Perhaps the manual transmission isn't as dead as a few Italian automakers would like you to believe. Porsche has declared that as long as there is demand it will continue to supply automobiles with do-it-yourself gearboxes, and the German automaker has outfitted its 2012 911 with a seven-speed manual gearbox. Now it seems General Motors is following suit, and the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette will reportedly offer up seven forward gears, as well.

Inside Line has reported that the 2014 Corvette is set to swap in an extra cog for increased fuel efficiency. As a bonus, this move will allow engineers to play with the lower gear ratios thus providing a bit more speed from the lower end.

Now that Porsche has made the leap to a seven-speed manual and Corvette is following suit, could a cackling, wild-eyed locked-in-the-basement transmission engineer be working on an eight-speed unit? We doubt it, but we're already doing heavy shoulder workouts just in case.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 88 Comments
      mufpixtintrix
      • 3 Years Ago
      Manual transmissions makes automotive enthusiasts happy. =D
        mikemaj82
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mufpixtintrix
        you mean the ones that are making payments while their car is sitting in storage for the winter?
          Quen47
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mikemaj82
          Daily drivers can be stick shifts too you know
      WillieD
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is good to hear. I hope they offer manuals long enough until I have enough money to buy something nice with a manual.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hooray! Maybe that 7 speed will trickle down to the rest of the line up eventually.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        You may think that trolling makes you special. I assure you you are not. There are many trolls around, most of them better than you.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          [blocked]
        Glynn Hadskey
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's just more fun. That's all there is to it.
          Gordon Chen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Glynn Hadskey
          As well as better mileage, better performance, better price, and better reliability. Oh yea, and your friends won't be able to drive your car.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Glynn Hadskey
          [blocked]
        Matt_z06
        • 3 Years Ago
        It has nothing to do with feeling special, it's about whatever the driver wants to do to enjoy driving the car. A lot of us simply prefer a manual transmission and enjoy it more than auto or paddles. That's all there is to it really.
        Justin
        • 3 Years Ago
        A.) It's more fun to shift, for me. B.) I'd argue it makes you a more aware driver. Nothing to do with being special.
        mrpinto
        • 3 Years Ago
        You can say what you want to say, but you're still wrong. I don't have the third pedal to impress me, or you, or anyone else. I have it because it's fun. I didn't buy a sports car to get from point A to point B, I bought it to have fun. I don't mind track days, but I didn't buy it to be a race car driver either. I don't store it in the winter, I drive it. Like every day. You're just a sad pathetic troll who needs attention. Your slushbox doesn't impress me, and your hating doesn't impress me either.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mrpinto
          [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Mazdaspeed6
        • 3 Years Ago
        When the corvette drops the rental car interior, then we will talk.
          Rob
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mazdaspeed6
          I have to agree withy you. I understand that some people just want to look at 0-60 and quarter mile but the Camaro out classes this car hands down. The difference in performance in the real world between the high performance models of the Camaro and Corvette do not justify the added expense.
          protovici
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mazdaspeed6
          I rather had rental car interior and the fact that I can walk on cars $25-200K more, lol, we Americans act first and think later!! Which means, win at all cost regardless how it looks!
          WillieD
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mazdaspeed6
          @Rob Now I am all for a better interior, but I would much rather spend the extra money and get a real driver's car.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mazdaspeed6
          It doesn't have a rental car interior. The base interior while not fantastic is better than rental car quality. And you can get it swathed in leather if you want too.
          WillieD
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mazdaspeed6
          Referring back to my last comment, by "real driver's car", I meant Corvette.
        sparrk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ vwfail , the 911 is special , it started a manual resistance movement.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Because people loooovveee shifting, right?
        sparrk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Take a look on used car websites in Europe, manuals are more expensive than automatics , even if automatics are better equipped. I know our ranks are getting thinner, but us car guys are prepared to skip leather trims, shiny chrome, 16 cup holders, ipods and whatnot for the joy of a manual. We are the guys you see smiling behind the wheel on the highway.
