These days it’s next to impossible to find an exotic supercar with a manual transmission. Automakers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini have ditched row-it-yourself manuals in favor of set-it-and-forget-it automatics. It seems, then, that the days of an engaging driving experience in your Italian sports car are over. But are they?
The YouTube channel B is for Build proved the answer to that question is a resounding "No." Or at least it’s a no if you have some extraordinary engineering and building skills.
The crew at B is for Build is currently working on the world’s first Lamborghini Huracan with a manual transmission and so far things are going well. In their latest episode, B is for Build successfully modified the center console in their Huracan to accept a gated manual shifter from an Audi R8. Unfortunately the interior packaging of the Huracan required the gated shift plate to be hidden below some trim, but hey, it’s nice to know it’s there.
Of course it would be impossible to make the manual gear lever work with the Huracan’s factory automatic, so the car’s transaxle was swapped out for a manual unit from an older Lamborghini Gallardo. Oh, and there was also one other minor change to the car’s drivetrain—the stock V-10 was replaced with a tuned General Motors LS V-8 from Texas Speed that’s capable of developing 1,500 horsepower.
The idea of converting an automatic-only car to a manual setup may seem like a radical one, but it’s a concept that seems to be gaining momentum. Texas-based European Auto Group is currently working on a manual swap for the Ferrari 458, and just this month the firm announced plans to offer a similar conversion for the 2020 Toyota Supra. Perhaps if the aftermarket proves there’s still demand for manual transmissions, exotic carmakers will bring them back. Here’s to hoping.