When Ferrari made the move to drop its iconic gated stick shift the Italian automaker boasted that its transmission technology had become so impressive that shifting your own gears was, at best, antiquated and at worst, robbing the car of its performance.
With the launch of the new Huracán and retirement of its Gallardo model, rival Lamborghini has now also sold its last stick shift. Their reason: no one cares.
That’s right, demand for a manual transmission has almost entirely disappeared. Badgered about the lack of a manual by journalists during a tech session on the new Huracán at the automaker’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese last week, chief engineer Maurizio Reggiani brought up the fact that just five percent of Gallardo orders were for a manual. Mid-sentence, he was interrupted by company CEO Stephan Winkelmann who commented that the 5 percent statistic was ancient.
“Close to zero percent Gallardos were ordered in manual,” he said. In fact, orders for a manual transmission were so few and far between admits Winkelman that every time one came in they had to go back and re-check the order form, confirming with the dealership that a mistake hadn’t been made.
Adding context Reggiani then went on to outline the complexities of offering a manual, particularly when it comes to the new high-tech control system in the new Huracán.
That car has three settings (Strada, Sport and Corsa) that adjust vehicle responses ranging from throttle and steering response to the stiffness of the magnetic ride shock absorbers. Programmed to work in harmony, taking one factor out of the equation – handing it from the computer to the driver – then makes it exponentially more complex.
Lamborghini currently offers two transmission choices in its lineup. The new Huracán is the first Lamborghini to sport a dual-clutch transmission, with the new unit using seven forward gears. The flagship Aventador makes use of a different 7-speed automated manual transmission, but with just one clutch.