Originally Posted by FX4life
I think the 5 speed is a great transmission. In retrospect, there really isn't a whole lot of revolutionizing you can do to a "row your own" trans. Maybe tweak the shifter/clutch feel but that's about it (though Ford doesn't need to do any tweaking to the feel of the MTX) It's good old simple fun technology on an otherwise fantastic chassis.
Yes, I'm in total agreement. Ford has been making the MTX75 since 1992, and has been refining it ever since. The 2012 shift feel is sooo much smoother and more refined than the MTX75 in my 2001. But, as you said, while the transmission has served Ford well for MANY years, it is time to move on to 6-speed manuals across the board. I'm sure the MTX75, after a great 20-year-stint will be retired soon.
I can't really blame Ford for not spec'ing a 6-speed manual in the NA Focus, since they were only expecting 7% of customers would buy manuals. It was easier and cheaper to just pull 'ol reliable off the shelf. If they had realized that--in reality, they would be selling many more--maybe they would have made that move...