With some of its previously designated important models, namely the C and E-Class Cabriolet and Coupe facing the axe and with the new S-Class poised to be a sedan only model, a new report from the United Kingdom has claimed that the manual gearbox will soon join the much maligned X-Class on Mercedes-Benz’s discontinued roster.
Only offered on entry-level versions of the A-Class, B-Class, the outgoing C-Class and CLA in Europe, the end of the six-speed ‘box will form part of an extensive cost cutting drive aimed at not only simplifying the three-pointed star’s selection of powertrains, but lower production costs as well in getting rid of less popular choices in order to focus on electrification.
“We need to reduce complexity. Complexity adds costs. We’re going to reduce future products, reduce platforms substantially, combustion engines will be very dramatically reduced and we will eliminate the manual transmission. We’re going to a more modular strategy, and we will reduce the number of options significantly,” Stuttgart’s Research and Development Head, Markus Schäfer, told Autocar.
Aside from the Old Continent, the move is likely to have little effect on South Africa where Benz has recently been joined by rivals Audi and BMW in offering only automatic transmissions due to the decline in three-pedal popularity amongst premium brands. A similar move has also been taken by Jaguar on XE and Lexus with the soon-to-be replaced IS.