Before bellies begin to ache, though, I should declare one essential caveat: you must be able to deactivate said rev-matching at the touch of a button. And I do mean one touch of one button. No drilling-down via touchscreen menus, no convoluted confluence of drive and traction modes - just a button to switch it on or off, just like in the Sport Pack-equipped Nissan 370Z that brought the function to market with its Synchro Rev Match system in 2009.
If you were buying a used manual BMW M2 or Sport Chrono-equipped Porsche 991 or 718 from a seller short on mechanical sympathy, surely you'd be glad of the clutch-pampering properties of their respective rev-matching setups?
To date, such systems have been confined to more performance-orientated cars, but it needn't be so. It's a software-based addition, and much simpler and therefore cheaper than the safety and autonomous tech that trickles down the market with each passing day. That you can buy a £16,200 Mini Cooper with rev-matching speaks of its affordability.
Automated manual city cars such as the Toyota Aygo x-shift or ASG-equipped VW Up aren't popular because of their added expense and awkward mannerisms. But furnish those cars' conventional manual gearboxes with rev matching, and you've taken away some of the apprehension of buying a manual at a fraction of the complexity and cost of an auto. You could easily argue a rev-matching manual would actually provide a smoother drive than one of those clutch-actuating jobs too.
Rev-matching manuals should be the new normal, then. And in the process, they'll win back market share from autos, thereby prolonging the career of the manual gearbox that we know and love.
[Words: Richard Webber]