When Chevy debuted their new 2020 Corvette C8 last week, car enthusiasts everywhere were blown away. The powerful (and gorgeous) mid-engine beauty was going to crank out almost 500 horsepower and the starting price was going to be under $60,000. The Corvette C8 instantly shot to the top of many people’s “must have” lists. But the reveal left a lot of fans asking the same question: “Wait, there’s no manual transmission?”
Despite a petition on Change.org being started, Chevy is only producing these vehicles with an eight-speed dual clutch unit. That’s it. That’s the only option. Many people wondered why, since the Corvette has almost always been available with the choice of a manual gearbox.
The answer is actually pretty obvious.
According to Motor Authority, who asked Corvette engineering head Tadge Juechter about the single transmission offering, it simply came down to there being not much of a market for a manual.
When I asked Corvette lead engineer Tadge Juechter at the reveal of the 2020 Corvette on Thursday if there is any chance the manual will come back, he replied simply: “No.”
Juechter said a manual-equipped Corvette wouldn’t sell well enough to make it worth a supplier’s effort to develop.
“We couldn’t find anybody honestly who’d be willing to do it. Because just like the automatic, the DCT, it would have to be a bespoke manual,” Juechter said. “It’s low volume, very expensive. The reason is it’s a low-volume industry. That industry is dying—building manual transmissions.”
So there you go. The reason there is no manual option on the new Corvette C8 is simply because no one has been buying previous Corvettes with them either. With less than 15 percent of Vettes being ordered with manual gearboxes, the company decided it just wasn’t worth the money to design and build them anymore.