Following all this talk about the death about the manual transmission, let's do something different...and talk about 5 more obscure cars you didn't know came with 3 pedals.
The D2 Audi S8 was an understated and muscular sedan, before Audi turned their cars into Christmas trees with 2 miles of LEDs on the front. With a 4.2 V8 with 360hp, good for a 6 second 0-60 time, it is undeniably one of the coolest and underrated Audis ever made. It was available with 3 pedals, and isn't even hard or expensive to find used in Europe. What's more, it was featured in one of the best car movies ever, Ronin, where it zigzagged in the streets of Paris being chased by Peugeot 306s which incomprehensibly seemed to be able to catch up.
The R129 was available with a huge variety of engines, and compared to the 7.3 liter V12, this 3.0 straight six feels like it might be better suited powering a pencil sharpener, or a table. But, it's still an exceptionally cool and well built machine, and yes, it is available with a manual...in the states. There are a few on sale right now, including one for just over 5000$.
It's the last Italian supercar with a manual, open gate gearbox, has a high revving V10 and is rear wheel drive. What else is there to say?
Yes, the BMW X5 is more of the soccer mom variety, but the first generation one was always a bit special to drive. Yes, you can get a 4.8is version, but this manual version, with the 3.0 inline six is not a bad buy at all. The engine is torquey, and the transmission is quintessentially BMW with a well weighted clutch and a mechanical feeling shifter. It is essentially like driving a heavier, more elevated e39 5 series, and driving something this size with a manual transmission is a cool experience. What's more, its 8 second 0-60 time isn't half bad, and it really isn't hard to find a good used one in the US.
The Lincoln LS looks like what Detroit executives came up when they wanted to make a ‘bee-em-dubble-you” fighter, except it just looks like a cheap Chinese knockoff. However, it is fairly handsome, and since its platform was used for the likes of the Jaguar S type, it probably isn’t a bad driver. Unbeknownst to many, a manual was offered with the Ford Duratec V6 version, and these can be had for 5000$ today.