As many of you may have seen, the C8 (8th generation) Corvette was announced in the past week. I don't follow much with new cars, but I did read up on a bit. I will give GM a lot of credit with what they're delivering, especially at the price point. Performance wise, the new Corvette seems like it will compete well against current offerings from Ferrari and Lamborghini. The mid engine arrangement, with a few economical exceptions, is a layout that you only end up seeing on supercars. Then there's the transmission. The dual-clutch automatic transmission. From a technological perspective, it's what you find on the supercars these days. Some argue they're not automatics because they don't use a torque converter and it's more or less the guts of a manual transmission, but specifically designed such that it's actuated by the computer rather than a human rowing gears in a traditional gearbox. Manual transmissions have been dropping out of cars as available options one by one. Of course, the Corvette has offered an automatic transmission for decades - there's nothing new there. And while I will get on the case of anyone who purchases a car like that with an automatic, I don't bemoan the companies for offering them. So long as they also offer a manual. Once a car or a company stops offering manual transmission, it becomes dead to me. When I was in high school, the beautiful gated shifters that Ferrari and Lamborghini offered in their cars were hallmarks of the beautiful Italian interiors. No shift boot required on these. And while some said the gate made shifting harder, it was so beautiful to look at. Now neither company offers a proper manual transmission. BMW, a long term holdout with "The Ultimate Driving Machine" has ceased to offer a manual transmission option. When the C7 came out, I felt like GM was trying to make the Corvette look too much like an Italian supercar. It was losing its identity as the American supercar. The C8 pushes that moreso. The Corvette has always supposed to have been the highest performing vehicle in the GM lineup. Because of that, I can forgive the departure from the front engine rear drive layout, and I can commend them offering a dual-clutch transmission as an option. But to eliminate the manual transmission entirely removes the option for the person who wishes to own one for the driving experience and not just the 0-60 times. I'm sure it's fast. The technology is neat. But the man-machine interaction has now been replaced by man-computer interaction essentially fully, and the computer is the machine. With the Dodge Viper production ending in 2017 and the 2020 Viper set to have a V8 instead of the previous V10, I am wondering if they will do similarly. The Viper was never available with anything but a manual transmission from its inception in 1990, but it was also never available with anything other than a V10. I also wonder how long before Ford stops offering manual transmission in Mustangs. For now, old curmudgeons like me can still build manual transmission cars, as Tremec has a good business selling TKO (5-speed) and Magnum (T-56 6-speed) transmissions available brand new, shipped to your door, and we can keep manual transmission vehicles driving with the cottage industry of a few small vendors producing replacement parts. But building a car is not for everyone, and achieving the sort of interior fit and finish that one gets with a production car on a homebuilt is not something that is generally achievable. RIP, Corvette.