Corvette chief engineer: No manual for C8, it's a dying business
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Thread: Corvette chief engineer: No manual for C8, it's a dying business

  1. #1
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    Corvette chief engineer: No manual for C8, it's a dying business

    Corvette fans still holding out hope for a manual transmission in the C8 generation of the Chevrolet Corvette, abandon hope. Not only does the Corvette’s chief engineer and vehicle line director say the Corvette won’t get a manual, but building manual transmissions is a dying industry.

    When I asked Corvette lead engineer Tadge Juechter at the reveal of the 2020 Corvette on Thursday if there is any chance the manual will come back, he replied simply: “No.”

    Juechter said a manual-equipped Corvette wouldn't sell well enough to make it worth a supplier’s effort to develop.

    “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,” Juechter said. “It’s low volume, very expensive. The reason is it’s a low-volume industry. That industry is dying–building manual transmissions.”

    Apparently, the take-rate for manuals in the Corvette has plummeted to about 15 percent now, according to Juechter.

    “Every year it goes down, down, down, down,” he said.

    Porsche experimented with dropping the manual from its track-focused 911 GT3 and found it had upset buyers, who have since bought the manual in that car in large volumes. In fact, according to Porsche North America CEO Klaus Zellmer, two out of three buyers opt for the manual.

    Juechter said the same wouldn’t hold for the Corvette.

    “It’s 15 percent on cars like the Z06, which historically have been only a manual. And as soon as we offer the automatic, everybody buys the automatic,” Juechter said.

    The future doesn’t look bright for the manual in the 'Vette or the industry, Juechter said.

    “It’s a dying business. The people who make a living building manual transmissions, they see that it’s not a bright future for them,” he explained.

    Instead of a manual or a traditional automatic transmission, the 2020 Corvette will feature a new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. Its development challenged for the Corvette engineering team, and Chevrolet worked with Tremec to develop the transmission, which will be built in Wixom, Michigan.

    Juechter said the DCT had to be developed specially for the Corvette.

    “We don’t just find a DCT, an 8-speed DCT that plugs into this architecture with the right dimensions,” he noted.

    Beyond making a transaxle-style transmission fit in the Corvette, the engineering team faced other challenges. The low placement of the dry sump-fed LT2 6.2-liter V-8 in its midship placement also affected the transmission.

    “That puts huge burden on the transmission, too, because it can’t have a deep sump either, so all the oil management, everything is super slammed. The belting, the transmission, figuring out how to cool it, there’s a ton of complexity around that. That’s one of the equations we had to solve,” Juechter said.

    Unfortunately for enthusiasts, the Corvette team solved that equation without allowing for another variable: the manual. While the mid-engine design looks promising from a performance standpoint, a big piece of Corvette history just died.
    https://www.motorauthority.com/news/...kxyxjs3GdH33Cs
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    As a manual Corvette owner for the last 19 years, it is disappointing news but not surprising. Manuals are dying. As much fun as they are to drive, the clock for them is running out.
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    I recall a time when most cars didn't have power steering, brakes and air conditioning. I remember hearing "real men" don't need power steering. Well, those days have come to an end just like brake shoes and drums, crank up windows, vent windows, antennas, 8 tracks, cassette players and CD players. A manual transmission is primitive and serves no more purpose other than personal preference. We can no longer articulate fuel efficiency or speed shifting as a plus. The automatic shifts faster, smoother and quieter than a manual and is more efficient and reliable. How many of us have burned out a clutch on an automatic? Who has been stuck in stop and go traffic for hours and replied, Yes, I love this manual transmission? The automobile has evolved for safety, technological advancement and overall to be more pleasurable. If you really have to have a Vette with a stick, there are tons of them sitting on dealer lots across the nation just waiting for an owner.
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    Manual steering, brake drums, cassettes and 8 track and crank-up windows were never about fun. Manuals are ... to me

    P. S. I kind of liked vent windows, to be honest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXAg92 View Post
    As a manual Corvette owner for the last 19 years, it is disappointing news but not surprising. Manuals are dying. As much fun as they are to drive, the clock for them is running out.
    Yep, have only driven standard shifts as my daily driver for 60 years BUT performance trumps and the 10 speed DCT in the C8 was the key for me.

    Have "hold-a-spot" money on a C8 and here is why:

    Performance: 0 to 60 in 3 seconds.

    The DCT stays in 1st gear when 2nd gear clutch is engaged! (GM says it does but not how. Assume for a few some milliseconds as the 1st gear clutch disengages)

    A GM engineer says by pulling both paddles the C8 10 speed DCT goes in Neutral. So when stopped at a light he says you can rev the motor and “do burnouts!” No longer do that but will like revving the engine a bit before letting it move when I want and without the clutch slipping that many DCT’s have to deal with.

