehicles. Unfortunately, all of that doesn’t play nice with a stick shift.

2018 Subaru Outback High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Subaru Outback shown above

Enthusiasts will no doubt be dismayed at the prospect of not getting a manual gearbox with their new Subaru, especially when considering such icons as the WRX and WRX STI, both of which are considerably less fun with an auto box onboard.

The next-gen Subaru WRX STI is expected to arrive in the next few years, and when it does, the transmission options will tell the tale.

2020 Subaru WRX Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exclusive Photos
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Our rendering of the 2020 Subaru WRX shown above

Speaking of which, Graham added fuel to the fire as far as rumors surrounding the WRX STI are concerned, saying that hybrid performance was a definite possibility.

“For me an STI has to be a manual in the guise it is today, however if you look at [auto-only] M-Series BMWs, I don’t think this is the end and I’d be very excited if they had a hybrid petrol STI,” he said. “That would be phenomenal in terms of acceleration.”

In addition to the WRX and WRX STI, Subaru currently offers manual transmissions on the Crosstrek, Forester, and Impreza. We doubt few people would complain about an all-auto lineup for those last three, but a slush box for the WRX and WRX STI? No thanks.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

References

Subaru WRX

2018 Subaru WRX High Resolution Exterior
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Read our review on the awesomeness that is the 2018 Subaru WRX

Subaru WRX STI

2018 Subaru WRX STI – Driven Exterior High Resolution
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Read up on what we thought after spending a week with the 2018 Subaru WRX STI

Subaru

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We’ve got lots of cool stuff about the brand, so don’t forget to check out the latest Subaru News!

Source: Auto Express

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