By on April 18, 2013

With 2013 heralding the final year for the Lamborghini Gallardo, the supercar firm is also gearing up to produce its last manual transmission car ever.

Road & Track talked to Lamborgihni North America COO Michael Lock who said that paddle shift Gallardos outsell stick shifts by a 9:1 ratio. According to Lock

“We are in an era when customers demand technology and products that adapt to them,”

Translated from marketing gobbldeygook, that means that Gallardo owners are unable to steer with one hand and simultaneously change gears while digitally stimulating their catamite in the passenger seat, so the automated gearbox is here to stay. As part of the three-pedal’s funeral, Lamborghni will offer a stripped-down, rear-drive Gallardo without “frills”. This would be exciting news had Lamborghini not done this before.

But repeat movies are understandable. There are only some many minor variations that can be sold as special editions. At this point, the Gallardo has been on the market for 9 years, a geological age in the context of the supercar market.  Lock is seemingly proud of this fact, telling R&T

“It is the oldest supercar still standing, like a boxing champion,” crowed Lock. “It is defying the normal supercar product cycle. Can you imagine if Ferrari were still trying to sell the 360 Modena,”

Somewhere in the darkest recesses of my mind, I can. And I wish they still did. Particularly the 360 Challenge Stradale with its Lexan windows and obnoxiously loud V8 that still sounds like a proper Ferrari. Oh hell, bring back the 355 as well. They are so much nicer than the technically superior but aesthetically overwrought 458 as well as the F430, which will one day be considered a symbol of the excess and vulgarity of the pre-GFC era.

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34 Comments on “Lamborghini Prepares Its Final Manual Transmission Model...”


  • avatar
    ash78

    “We are in an era when customers demand technology and products that adapt to them”

    Read: Our customers really just want automatic transmissions 99% of the time, but with the occasional ability to Totally Douche-Out™, F1 style, in front of random others on Friday nights along access roads in front of Chick-Fil-A during the summer months.

    *(“Totally Douche-Out” is a registered trademark of Automobili Lamborghini SpA, marca registrada 1984)

    • 0 avatar

      Indeed, enjoying your fine automobile is totally “douching out”. Be mad.

    • 0 avatar

      there is no “saving the manuals”. Evolution must be served and the manuals are going the way of the dodo. There’s no way to put the kind of performance and stability in these cars that will allow them to maintain bragging rights without moving to an automatic (and AWD). An Aventador is the second faster street legal car you can buy without to buy one of those AMS Nissan Altimas!

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Is it evolution of transmissions, or is it regression of poseurs?

        • 0 avatar

          I have a hard time calling anyone who can afford one of these car as “poseur”.

          Even if it’s a 60 year old, balding, Forida home owing, bed-ridden senior citizen.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            ???

            He might not be posing as rich, but if nothing else, he is posing as someone competent enough to heel-toe :)

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Really? I’ve never looked at an exotic and assumed that the owner had any inkling how to heel-and-toe. Or double-clutch. Or even clutch.

            In a world where every former teen idol is driving around in an exotic and crashing into mailboxes while trying to park, I don’t think any sane person assumes that someone with a car costing more than a house is a person of exceptional driving ability.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    It’s a bad idea to make a car like this, ESPECIALLY like this, easy to operate.

    Exotics should be a handful. It keeps the incompetent away. And by incompetent, I don’t mean stupid, just lacking in skill – I’m incompetent to use this car properly. Baruth’d be fine – I’d be a dead man.

    Too many of these cars get balled up or scattered all over the landscape because, ironically, they’re not difficult to drive.

    Very rarely (Ferrari with the F40 comes to mind) do the company or the dealerships impose any kind of operator proficiency tests on potential customers.

    So street-legal race cars end up in the hands of people barely qualified to drive Camries. And because they’re no more difficult to operate than a Camry, the false confidence sets in.

    Every dynamic aspect of a car of this caliber should be working in unison to project one message: Experts Only – Enjoy At Your Own Risk.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      As opposed to, say, developing cars that aren’t suicide booths?

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        Not everyone should be able to participate at every level of a given activity, just because he or she wants to.

        Without years of training and practice, people aren’t capable of fighting in MMA matches. Or running marathons. Or tracking and capturing dangerous animals. Or skydiving. Or commanding an Army battalion.

        Or driving an exotic car. It’s an inherently dangerous activity suitable only for the most skilled practitioners.

        Or, at least, it should be.

        The skill requirement is actually a safety feature. It prevents destroyed cars and dead people.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Yeah, you’re probably the same sort who thought UNIX jumped the shark when it got a GUI.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Dude, I have piloted plenty of exotic cars, and I’m no Baruth.

          The new ones are infinitely safer in the hands of Joe Executive, than the older ones, which could be quite a handful. With electronic aids, and the sheer stickiness of modern rubber, noone who aren’t either balls out crazy, or have quite some experience piloting high performance cars, will get close to these things limits. And even for those crazy enough to do so, stability control gives them an additional 10% margin that their parents didn’t have.

