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Chevrolet began delivering its Corvette Stingray in earnest last month, and some interesting early trends are developing. Unsurprisingly, Chevy spokesman Monte Doran tells Autoblog that essentially 100-percent of all early customer orders have been placed by the Corvette faithful – that is, buyers that already have another Crossed Flags keychain in their pockets.

Given that the early adopters are disproportionately enthusiast buyers (even among sports car enthusiasts), it's no surprise that the cars being ordered have a high option count. Some 38 percent of Corvettes built so far have been equipped with the brand-new, 7-speed manual gearbox. That may sound like a low percentage to the uninitiated, but it's actually the highest three-pedal percentage of any car in General Motors' stable – well above the company's low-30s estimate for the Camaro, for instance.

In addition, 75 percent of all orders thus far have specified the Z51 Performance Package, which includes features like dry-sump lubrication, electronic limited-slip differential, auxiliary coolers for the brakes, transmission and differential, along with larger brakes and some additional touches. Of those Z51 buyers, 54 percent have also selected the company's excellent optional magnetic ride suspension system.

GM expects for the high option levels of new Corvette orders to taper off as hardcore enthusiasts get their cars, and it also expects for the percentage of manual transmission orders to shrink over time, with more people selecting the six-speed paddle-shift automatic. Doran notes, "As the first orders get out of the system and it starts settling down, what you'll see is that the take rates on the performance options will go down and stabilize." Doran cites the launch of the fifth-generation Camaro as an example, wherein a disproportionate number of early orders were equipped with V8 engines and high option counts.

Last month, Chevy delivered 485 Stingrays to customers.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not surprised at all about the take rate on the Z51 package. Seriously, the Z51 package has got to be the single most underpriced, most no-brainer options on a car for sale today. For me, checking the box for it was as reflexive as a knee-jerk test. For a mere $2800, you get: Upgraded brakes, wheels, and tires Electronic Limited Slip Diff Dry Sump Oil System Stiffer Shocks, Springs, and Roll Bars Better gearing Transmission and Differential Cooler If this was a package for a Porsche 911, the same package would cost over 10 grand easily.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Z51 + magnetic ride = pure win. I can't wait until I can get one.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Paul M
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's depressing... 75% order the performance package, but then the majority of those opt for the slush box. That's some irony. No wonder people assume it's only old guys that buy Corvettes.
        PTC DAWG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Paul M
        Yet Porsche builds automatic only turbos and all is well. Oh the irony.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @PTC DAWG
          Did he say that he liked that? I don't see where he did.
        Paul M
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Paul M
        Though actually, I bet that's a stereotype... if anything, I'm guessing it's the millennials that can't (or won't) drive stick. And we should blame ourselves for not teaching them.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Paul M
        Because it's not a "slush" box.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am looking at the counts for 2009, and ~ 50% of the Corvettes made that year were manuals. You can look up the production information yourself on the Corvette Museum website. 38% seems low compared to that.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Perhaps, but looking at entire year of sales vs a couple months isn't the best comparison. Granted perhaps the percentage will hold when you do a proper full year over year comparison.
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's actually more than I was expecting, especially when considering that the majority of Corvettes have been automatics since at least the late 1970s.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Only 38% for the 7-speed transmission is surprising and the early popularity of the 6-speed automatic is puzzling, given there's an 8-speed automatic coming in 12-18 months. Personally, I would have thought the traditional manual transmission would have attracted over 50% of sales from early adopters, because of the popularity of this type of transmission with buyers of high performance cars and the novelty of the extra gear. However, all of these numbers may be deceptive at this early point of production for the C7 Corvette and could shift radically by the end of its first year of production.
      • 1 Year Ago
      So many wannabes on this site. They all that sh$t about automatic transmissions. But at the end they all drive their minivans home. I never had an automatic car in my life (been driving for 25 years) but I still can understand why would some one like it.
        Paul M
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yeah, I've had 2 out of 12 cars with an auto... and one of those was even a fancy VW DSG. Never again. Now even my 2012 truck has 6 on the floor... with a short-shift kit, no less. As do ALL our other vehicles--wife's especially included. No good reason for an auto unless you dislike or are disinterested in driving. And yes, I commute. And love every minute.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Paul M
          @Rotation- I live and SF and have a manual car AND a manual old-school Vespa that I commute on everyday from Inner Richmond to Noe Valley, over the fiercest hills SF has to offer. It's just not that hard.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Paul M
          I'd never want a manual for a daily driver. As a secondary fun car, absolutely. Besides, the segment my primary vehicle is in there are no manuals available so it's a moot point.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Paul M
          Both my wife and daughter drive manual. It's not that hard and it helps them concentrate on their driving.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Paul M
          The DSG was not good? I always thought it was great but I never tried one.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Paul M
          Or if you live in San Francisco. Or if you have a physical disability. Both of these can make automatics quite attractive.
      • 1 Year Ago
      While I have ALWAYS believed that a sports car with an automatic transmission is simply NOT a true sports car, there actually are a couple things that have made me soften on that. First is obviously the tremendous strides that have been made in recent years regarding the design and manufacture of automatics. The other is the fact that even though manual transmissions have been around since the very beginning of the automobile, for some reason, they seem to remain next to impossible to get truly right. So many cars with manuals in recent years are just plain terrible. Can't begin to count the number of times I've read car reviews that include how bad the transmission and/or shifter is. Is this a "black art"???
      • 1 Year Ago
      I doubt most of the customers will take these out on the track anyways. They'll mostly be destined as boulevard cruisers or garage queens.
        • 1 Year Ago
        The majority of sports car boulevard cruisers or garage queens. How many Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche owners take their vehicles to 100k miles and regularly flog it in motor speedways? The point is the Corvette is a sports car, so don't go whining if someone that can afford one treats it with respect
      • 1 Year Ago
      this is kinda sad.
      • 1 Year Ago
      There isn't much better than a 4 - 3 downshift, blip the throttle, let the motor come back down, snick it in to 3rd, off the clutch, mat the throttle, exhale...
        • 1 Year Ago
        Sure there is. 1 - 2 upshift, floor the throttle until the tach is near the end of your motor's powerband, 2 - 3 upshift quickly, floor the throttle.... repeat until you run out of road, courage or gears.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not surprised, Vettes are usually second cars and Vette enthusiasts (usually the first buyers) love to drive.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Then why for 3 out of 5 still buy the auto trans? Oh,I can hear the excuses: 1. My wife/girlfriend can't (=won't) drive manual 2. I need to consider resale 3. I live where there are hills 4. There is to much traffic where I live 5. The dealer did not have one in stock 6. Other lame excuses....
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