Lamborghini Prepares Its Final Manual Transmission Model

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

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.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Syke Syke on Apr 18, 2013

    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.

  • Tedward Tedward on Apr 18, 2013

    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.

    • See 3 previous
    • Compaq Deskpro Compaq Deskpro on Apr 18, 2013

      @stuki I thought that the GT2 was the fastest, and the GT3 was the most involving.

  • James Hendricks The depreciation on the Turbo S is going to be epic!
  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.
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