For those living under a rock with spotty Wi-Fi and no LAN, the debut of the mid-engine C8 Corvette is less than a month away, and it promises a new generation, a new platform, and an entirely new engineering philosophy for the legendary nameplate. Thus far, we’ve seen the new Corvette undergoing testing with all sorts of camo, but we’re still in the dark over what it’ll offer with regard to transmission options. Specifically, we’re scratching our heads over whether or not the mid-engine C8 Corvette will offer the option for a manual transmission.
Rumors persist that the C8 will most likely come equipped with some kind of dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). That makes sense, given just about every other high-end mid-engine car on the market does the same. Granted, manuals can be found in lower-range mid-engine vehicles, such as the Porsche 718 Cayman, but go above that, and the super-high-performance vehicles in the C8’s segment almost always resort to a DCT as the only transmission.
What we know thus far is that the mid-engine C8 Corvette is clearly intended to take the nameplate in a new direction. And while enthusiasts love to rattle on about the joy of a three-pedal setup, the fact of the matter is that the manual transmission is now more of a novelty than ever before. What’s more, if Chevrolet only offered the C8 with a DCT, it would follow in line with the vehicle’s more-evolved approach to going fast. And though manual transmissions are unquestionably more fun and engaging than an automatic, a modern DCT – and most automatics, for that matter, is still objectively faster – whether on the street, or the track. And with the C8’s new mid-engine layout already breaking from decades of tradition, a stick-shift transmission might be low on the priority list.
That could be rather disheartening for enthusiasts hoping to row their own gears in the new C8. But not all hope is lost. After all, the manual transmission is still a staple of the current Corvette C7.
For reference, the 2019 model year Vette offers two transmission options. The first is the seven-speed manual MEX, which is offered in three separate variants:
- MEP with Active Rev Matching, standard on Stingray models
- MEL with Active Rev Matching and performance ratios, standard on Stingray Z51 and Grand Sport models
- MEK with Active Rev Matching performance variant, standard on Z06 and ZR1 models
In addition to the MEX manual, the C7 is also offered with the eight-speed 8L90 M5U automatic transmission across the line.
While we all know that Vette fans reading will undoubtedly yell from the rooftops that a manual-equipped C8 is an absolute must, the better question is this: will the C8 actually come with a manual transmission? Speculate by voting in the poll below, and voice your opinion in the comments section.