The amount of manual '16 Corvettes made is worth celebrating.
Say what you will about the Chevrolet Corvette, you can't deny that the car is designed for enthusiasts. For one thing it's pretty damn cheap with a base MSRP of $55,400. It also comes with a V8 engine and a manual transmission. Speaking of that manual box, the folks over at the National Corvette Museum have received the final production totals for the 2016 Corvette. Of the 40,689 Corvettes made, a whopping 31,440 packed an eight-speed automatic. But that means the rest, 23%, were manuals.
This news is either awesome or awful depending on whether you see the glass half full or half empty. We're going to go with the former on both counts. Of course 23% isn't a very high number when you're talking 40,689 cars. Only 9,249 2016 Corvettes came off the line with manual transmission. The most popular human-shifted model was the Z06 Coupe with 3,556 units sold. To us the fact that over a third of the manual Corvettes went to Z06 buyers is great news. That means a good chunk of enthusiasts aren't afraid to row their own gears when behind the wheel of a track-focused V8 beast sending 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels.
Of course the Z06 is a great leap up the pricing ladder from the standard Stingray (about $24,000 more expensive) and is more hardcore. The cheaper Stingray handily outsold the Z06, but it also accounted for a higher take rate of automatics. The all-new and awesome Grand Sport should help to even things out, though. The car will settle in the middle of the Corvette pack in terms of pricing ($66,445 for the coupe and $70,445 for the convertible) and packs a manual transmission as standard. This time next year we'll definitely be celebrating an increase in the total amount of Corvettes produced. Hopefully we'll also be cheering about an increase of manual models made as well.