Lamborghini is apparently chomping at the bit to say arrivederci to the manual transmission. Motor Trend had a chance to speak with Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini's R&D director, and it appears that a manual gearbox doesn't fit into the automaker's plans for the future. The immediate future.

Per Reggiani, only one to two percent of the vehicles produced at the Sant'Agata factory come equipped with a row-your-own setup – a shockingly low percentage. Lamborghini's customers want fast cars, and the best way to ensure it delivers is by removing the human element from the gearchange equation.

A Gallardo replacement is expected next year, and Reggiani tells Motor Trend that it will be available only with an automated gearbox of some sort (the new Aventador makes use of an automated single-clutch seven-speed unit).

Has the manual transmission run its course, or is there still life left for those who hunt for the perfect heel-toe downshift? If the rumormill is correct, Porsche seems to think there is, but other automakers have been mum on development plans for three-pedal setups. What do you think? Mull it over and then sound off in Comments.


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  • 121 Comments
      GreaseMonkeySRT
      • 3 Years Ago
      Technology has surpassed the performance benefit that the manual transmission offered over automatics. I can see why a supercar manufacturer would want to go down that road. In my opinion though, nothing beats a manual. Little or no computer invervention, just a pure direct relationship between driver and machine. The skillset that comes with proper gear rowing, heel-toe shifting is pure driving. Hopefully manuals don't go the way of hand crank engine starters...
      jaazani
      • 3 Years Ago
      i remember when you had to pay a premium to buy an automatic supercar now that sh*t is the only option.
      TokyoRemix
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yet again why Porsche is a driver's marque. PDK is brilliant, but keeping the manual option out there for enthusiasts is key. It's too bad Lamborghini doesn't feel the same way.
        Marcel
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TokyoRemix
        agreed, Cayenne diesel is true driver's cars. Not any of these ugly, nonsense and ridiculous 700 hp Lamborghinis
          TokyoRemix
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marcel
          You try to come back with a jab, but judging from the comments above, most enthusiasts disagree with you. I'm not saying a Cayenne diesel is better to drive than an Aventador, but a real enthusiast would probably enjoy a GT3 more than the Lambo. The point of my statement is that Porsche still gives you the option. And the 700 hp Lamborghinis won't anymore. Your bull has been neutered.
      th0mb0ne
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm not surprised, the majority of people who buy these things do so to be seen, not because they are enthusiasts. Otherwise they'd just buy a Cayman S at a1/3rd of the price. Still a little sad though. I'm glad Porsche and BMW with the 1M are still giving the drivers of the world something to smile about.
      emperor koku
      • 3 Years Ago
      Manual transmissions aren't about just going fast. I'm pretty sure a Miata will always be available with a manual. Same with the Mustang. And some cars still aren't available with automatics (thank you, Lord).
        Steve Clark
        • 3 Years Ago
        @emperor koku
        Yes. Thank God Mazda still understands that driving isn't always about FTDs. And Chevrolet's Corvette Engineering Team as well.
      car-spy-shots.blogsp
      • 3 Years Ago
      Meh. Even if the expensive cars lose their manual transmissions, there will always be a place for stickshifts in the market. Lamborghinis are by and large not used as real sports cars or drivers' cars anyways - they are status and bling cars. Most Lamborghini owners have something else for racing and track purposes - E.G. Subaru STi, BMW, Mustang, Porsche etc. There are certain cars that you can practically guarantee will NEVER lose their stickshifts - Can you imagine an all-automatic Mustang, 3-series, 1-series, Porsche 911 (lower end models), Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Infiniti G37, Honda Civic, Volkswagen GTI, Subaru Impreza/WRX/STi? Neither can I, and as far as I know, every single one of these models sells a much higher percentage of manual transmissions than average. Personally, there are certain cars I would be more likely to accept an automatic in (bigger cars, SUVs) than others (smaller cars, sporty cars, sports cars). I own an automatic Ford Explorer but I've owned 3 stickshift cars so far. I would NOT buy an automatic GTI, Mustang, WRX STi or BMW 1-series. I would probably not buy an automatic 3-series. I would buy an automatic 5-series.
        qemailja
        • 3 Years Ago
