A Manual C8 Corvette Doesn’t Exist Because Corvette Owners Don’t Want it
There’s no shortage of modern love for the manual transmission, especially when it comes to sports cars. However, it’s undoubtedly a dying breed. This generation wants to blame that generation; this company wants to blame this technology, and so on. Ultimately, advancing technology in automatic transmissions and buyers of all ages opting out of manuals where available ensured that the manual C8 Corvette would never come to be.
Manual C7 Corvette models did not sell well
The C7 Corvette spans the 2014 through 2019 model years and was the last Corvette to offer a manual transmission option. Though it was an option, it was not selling all that well from the get-go. The proof is in the pudding, so let’s peel back this lid.
The National Corvette Museum publicizes the sales figures of Corvette models each year. For the final model year of the C7 Corvette, 2019, a meager 22.4 percent of Corvettes sold had a manual transmission. Stepping back to 2014, the first model year of the C7, only around 35% of customers ordered their Corvettes with a manual transmission.
As we’ve covered before, a SEMA study shows that the majority of Corvette owners are in their 50s and 60s. Actions speak louder than words here, folks! You can cry about no manual C8 Corvette if you want, but past sales stats are undoubtedly one of the driving forces behind Chevrolet’s decision to offer the C8 solely with an automatic transmission.
Will Chevrolet ever offer a manual variant of the C8 Corvette?
Though nothing is set in stone, it seems pretty likely that a manual C8 Corvette will never happen. The performance of the dual-clutch transmission has more than proven itself. Furthermore, not having a manual option has certainly not hurt sales.
According to GM Authority, the number of Corvettes sold throughout the 2022 model year in the U.S. is nearly double that of the 2019 calendar year. Since 2020, Chevrolet has sold over 100,000 C8 Corvettes. For reference, that is only 60,000 shy of the entirety of the C7 Corvette’s run in just over half the amount of time.
Overall, the C8 Corvette’s sales speak volumes. As much as I would love to feel the C8 experience with a third pedal and a gear shifter in my hand, I understand why it doesn’t exist. In addition, with the advance toward hybrid and electric vehicles, it’s my opinion that we will never see a manual C8 Corvette come from Chevrolet.