Of All Brands, Spyker Is Seeing An Increased Demand For Manuals


That awesome gearshift design probably has something to do with it.

The extinction of the manual transmission is a regular topic among us car enthusiasts, and automakers, at least mainstream ones, appear ready to move on permanently to automatics. While there are niche models, such as the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the era of the manual is close to an end. It already has for Ferrari. But not for Spyker. Speaking to Car and Driver at New York last week, Spyker CEO Victor Muller pointed out that the new C8 Preliator Spyder comes standard with a manual and that "Really, enthusiastic car connoisseurs are buying manuals again."

When the first Spykers appeared back in 2000, manuals were standard, but later models, such as the Aileron, were equipped with automatics. Muller has noticed this shift, if you will (full pun intended), back to rowing one’s own gears as he takes C8 Preliator Spyder and coupe orders. There is some hope after all. Only 100 Spyders will be produced at a base price of $429,000 a pop. But that also gets buyers something else very special. This time under the hood: that Koenigsegg-built naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 with 592 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque.

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First revealed at Geneva in March, this engine will be built exclusively for Spyker by Koenigsegg (the two men are longtime friends), and will further be utilized in many more new Spykers to come – hopefully equipped with manuals. For now, the carbon fiber-bodied C8 Preliator Spyder (curb weight: only 3,065 pounds) is the only new open top exotic with a naturally aspirated V8 mated to a conventional six-speed manual, and that’s gotta count for something.

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