It used to be that manual transmissions almost invariably had more speeds than their automatic counterparts. A car with a five-speed stick might have a four-speed or even three-speed slushbox, while another might offer the choice between a six-speed manual and a five-speed automatic. But that's quickly changing. These days we're seeing automatic transmissions emerge with seven, eight or even nine forward gears, and there's really a limit to how many gears you can expect a driver to shift on their own.

One notable exception (or throwback, depending on your perspective) is the 2014 Corvette Stingray, which comes with a seven-speed manual or six-speed automatic. But that, according to the latest industry intel, is about to change. Speaking with Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran and citing a Society of Automotive Engineers' paper that's since been taken down, Edmunds reports that General Motors is preparing to shoehorn an eight-speed automatic into the new Corvette. The gearbox, according to Edmunds, is codenamed 8L90, and considering that GM doesn't have another eight-speed gearbox to slot into the Corvette, we're assuming this is an entirely new transmission for the company.

We'd also have to assume that the new eight-speed will replace (and not join) the long-serving six-speed automatic in the Stingray, and will probably not be offered in the soon-to-be-released, track-focused Z06 - but will surely prove a popular option on the Stingray coupe and convertible. As we reported in October, even with the current six-speed auto, three-out-of-five early Corvette buyers are specifying the two-pedal setup, with Chevy expecting that ratio to climb as time goes on. We can also expect improved fuel economy numbers to result, but whether performance will improve with the addition of two more gears remains to be seen.


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  • 72 Comments
      Beardinals
      • 1 Year Ago
      If it shifts fast and accurate, seems like a winner. As good or better mpg and the ability to sit in traffic day to day.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      The consensus is that his new transmission will be slushbox rather than DCT, but how do we know that for sure? Are we just assuming that its slushbox because the old 6 speed was or has someone seen a release saying as such? Although I'm a big fan of DCTs, and a big hater of torque converter transmissions, I have to concede that slushboxes still have some advantages: * They are smother than DCTs and are therefore better for a daily driver * A torque convertor transmission may be more likely to handle an engine that has been modified for much higher power and torque output. Typically, apples to apples, torque converter transmissions can handle more engine input torque than transmissions with clutches, either manual or DCT. A torque converter slips all the time, and the more it slips, the more it grips. When a clutch starts to slip, it's bad, because it just keeps slipping until it's toast. Also, the shifts are much less harsh on the gears when a torque converter is involved. True, top fuel drag races have clutches, not torque converters. Thy however, don't have any gear ratios to shift, just single speed. They just rev high and slowly dump the clutch through much of the roughly 4 second run. Those clutches, though are huge, and are multiple parallel discs.
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is good news. Although I know many were hoping for a DCT, DCT's still don't have the smoothness of an AT, and the 8L90 should be nearly as fast as a DCT anyway. Regardless, as long as my 7MT is still there I don't really care. I wasn't considering any other transmission option anyway. Also, I think there's still hope for a DCT in the Z06 or at least the ZR1. I'm not sure why else GM would have filed a DCT patent.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        [blocked]
      BGJ
      • 1 Year Ago
      Pretty sure the new CTS has an 8-speed auto so it isn't a GM first.
        Brex
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BGJ
        That it does.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BGJ
        [blocked]
      Snark
      • 1 Year Ago
      I imagine this is a variant of the transmission currently being developed for the CTS and ATS and the trucks. Should be interesting to see.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Snark
        [blocked]
      Rob J
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honestly, loads of these new Corvettes (and other sports cars) will be bought with an auto transmission, those may as well be excellent transmissions.
      Andrew Berardinelli
      • 1 Year Ago
      Either I was dreaming or maybe I actually read it somewhere, but wasn't there an announcement by a GM rep that they were going to be developing an 8-speed automatic to replace the 6-speed for the Stingray's next model year? Anyone?
      Eggmania
      • 1 Year Ago
      lol if you ever needed a way to tell your passenger not to touch the radio or ac or anything this interior will do it for you.
        Jonathan Wayne
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Eggmania
        Which I think is a major faux pas on Corvette's part if they are attempting to attract a younger crowd. If you are young or date young women, you know that they particularly like to control both of those things and since the point of cars like these is to attract younger women usually, this car would likely irritate them, which is bad for you.
          Gorgenapper
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jonathan Wayne
          I was just watching a nature documentary. Based on this, with regards to mating rituals, it appears that we humans have evolved as a species to: - perform a service in exchange for pieces of paper and bits of metal - trade said intrinsically useless pieces of paper and bits of metal for a mode of transportation which was assembled in a structure that was built by other humans - use that mode of transportation in order to attract females and invite them to come mate with the males of the species (but only after a courtship ritual, and much expenditure of said bits of metal and pieces of paper, and adoption of a young canine as a baby substitute) I think the other animals had it right. Just smash heads against one another until the loser can't take it anymore and leaves the winner with a harem.
      Gator
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why not a DCT? At least make it looks like one.
      nocommie11
      • 1 Year Ago
      Donkey Cart with antique transmission, ancient suspension system, and owners living in a retirement home.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nocommie11
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          • 1 Year Ago
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          • 1 Year Ago
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        Michael Scoffield
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nocommie11
        Ancient suspension system ? So magnetic ride control, which is also used by Ferrari, is an ancient suspension system ?
          Jamie Houk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Michael Scoffield
          The Ferrari system is actually licensed from GM or more accurately Cadillac.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Michael Scoffield
          [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Julius
        • 1 Year Ago
        Then don't buy one, and stop ranting. Point is, the reason why GM can still make the Corvette profitably is that many parts are shared throughout other programs. The fact that the Corvette's LT1's architecture is similar to the new Silverado's engine lineup allows for huge cost savings. The presumption here is that the 8L90 will wind up in GM's pickups as well.
          Julius
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Julius
          Actually, I thought the $8k premium comes with the hydroformed aluminum space-frame, advanced composite floor, magnetic ride suspension and smart differential, amongst other things. And as for AWD, well the current C7 has a slight rearward weight bias, and a 17" high center-of-gravity, IIRC. I'm not sure moving the transmission forward about 8-10" for a center differential, adding a front differential and half-shafts, plus raising the engine for a front driveshaft is worth the trade-off in weight management. I'd point this out because Road and Track explicitly left behind the new GT-R Track even though it had all those things. GM's finally getting to the point where they're selling the driving experience as much as - if not more than - just raw performance number generation.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Julius
          [blocked]
        Slizzo
        • 1 Year Ago
        "The 7G-Tronic debuted on five different eight-cylinder models: the E500, S430, S500, CL500, and SL500. It is also available on some six-cylinder models including the new 320 CDI engines which uses a VTG turbo charged common rail diesel engine. However, all V12-powered cars such as the S600 and S65 AMG still retain the 5G-Tronic, which has a torque capacity of 796 lb·ft (1,079 N·m), as the newer 7G-Tronic is limited to 542 lb·ft (735 N·m), not enough to handle the torque from the V12 engine.[2] Also, while rear-wheel drive W211 E-Class cars have adapted the 7G-Tronic, these with 4MATIC retain the five-speed automatic, although the next-generation W212 E-Class released for the 2010 model year adopted 7G-Tronic all across the lineup including 4MATIC." I seem to see a "performance model" listed there with a torque converter automatic.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Slizzo
          [blocked]
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        It seems like it would be really boring to drive your Corvette if it only has a clutch pedal. Plus, why would you refuse to purchase a manual transmission Corvette just because they don't offer a DCT?
        Snark
        • 1 Year Ago
        Or just buy the manual version like you have been, let the auto buyers do what they will, and everybody's happy.
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
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