          1spam4you
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sparrk
          Don't be silly in europe it's all about money because we have more expensive cars. We like to have much more optionals, and we don't buy an automatic tranny because cost much more and fuel consumption is higher than manual. If car makers make like no cost option to have automatic, manny of people I think will buy it. =) But those who love to shift to them will allow a manual tranny. And we all will be happy :)
          sparrk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sparrk
          @ 1spam4you , i'm talking about used cars, the demand for manuals is higher than for automatics even if manuals are more expensive. Cars with automatics devalue faster than the ones with manuals boxes.
          DrEvil
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sparrk
          Okay, on the highway, unless there is traffic, or you're downshifting to pass a convoy of trucks, there really is not much shifting going on.
          JSMead
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sparrk
          Completely agree. I drive a POS, manual, '86 toyota pick-up. And I LOVE it. It's got zero luxury inside it, no cup holders, nothing fancy at all. But it only weight 1900lbs, and still has a good amount of low-end torque (engine/transmission/clutch only have 125kmiles on it, which is nothing for that engine), so that manual gearbox makes it a blast to drive. I could afford a mid 90's toyota or honda, but that truck is just so reliable, and so much fun to drive, that little luxuries just dont matter.
        jonnybimmer
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        People who buy manual do.
        mrpinto
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        grumble... I do enjoy shifting. If you don't, I'm sure they'll offer an automatic for you as well. Or maybe you could pay someone to drive your car for you also.
        mrpinto
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        I do. If you don't, I'
      Mazdaspeed6
      • 3 Years Ago
      My car has 6 speeds and 70 mph still leaves the engine near 3000 rpm due to extremely short gearing. A 7th gear strictly for highway driving and increased fuel economy would be perfect.
        Jason
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mazdaspeed6
        That's because boost hits right around 3000rpm on the MS6. The engine is gutless and inefficient before that; not sure if you'd gain any MPG from keeping the engine lower in the rev range (heavy car + low overall torque below 3000rpm). You don't need a 7th gear, just more off-idle and off-boost torque and a longer gear set or differential ratio. The differential ratio is 3.611, while your 6th gear is 0.853. That's a drive ratio of 3.080. My 5th gear is 0.731 with a 3.944 differential ratio, which results in a drive ratio of 2.883. My 5-speed's final gear is longer than your 6-speed. Exactly why more gears isn't necessarily better. It's how they're spread and used. In my 5-speed, I have 3 acceleration gears: 1-3 In your 6-speed, you have 4 acceleration gears: 1-4 That's the main advantage, but we both still have 2 overdrive gears. The Porsche engineers managed not to mess with the rest of the gears and added a 7th gear solely for lower engine revs on the freeway. So, it's a sport-ratio 6-speed with a 7th speed for highway cruising. If other manufacturers follow suit in a similar fashion, it'll work out.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jason
          Lack of boost doesn't make a gas engine inefficient, just weak. The turbo boost is "free" because it is generated from waste energy. Besides, boost just makes you use more gas because gas engines run at a near fixed air to fuel ratio. Would you gain mpg revving lower? Likely so. Less revs mean less air coming in and less vacuum in the intake tract creating pumping losses. Both of those mean less gas. I think your point about acceleration gears is the situation here. A Corvette currently has 6 acceleration gears. Most of us don't use them, but if you've watched Top Gear or such, you know that to get to top speed in a Z06 or ZR1, you accelerate in every gear including 6th. So if they change the lower the gearing of 6th it will change the performance in the top speed runs the wonks talk about. It would likely lower the top attainable speed because the car would be in too low a rev range to accelerate once you enter 6th given the amount of aero drag. So leave 6th alone and add 7th, a true cruising gear. That's probably the idea Porsche and Chevy came across.
