Nearly a Quarter of Corvette Buyers Has Opted for the Manual Transmission

Rowing your own gears is something the United States isn’t too fond of. The rivalry between the three- and two-pedal layout in cars still continues, almost eight decades after General Motors made the automatic transmission popular with the Hydra-Matic.
C7 Corvette manual transmission 6 photos
2016 Chevrolet Corvette production numbersC7 Corvette manual transmissionC7 Corvette manual transmissionC7 Corvette manual transmissionC7 Corvette manual transmission
These days, the take-up rate of manuals in the United States of America pales in comparison to automatics for two very simple reasons. Not only do automatics get better and cheaper to make, but it’s cheaper to integrate an automatic into a car. Developing, testing, homologating, and certifying a stick shift on an existing platform and for an existing engine is, for many automakers out there, pretty similar to pouring money down the drain.

Be that as it may, a handful of automakers continue to offer some sort of manual transmission in high-performance cars. Chevrolet is one of those automakers. Having said these, it came to our attention that nearly a quarter of MY 2016 C7 Corvette buyers prefer to row their own over the automatic.

This information comes courtesy of the good people from the National Corvette Museum. As you can find out from the PDF attached at the end of this article, Corvette Z06 owners are the most enamored with the manual that’s available in the sportiest model produced by the golden bowtie.

Here’s the take-up rate for the manual in the Stingray Coupe and Convertible: 5,093. And now for the Z06 Coupe and Convertible: 4,156. The number of manual-equipped Corvettes built in model year 2016? 9,249 units. That's 22.73 percent of total production numbers. The eight-speed automatic accounted for 31,440 cars: 21,320 Stingrays and 10,119 Z06s. More to the point, more than 40 percent of Z06 buyers prefer the manual. Automatic-equipped Stingray owners, however, outnumber the manual crowd by 5 to 1.

These said, MY 2017 saw the manufacturing of 40,689 units of the C7 Corvette. Will this manual-automatic ratio soldier on for model year 2017 or will the superior shift times of the Hydra-Matic 8L90 turn out to be a more attractive proposition than pressing the clutch pedal? Have your say.

 Download: 2016 Corvette production numbers (PDF)


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