Lamborghini to Drop Manual Transmissions
July 7, 2011
by John Carey
Maurizio Reggiani shakes his head with regret. Without a word, Lamborghini's R&D director indicates that manual transmissions have no future in his company's cars. Only a tiny fraction of customers choose a stick shift for their Gallardo, and Lamborghini's new Aventador comes with a fully automated seven-speed single-clutch transmission, and no manual transmission. Just 1 to 2 percent of the cars rolling out of the company's small Sant'Agata Bolognese factory are equipped with three pedals, Reggiani says.
A manual transmission, explains the R&D director, is a break in the electronic chain of command that harmonizes absolutely everything that happens between engine combustion chamber and tire contact patch. The only way Lamborghini can guarantee soothing smoothness in city driving or back-thumpingly explosive acceleration on a winding road is for every system in the car to be interconnected. You can't rely on a driver to always shift gears without glitches, Reggiano says. But you can count on next year's replacement for the now-8-year-old Gallardo to come only with an automated transmission.
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