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jason
          @ Rotation Only the ZR1 accelerates in 6th, the Z06 maxes in 5th. That TG test was 0-175 mph in 5th, not 0-190+ in 6th, and was a demonstration of torque curve, not top speed.
        tkosoccer03
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mazdaspeed6
        that's ebcause your're 6th is shorter than 5th... all you have to do is make it a taller gear, and your RPM's will fall to whatever you want really. every corvette (sans ZR1 is like this... 6th gear is an overdrive gear) a 7th gear just isn't necessary.. all it does it drive up cost. the LS3 in the corvette already gets 28 - 30 mpg hwy.. add a 7th gear, and it won't change anything in the corvette's case. top speed will still be drag limited. the only difference is you will have one more gear to shift through..
          me
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tkosoccer03
          Still delusional I see. Extra gear lets the other 6 be spaced for increased performance, what don't you understand?
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tkosoccer03
          By adding an extra gear, you could have a closer ratio 6 speed (like the ZR1) that boosts acceleration and top speed by letting you redline 6th instead of running out of steam partway through 5th. When a car is drag limited, all it means is there isnt enough torque at the wheels to accelerate through the air drag, and having less drop in wtq per gear shift helps maintain speed when going from 5th to 6th with 7th acting as overdrive. But obviously you get Mazdaspeed6's problem of too many revs, and thats where the 7th overdrive comes in. The efficiency of a wide ratio 6 speed with the performance and shift frequency of a close ratio 6 speed.
          montoym
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tkosoccer03
          Incorrect. The 5th AND 6th gears in a Corvette (sans ZR1 and a few other performance models) are actually overdrive gears. 6th is just a super-high (numerically low) overdrive that makes the upper 20mpg figures possible. 5th gear in a Corvette is a typical OD gear of 0.74:1 6th gear in a Corvette is a very low 0.50:1 This is largely possible because of the large displacement of the Corvette's engine. A smaller and/or less powerful engine cannot make enough power at those low revs and high speeds to make use of such high gearing. The Dodge Viper also made use of similar ratios as well, it's large V-10 also giving the displacement advantage to effectively utilize such high gearing. So, a 7-speed allows the Corvette to retain a typical 6spd ratio spread with the addition of a long highway gear to increase the fuel economy. I expect 7th in the next Corvette to be equivalent to 6th in the current cars and gears 1-6 will be revamped to increase performance. For instance, 1st gear won't take you to nearly 60mph as it does in the current Corvette. Should help out on both ends, performance and economy. Got to love when that happens.
          WillieD
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tkosoccer03
          Maybe we should just have 2 speeds since an extra gear doesn't matter.
      1spam4you
      • 3 Years Ago
      get a dual-clutch better than 7-speed manual :D we will see in next 2020 chevy's 18 speed manuals XD
        1spam4you
        • 3 Years Ago
        @1spam4you
        dual clutch: Bugatti, Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG manual: 6 - speed are excellent, but why to have 7-speed ? maybe my hand will be 90 % of the time on shifter
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          @1spam4you
          Compared to a 6 speed (not close ratio), your hand will touch the shifter 16.7% more often. Big deal.
          protovici
          • 3 Years Ago
          @1spam4you
          Real drivers (aka Pilots) = One with his/her machine..........
      mikemaj82
      • 3 Years Ago
      have fun replacing those clutches.
        David
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mikemaj82
        Would you want a dual clutch automatic? Because you have to replace those clutces as well over time, except instead of one you have two. Or would you want a automatic slush box, because those you have to replace the fluid. If you didn't know that, have fun degrading your car.
          deeeznuuuts83
          • 3 Years Ago
          @David
          But keep in mind that while there are two clutches, theoretically they should last longer since the wear-and-tear is split between them.
        Quen47
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mikemaj82
        Have fun replacing those dual-clutches
      Dvanos
      • 3 Years Ago
      Copycatter.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Paul P.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm waiting for the 7-speed Corvette with the two speed rear. 14 gears sounds just right. I mean, it works for my dumptruck.
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul P.
        The early 80s Corvettes had 4 speed sticks with an electric overdrive which was usable in any gear except first (4+3). Not nearly 14 gears though.
          Glynn Hadskey
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          The Doug Nash 4+3 from 84 to 88. So technically the Corvette has had a 7 speed before.
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