Will the C7 Corvette Mark the End of the Manual Transmission?

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Corvette

C8 Corvette will reportedly not be available with a stick, at least not right away. Does this signal the end of an era?

It’s a sad fact, but the manual transmission is slowly going the way of the dodo bird. Fewer and fewer people are opting to row their own gears these days. Which means that manufacturers are offering fewer and fewer manual transmission-equipped cars.

It’s a vicious cycle, but one with a little bit of a silver lining, anyway. Today’s automatics are actually fast, much faster than the human leg and arm. And this development makes it fair to ask the question, will the C7 Corvette be the last ‘Vette sold with a manual? Corvette Forum member cheapthrills posed that very question right here, and it’s causing quite the stir, of course.

“So as I’m driving down the road today, loving my M7, I thought damn the C8 will not have a manual. So when the C7 Corvette becomes history, will that leave the world with no Corvette manual? Bound to happen sooner or later.”

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We personally love our manuals, but we also understand the undeniable advantages of quick-shifting autoboxes. But as The HACK points out, the change also means the C7 Corvette might gain some value, too.

“This is a GOOD thing. Many top-tier sport cars in the mid 2000s went completely away from full three pedal manuals. And all the manual versions have SPIKED big time in value. A late 200x model BMW M whatever, Ferraris, Porsches (especially pre-996), Lambos, ALL are fetching values 5-20% HIGHER than their auto or automated manual counterparts. 

Meanwhile, it hasn’t stopped or slowed down sales of sporty or sports cars in general. The slow down in sports car sales has more to do with a ton of other factors, not the death of the manual. And those of us with M7 Corvettes will have the LAST of a long, LONG line of fine automobiles of their kind. I’d imagine 15 years from now, M7 C7s will be fetching quite a bit more value than their automatic counterparts. Bring on AUTOMATIC only C8s.”

That’s one way of looking at it. But plenty of people (besides us) are sad to see the manual go. Including AORoads.

“The problem isn’t that you can’t get a MANUAL trans in the car of your choice. If you want one, it will be a used car with a used trans. Unless you want to replace the entire trans with a new one. That’s possible, but costly. I had thought it wouldn’t happen. But sadly, it looks like it will. No more new car/new manual trans. At least not in Corvettes.”

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But while most have written off the manual surviving past the C7 Corvette, JerriVette isn’t convinced.

“First year maybe there won’t be a manual to streamline production. But after the first year there will be manuals offered. Twenty-three percent of all Corvettes purchased are manuals. No sane manufacturer or corporate executive would pull the plug on an option that generates that kind of unit volume.

I’m not sure the manual will be an option as GM tends to prefer to make the manual the standard transmission and the automatic the option. We could see the manual as standard with a late term release. And as sales slow down a little or at least become manageable from a production meeting demand standpoint, the manual will come out in the showrooms.”

We sure hope that’s the case, at least. Mainly because we can’t imagine a world without a manual transmission option on the Corvette. But still, we want to know what you think. Do you think the manual will die with the C7 Corvette? And is this a bad thing or just the natural next step? Head over here and let us know!

Join the Corvette forums today!

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Corvette Forum, Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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