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The eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette does little wrong. Supercar-fighting speed? Check. A starting price (if you escape dealer markup) akin to many tamer sports car rivals? Check. However, the C8 Corvette never got the manual transmission treatment, despite vociferous critics. Still, an argument can be made that the eighth-gen ‘Vette simply doesn’t need it. 

After five model years, the C8 Corvette manual never happened. Then again, it probably didn’t need to

Unless you’ve been living in automotive exile, you know that the most common complaints about the C8 Chevrolet Corvette are as follows: “Why are dealer markups so common?” and “Why no manual transmission?” 

Well, the answer is simple: customers checked that auto-box when they ordered their C7s. In fact, in 2016, just 23% of Corvette consumers opted for the seven-speed manual transmission (yes, seven speeds), per Road & Track. What’s more, that figure was fairly typical for the C7’s run from 2014 to 2019. 

Despite the grab-a-gear, row-your-own option in the last of the front-engine ‘Vette, the C8 Corvette didn’t get the three-pedal option. Instead, 2019 was the final Chevrolet Corvette model year with a third pedal. For ‘Vette fanatics, you’ll know 2019 was also the final year of the seventh-generation (C7) model.

A blue 2024 Chevrolet Corvette C8 cruises without a manual transmission.
2024 Chevrolet Corvette | General Motors

However, that might not be the negative some fans make it out to be. For starters, the TREMEC TR-9080 DCT in the C8 Corvette is fast. Real fast. It shifts much quicker than the six-speed automatic or the seven-speed manual from the previous generation. 

Paired with the better balance and near-as-makes-no-difference 500 horsepower of the C8 Corvette Stingray, the Z51-equipped base model will hit 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. That’s a full second quicker than the previous-generation C7. Sure, fans of traditional driver’s cars (myself included) fondly miss the presence of a manual. However, the raw speed of the mid-engine Corvette and its dual-clutch transmission is hard to debate.

If you want a manual Corvette, look at previous generations. If you want the latest, greatest iterations of Kentucky’s supercar, look no further than the C8.