A Simple “No” Is the Answer
When Motor Authority’s Kirk Bell asked Chevrolet’s 2020 mid-engine Corvette’s lead engineer Tadge Juechter at the release of the car whether or not there would be a manual transmission, he answered with one simple word, “No.” And with that word he crushed the dreams of enthusiasts everywhere.
The reason for this? Building cars that have manual transmissions is a dying business. This is a well-documented fact, despite how riled up sports car enthusiasts get about the subject. The fact of the matter is that not many people buy cars with manual transmissions. It’s also true that most modern autos shift faster and more accurately than drivers can do on their own. Juechter said the following about the subject:
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. It’s low volume, very expensive. The reason is it’s a low-volume industry. That industry is dying—building manual transmissions.
Juechter said only about 15 percent of Corvette buyers actually purchase a car with a manual transmission. It wouldn’t be worth it. “Every year it goes down, down, down, down,” he told Motor Authority. With that in mind, you can rest assured there will be no C8 with a manual.