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Death of the HD Manual Transmission

Courtesy of Ram

Last week, FCA unveiled the 2020 RAM HD Lineup at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Among the highlights of beautiful new exterior lines, increased horsepower and torque, and revised Power Wagon’s was the dismal news of a missing line item: the Getrag six-speed manual transmission.

Courtesy of Ram

Courtesy of Ram

Our despair confirmed, we wept openly over the loss of the last HD manual transmission available. The reasoning behind the axe? In the battle of who will reign, the automatic has been making leaps and bounds. Less and less people are purchasing manual transmissions, and even less can drive them.

The largest reason however, is the pure and simple fact that the Cummins is so damn strong, there is not a manual transmission that can tame its power. The secret is, that in order to unlock the full 1,000lbs-ft of torque that the Cummins is capable of, you need to purchase a one-ton 3500 truck with the optional, and pricey Aisin heavy-duty automatic transmission, as the 2500 models fitted with the current Chrysler built transmission are detuned to accommodate the power.

Electronic output governing is how Chrysler is keeping these transmissions alive behind the Cummins, and simply put – with a manual transmission, the electronic nannies of keeping the engine power down until you reach deeper gears is not possible.

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