        @car-spy-shots.blogsp
        I understand your point of view, no so long ago i would share your opinion, but now i'm not so sure... By the way i think the vw polo gti only is available with the auto, there's no manual too for the vw scirocco-R. The golf gti does come with a manual but i believe it already doesn't sell as much as the auto. As for bmw i wouldn't rely too much on them, they also seem to be betting too much on autos for they're most sportive cars... Could be worse, at least the manuals shoudn't disappear on the next couple of years...
          BG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @qemailja
          Not quite. Fortunately, the VW GTI is one of the few cars in USA with a large proportion of manuals. I am not sure if it is over 50 percent, but a decently large percentage.
        bhtooefr
        • 3 Years Ago
        @car-spy-shots.blogsp
        Many Mustangs are V6 base or Pony Package models driven by hairdressers. The 3-series, I suspect most are automatic already. (And, BMW has tried to go SMG-only on M cars before, too.) 1-series, I could even see that - most 1s I see are 128is that are bought just to get the BMW badge. 911s, the low-end ones are the ones that people buy to get the Porsche badge, and quite a lot of automatic and PDK Porsches out there... GenCoupe, I don't even see any of those around, honestly. I see more 911s, and 911s are downright rare in this economically depressed area. G37, we're talking about a sporty luxury car, don't think I've seen a single manual one in person. Civic, now we're talking about a car that will still have manuals. But, most of them are autos. I see the manual being a base-model cost-delete option - as in, the base model will have an auto, but you can reduce the MSRP below base by picking the manual. GTI, that might keep a manual, just due to the cost of the DSG. Then again, VW's already got a model (the Passat TDI) that is manual only in the base trim, and DSG only if you want a sunroof... Impreza, not sure there. That might keep a manual, too. Where I see manuals staying around are low-cost vehicles, and certain niches - for example, I don't forsee the Miata ever going automatic-only. A manual is cheaper than an auto, a SMG, or a dual-clutch trans. But, even then, it may only be on base models, or on high-performance models where an SMG or DCT that can handle the power and torque would be too expensive for the entry level of the high-performance model.
      joeboarder108
      • 3 Years Ago
      travesty
      Kirby
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funny story : I drive an '01 BMW X5 my friend has a hobby of being a repo man. One day he sez, "Man I would steal this in a heartbeat, Oh wait , I can't drive a stick." Porsche salesman asked if i wanted to trade my X5 in on a Cayenne. I said only if they made a model with a stick. He says now they do. for the past two yrs a 6-speed manual. Now if i could save up the 76,000.00 for one that would be great!!!
      JammickaSlappus
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's no doubt that automatic technology can shift faster and better than the best professional however, nothing will replace the joy and experience of the manual transmission. It's sad that the manual is dying out. I drive a manual and would not have it any other way. I guess from now on, I'll have to buy only used cars to get my manual fix. RIP - Automotive Soul.
      Gorgenapper
      • 3 Years Ago
      >> Also, I hate that f*%ck!ng moronic salespitch question, "Do you think you can shift faster than a DSG or >> automated manual?" You should reply saying "Do you think you can grill your own homemade burgers faster and more cheaply than a local McDonalds at lunch hour?" Sit back and see if they even understand what you're trying to tell them.
        BG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Gorgenapper
        Warning, warning: intellectual overload at the car dealership if you ask something like that.
        VJGoh
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Gorgenapper
        The difference here is that 'faster' actually DOES mean 'better'. There is literally nothing that's better about the manual transmission from a performance standpoint. A good DSG shifts faster, more reliably, more smoothly, under load, and without you having to divert any of your attention or move your hand. The McDonald's question isn't analogous at all, because the burgers aren't better, they're JUST faster. A torque-converter is the McDonald's of shifting, not the DSG.
      avinash Machado
      • 3 Years Ago
      Enthusiasts are getting ready to storm Lamborghini HQ with pitchforks.
      Michael
      • 3 Years Ago
      The people that buy these cars are Richie Riches that just want to go fast and don't want to be bothered with learning how to drive a manual. Its a shame but whatever.
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