    I do have fun pulling paddles in the wife’s BMW X5 SUV with Sport Suspension and 315 section width read tires (when she is not with me or could not borrow the car again!) And that is with a slower “slushbox!” I’ll learn to pull levers quickly!

    Like all the other features of the C8, which like my other 5 Vettes will be my DD!

    Have only great things to say about the Tremic trans in my C6, 2014 Z51 and my current Grand Sport! Expect they have done a good job on the DCT 10 speed.
    Last edited by Jerry U; 08-12-2019 at 05:09 AM.
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    I agree on the manual being fun. And the vent window was just the perfect amount of air on a nice cool morning drive.
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    The vent window came long before air conditioning to cool you off while driving. Now you have removable tops, convertibles and drop tops. Even with my top off, I put the air con on. Strange and not fuel efficient but I do it anyway.

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    I just took delivery of a 2019 Grand Sport 1LT in white with a manual 7 speed gearbox with no regrets. I figured this was my last opportunity to own a new corvette with a manual transmisstion. Considering that around 2% of all new cards sold in the US are equipped with manual transmission, I totally get why it does not make business sense for manufactures to continue developing the technology. but it's still sad.. there is something to be said for having three pedals. Anyhow I wear my favorite T-shirt proudly. It reads.. "Real Cars Don't Drive Themselves" over-imposed on a standard 5 speed gear shift pattern. My twenty something year old daughter just smiles and saids "I don't get it". My response: yeah, exactly. To my fellow dinosaurs, enjoy the ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmferdz63 View Post
    ... I totally get why it does not make business sense for manufactures to continue developing the technology. ...My twenty something year old daughter just smiles and saids "I don't get it". My response: yeah, exactly. To my fellow dinosaurs, enjoy the ride.
    Yep, understand why GM made the decision. Hasn't hurt Ferrari who made the same 3 years ago! But admit this 76 year old who has "only driven" a standard shift since my first car in 1959 was concerned until I saw the 0 to 60 in 3 seconds! Performance trumps the transmission type! Have "Hold-A-Spot" money down on a C8!

    SIDEBAR
    Enjoy this forum as responses are always respectful. Don't have to defend foolish nasty comments to posts- "although I can and do!" One has ~260,000 posts on "standard shifts forever" with a few vocal minority posters ranting and raving. Some appear to be very young and the only C8 they will hopefully get is a "Hot Wheels" version due out soon. Some others who are obviously older but act like the "youngsters!"

    Some might enjoy the pic and graphic I made showing why in fact I will appreciate the faster 0 to 60 times in a situation I face every day this time of year!

    I live off of a 4 lane divided highway with traffic traveling 65-70 mph (speed limit 60.) It's a road used to go to and return from Myrtle Beach. This time of year on certain days heavy traffic both ways. Only one way to get into our club is the road shown in the pic. I often have to cross the first 2 lanes from a rural road and stop between dividers. Then wait for a break in traffic to accelerate to ~60 mph then stop and turn into our 25 mph limit road! Fun but faster acceleration would be safer (and more fun!) Post for all those comments from "standard shifts forever crowd" who post- "who needs faster acceleration?"
    Name:  Accelerate to 60.jpg
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    Last edited by Jerry U; 08-19-2019 at 05:25 AM.
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    Will keep my manual ‘15 Z06. Will it’s value go up or down. Don’t know but I still love to shift it.
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    Bought my 17 Red Stingray because of the M7 Trans! The first and only mod has been the MGW Short Throw Shifter, which is as "slick as butter" in comparison to the OEM lever!! Driving with a stick shift is like "being one with the vehicle" IMHO!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petercwelch View Post
    Will keep my manual ‘15 Z06. Will it’s value go up or down. Don’t know but I still love to shift it.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob109 View Post
    Bought my 17 Red Stingray because of the M7 Trans! The first and only mod has been the MGW Short Throw Shifter, which is as "slick as butter" in comparison to the OEM lever!! Driving with a stick shift is like "being one with the vehicle" IMHO!
    I hope my 2017 Grand Sport holds resale price when my "hold-a-spot" 3 comes up for a C8. Love to shift as well and this will be my 1st DD in 60 years without a 3rd pedal. But advanced from a slide rule, to Ti-59 programable calculator to a 1st Radio Shack PC (I bought for our R&D Lab and local manager said, when I called every few weeks as it was late- "You're getting the 1st one in OH!) Now could not get along without 1 computers, an iPad and iPhone! I'll learn to pull paddles fast.

    PS: Also installed an MGW shifter- love it. More recently installed a Soler Modified Throttle Body. Makes taking off and shifting even better! Here's a PDF of my install and Why it's better: http://netwelding.com/Soler_Mod_TB.pdf
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