          If you ever get a chance, just try get some wealthy friend of yours to go into a corner relatively fast, and then stomp on the gas in any modern “sports sedan” with stability control. It’s perfectly safe, and even a fairly quick way through a corner for non Baruths, but virtually none of the kind of people that kind afford even those kind of cars, will ever do it. Heck, even getting one of these guys to floor a launch and rely on launch control to get off the line fast, is quite a task.

          There are some people who are simply born with the dare devil gene, but those guys generally spend their youths crashing motorcycles, instead of diligently working their way up corporate and education ladder that will enable them to ever be in a position to buy Lamborghinis.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “Without years of training and practice, people aren’t capable of fighting in MMA matches. Or running marathons. Or tracking and capturing dangerous animals. Or skydiving. Or commanding an Army battalion.”

          But damnit, I’ll defend their right to try.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Making a car artificially difficult to drive just to make sure incompetent drivers don’t drive them is pointless. Cars that were naturally difficult to drive didn’t dissuade them from driving, either.

      My aunt, a schoolteacher without an ounce of petrol in her blood, once drove a Viper to work. For years. A 500 horsepower, no-traction-control-thank-you, rides-like-a-horse-cart death machine.

      No problem.

      Every single car on the road today is deadly in the hands of the uninitiated idiot. The only way to prevent them from balling up a car is to make them stop being idiots. Or put in enough nannies to keep them from killing the car… at which point, enthusiasts will complain.

  • avatar
    Cubista

    O NOES…NTHOOZIASTS WETTING THEIR PANTZ IN 3…2…

  • avatar
    cargogh

    Viper is the true exotic now.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    +2 points to the author for creatively exhuming the word ‘catamite’ from the dead words graveyard

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      True, I had to look up what the word meant as I had never heard it. If my dictionary is correct then that means most Lambo drivers are gay?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Christian Horner drives a Gallardo? What does Renault think?

      • 0 avatar
        carrya1911

        In the most correct use it would mean that they’re not simply homosexual, but have a preference for the company of young boys.

        In the loosest use of the word it could generically refer to homosexual prostitutes.

        Pederasty is still present in some societies, often a “luxury” of the wealthy and powerful in places that, coincidentally, probably have a lot of Lambos due to vast wealth from natural resources controlled by a tiny minority of citizens. So perhaps the use of the term *was* exact.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Last time I heard the term catamite, it was in reference to Vettel’s relationship with Horner. Vettel may not be a young boy now, but he was ten or eleven years old when he signed with the Red Bull Junior Team in 1998.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Funny how this time around, you don’t have a lot of people feeling extremely uncomfortable about anal sex. For some reason.

  • avatar
    carrya1911

    Kudos on fitting use of the word “catamite” into polite conversation about manual transmissions.

    …but are you sure that you intended to portray the picture of pederasty there?

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Well, since these cars are just trophy objects for idiot celebrities, it makes sense.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Michael Lock is the COO of Lamborghini NA? Damn, the boy is doing well for himself. I remember when he was the head of Triumph NA back in 94-96 (a good riding and drinking buddy, he could fly on a Daytona) and took the heat for Triumph not coming on gangbusters in the middle of Harley mania. The company kinda forgot that not being in the US for twelve years does bad things for your customer base, like put them on Harleys. A couple of years later he showed up in the same position at Ducati NA, where he did one hell of a good job. Now Lamborghini.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I’ve made my peace with this finally, as I’ve decided to blame the owners. At least Lambo is making it clear that they appreciate the manual trans. internally, and they aren’t coming across as arrogantly as Ferrari does when discussing the departure of the stick. Still, now they make very fast hair-dresser’s cars, and none of us should let the owners escape that perception.

    Porsche on the other hand, is another story. They can’t claim customer demand in switching from all manual to all auto on the gt3/rs (how would they know?). Instead, it seems like the change is due to fear of comparison to less expensive cars with dual-clutch transmissions, like the GTR. Why this is only a problem now mystifies me, as Porsche’s have always been outgunned by cheaper cars in the past. That’s the transmission change that should outrage everyone, or at least provoke open scorn at the manufacturer.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      On the list of things to berate Porsche over, that’s somewhere on the third page.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “I’ve made my peace with this finally, as I’ve decided to blame the owners.”

      [Head exploded] You apparently didn’t get the memo that petro hipsters must always blame the manufacturer.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      P still offer plenty of models with a stick. That their “fastest” are only available with their “fastest” transmission, makes some sense to me. The GTR engineers’ rationale for not offering a manual, is that the focus on the GTR is to be as fast as possible. Not as “involving” as possible, or as “ego stimulating” to excellent drivers as possible. But simply as fast as possible for a street car under $100 grand. As a high end performance car maker with a plethora of models, it only makes sense that P should let ONE of their models have a similar focus (well, except for the price thingy…)


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