When the C8 Corvette was unveiled, we reported that while there was no manual transmission option available, there was the possibility that it could get one in the future. Well Tadge Juechter, the Corvette’s chief engineer, says no.
Juechter says that a manual transmission Corvette wouldn’t sell well enough to make up for development costs. He doesn’t say what the manual take rate on the Corvette is but claims that only 15% of ZO6 buyers go for the manual transmission.
Due to the C8 Corvette’s mid-engined design, existing manual transmissions wouldn’t fit, and a new bespoke transmission would have to be developed. When they were developing the C8 Corvette, they had to make sure the dual-clutch automatic would fit with the transaxle design, while still having enough space for oil and cooling systems, despite having the engine in the middle. If they were to offer a stick-shift, they’d have to do lots of this all over again, not to mention make space for various linkages, though some of that complexity could be solved by GM’s patented clutch-by-wire manual transmission.
Still, there is still time for GM to change their mind. Porsche launched the 991-generation 911 GT3 without a manual, upsetting enthusiasts so much that they eventually gave it a stick. According to Klaus Zellmer, Porsche CEO of North America, two thirds of GT3 buyers currently opt for the manual.
And many enthusiasts right now are upset about GM not giving the Corvette a manual. There’s even a petition for GM to give it a stick, which has gained almost a thousand signatures in 2 days.
The C8 Corvette seems like the perfect application for GM’s patented clutch-by-wire manual transmission. But right now, one can only wonder what they’re using it for, because the Corvette isn’t getting it any time soon.