Actually you push the lever to S for "manual" operation, and to the A for automatic operation. The letter is on a diagram on the instrument cluster and the S and A change depending on the operation. If it is in S mode, then there is an A to show where to move the lever and vice versa.
A is not a typical auotmatic. It is like riding in a car with a manual tranny driven by someone else. It shifts like a manual, but when it choose to. But "manual" mode is a not a big deal. No clutch pedal, just pull the right paddle to upshift, the left to downshift. The tranny with auto downshift to keep the tranny in a somewhat lower grea for slower speeds.
'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)