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Lamborghini Giving The Boot To Manual Transmissions?

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Lamborghini is changing the way it designs and builds cars. For years, Lamborghini would focus on the design, top speed, acceleration and handling of its cars--in that order. However, in the last year or two the automaker has shook things up a little, shuffling the order of priorities to design, handling, acceleration and top speed.

Speaking with Car and Driver, Lamborghini’s director of research and development, Maurizio Reggiani, explained that there’s no real point in spending so much effort on designing cars to reach speeds in excess of 200 mph because there are few owners that will ever take their cars to such speeds, let alone stretches of road that will accommodate such a feat.

Reggiani also revealed that less than 5 percent of customers opt for a conventional manual transmission, so they will soon be gone. However, don’t expect advanced dual clutch transmissions to replace Lamborghini’s e-gear sequential automatic anytime soon. Reggiani pointed out that Lamborghini’s six-speed box is around 50 pounds lighter than a dual clutch unit and the automaker is opposed to unequal gear steps, as is the case with most seven-speed transmissions.

What we will see is more efforts to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Already we’ve seen the introduction of direct fuel injection on the Gallardo, and this is to be followed with friction reduction technologies, engine stop-start and flex-fuel capabilities, cylinder deactivation and even mild hybrid systems designed at taking the load off the engine when powering ancillary devices. Forced induction, however, has been ruled out for now--a strategy rival supercar manufacturer Ferrari is following.

[Car and Driver]

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Comments (17)
  1. That's a shame. There is no substituting the feeling you get in a proper manual with everything locking into place, like the bolt on a .50 cal.
     
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  2. I can not drive manual (I have hand eye coordination issues) but this seems really, really stupid.
     
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  3. My understanding is that the manual gearboxes in Lamborghinis were not everything you'd hope for (or find in its Maranello rival). The clutch pedals were reported as painfully heavy and shifting action wasn't exactly like sliding the bolt on a 0.50 caliber gun (thanks for the analogy Jason).
    I do have some experience with an SMT with automatic clutch. As long as the gearchange is fast enough, it's a pretty nice system and reduces clutch wear and tear. So, all in all, I don't think this is as dumb as it sounds.
     
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  4. My understanding is that the manual gearboxes in Lamborghinis were not everything you'd hope for (or find in its Maranello rival). The clutch pedals were reported as painfully heavy and shifting action wasn't exactly like sliding the bolt on a 0.50 caliber gun (thanks for the analogy Jason).
    I do have some experience with an SMT with automatic clutch. As long as the gearchange is fast enough, it's a pretty nice system and reduces clutch wear and tear. So, all in all, I don't think this is as dumb as it sounds.
     
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  5. @m3 ds real
    Did you even read the article? They aren't putting boot covers on anything. They are talking about removing (giving the boot to) the manual transmission. Talk about a blind post.
     
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  6. This is because the people who buy Lamborghinis these days are no longer drivers but poseurs with more money than they know what to do with. Cars like these should not even be offered with an automatic transmission and if a potential customer requests one they should be pointed to an M class BMW or one of the sportier Mercs.
    @nonamedenton forgive me but what does eye hand coordination have to do with manual shifting? I learned to drive stick on a car without a tach and shifted by the sound of the engine. Try this, it might work for you.
     
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  7. Probably most of the buyers are ceo's and high up company business men who have no idea what the cars they are getting can really do. They just buy them and post the pics on facebook and drive them 2 times a year.
     
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  8. I've only ever driven 1 Lambo, granted it was from the 80's but the manual shifter was appalingly bad, and from what I gather, they've never improved. Anyway, I'll never own one anyway, so who cares.
    As long as Porsche and Honda keep building manuals the world will be ok.
     
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  9. manual trans gives more control end of story. im sure automatics are the cause of the spectacular accidents you see all the time. these guys are in over their heads and have less control. manual gives more seat of your pants savy.
     
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  10. However, in the last year or two the automaker has shook things up a little, shuffling the order of priorities to design, handling, acceleration and top speed. I actually prefer this order. Accel and tops speed mean nothing if you can't control the vehicle.
     
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  11. April Fools! Got ya!
     
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  12. I can't wait till Top Gear gets a hold of this.
    Lambos just became the new "cock car" for posers and rich geeks everywhere.
    I just became a really big Ferrari fan!
     
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  13. This was a purely commercial decision and with the loss of manuals Lamborghini is going to lose most of their prestige in the super-car realm. Maybe it's tied to being owned by Volkswagon, but if Lamborghini goes through with this, they are no longer a super-car racing power, but a suburban class symbol (at least moreso than they already were).
     
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  14. So I own a Lambo (2004 Gallardo) in a manual.
    First off. Forget SMG or automatic. Lamborghini doesn't do that. What they have is what they call "egear" which is a normal single dry clutch manual gearbox that is actuated by paddles. It was the first of these systems to work decently when it came out and it works particularly well in the new 2009+ Gallardo.
    That said it actually eats the clutch a bit faster (when you're not fully on the gas the computer lets the clutch slip increasing wear).
    The clutch pedal in my car is heavy (but not unbearable, I've sat in traffic OK), you have to rev match fairly accurately to slam the gears in. It sounds terrible, but is still sharp and HUGELY satisfying. The "heaviness" of it is actually the only remnant of the "old" Lambo feeling and makes driving the car feel that much more special. I think it's a shame to lose that.
     
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  15. Well, that's pretty lame, to say the least.
     
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  16. @Greg, I own a 2004 M3 with SMG. I am not sure you have any idea what you are talking about. BMW first came out with this technology bringing it straight out of the F1 to a street car in 2000 M3. Recently Lambo cam out with Egear which is just a name given by Lambo to this tech. So are the names PDK(porche) F1 trans (ferrari) etc. Its faster, very intelligent ..even changes to lower gears during uphill or downhill, or sudden depression of accelerator etc. The dual clutch is a next gen with 2 clutches changing alternate gears making the gear change smoother which came out first in Veyron.. I've driven manual( brother owns a BMW 330 manual) and like it but once you've driven SMG ( no this is not Automatic ) there is no going back. It has an AUTO MODE, which changes gears intelligently based on revs, accelerator depression, elevation etc. The Gallardo eGear is still crude for that much power because it still has only one clutch. The latest in Ferrari 599 GTO changes gears in 60 mil secs. And yes with SMG I can also do the 'launch control' just like the F1 cars start the race, It does the rev/blip for you. You don't understand the technology, so you still drive the manual. You may call it special, but its what it is ...out dated.
     
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  17. Never driven a SMG Beemer, but from what I hear and know, they are horrible (particularily at low speeds). If I was going to get an E46 M3, I'd personally stick with the 6-speed manual. You may consider manual transmissions to be out-dated, but being outdated doesn't necessarily make it an inferior technology. In fact it's simplicity is also what gives manual trannies their rock solid realiabilty....provided you can drive one properly.
     
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