Even as it has embraced modern technologies like direct injection and automatic rev-matched shifts, the Chevrolet Corvette remains firmly old school as one of the few performance cars still available with both a big pushrod V-8 and a manual transmission. Now we know exactly how many Corvette buyers go for this wonderfully archaic combination, thanks to recently released data from Chevrolet. Last week, the National Corvette Museum published a detailed breackdown of 2016-model-year Corvette production, and it revealed that only 9249 of the 40,689 built came with manual transmissions. That works out to be a little under 23 percent of production, which is down by about 10 percent versus 2015’s manual Corvette production.
Interestingly, only 1241 droptop Corvettes were equipped with manuals, of which the Z06 convertible was the most popular, with 590 built. The Z06 coupe was the most popular manual Corvette of all variants, with a total of 3566 built. If these numbers seem rather low, there’s some hope they’ll increase with the 2017 model year. With the enthusiast-targeted Grand Sport finally available and expected to be the most popular variant, it’s likely we’ll see an increase of customers choosing to row their own.
In a perfect world, the take rate for manual Corvettes would be something much closer to 100 percent, but 23 percent isn’t too shabby in today’s environment. The take rate for manual transmissions among all U.S.-market cars typically hovers around five to seven percent, so nearly a quarter of all Corvettes sold is impressive. And as long as it stays high enough for GM to justify keeping the manual in production, we’re happy.