The demise of the manual transmission has been greatly exaggerated for
years now, and continues to be, even as carmakers like Porsche tack on
a seventh gear and Nissan sells its SynchroRev match system. At
Lamborghini, however, the manual transmission appears to be done, with
automated manuals, like the new ISR pictured below, the only
offerings. But will anyone really care?
The news comes from an interview at Motor Trend with Maurizio
Reggiani, head of R&D for Lamborghini, who characterizes the manual
transmission as a disconnect in the otherwise electronic chain of
command that "harmonizes absolutely everything that happens between
the engine combustion chamber and the tire contact patch." Introducing
the human error element means the system will never function as well
as it could. That makes perfect sense, but what about the enjoyment
drivers extract from handling the gears themselves?
That is unlikely to matter to any Lamborghini owners. As Motor Trend
senior editor Jonny Lieberman noted on his Facebook page, "I asked a
guy at Lambo Beverly Hills once how many manual Murcielagos they'd
sold over ever. Answer: 1." That's right--over the whole model run of
the Murcielago, the dealership sold just one with a manual
Given the speed and precision of the modern robotized manuals and dual-
clutches out there, it's clear that the manual transmission is no
longer the best solution for ultimate performance. All that stands in
the way of the stick shift's complete elimination is the "purist"
enthusiast who refuses to let go of that element of skill and control,
or who simply enjoys the process. But that must be weighed against the
overall experience of the car, taken through the lens of the
manufacturer, and against real-world performance.
We understand the desire to drive a manual, but we can't say we're sad
to see it go at Lamborghini--the bulls will still rage as hard as
ever, perhaps even more so, as they continue to push the envelope of
materials, performance, and technology as in the new Aventador.
- posted 9 years ago