MERCEDES-BENZ reportedly is developing a 6-speed manual transmission for production-car applications. The 6-speed is expected to replace the 5-speed unit found in the SLK — currently the only manually operated car in the Mercedes lineup — by 2000 or 2001. The move comes as a response to pressures from its race engine-building arm, Ilmor Engineering, to enhance the performance image of the Mercedes brand. But the automaker says it currently has no plans to install the gearbox in its ...

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