I'm happy the C8 Corvette is "automatic" for one big reason...
The lack of options keeps you from hearing, 'You should have bought the manual.' You don't need to 'Keep up with the Joneses' with the automatic!
The C8 has been received with rave reviews, except for one small thing: a manual transmission. After the C8 was announced, you practically had the masses of car nerds picking up pitchforks and torches to destroy this newest flappy-paddle creature developed by GM. It was different—with an MR drivetrain—and it was the latest pyre to attract the automatic transmission hating gadflies.
The naysayers were soon to be suppressed as the C8’s "automatic" (it's really a dual-clutch transmission) is a wonderous box of joy. Everyone seems to love it. It is the sole option for the C8. If you want a manual, you better go elsewhere. The world kept spinning while our heads were in the sand, and the manual was left behind.
It’s news to no one that the manual transmission is slowly dying. The added costs of two drivetrains, the fact you can’t out MPG most automatics; there is an entirely new generation of people who didn’t grow up with the manual and therefore, don’t know how to operate one… the list goes on. We, manual transmission lovers, have lost.
This isn’t to say that I dislike the C8 being an automatic. The reviews are one thing. Where I am most delighted is the fact no one is going to have to endlessly explain why they opted for an automatic over the manual. You won’t have to say, ‘Well my wife doesn’t drive manual’ or ‘The manuals are far too hard to find’ or ‘I just want to cruise, manuals are too much work’—the last of these being an excuse reserved for non-car nerds.
I simply get tired of keeping up with the Joneses and having to explain myself. People questioned me when I bought an automatic Tacoma instead of a manual (see excuse number one). I wanted the manual, and it comes up far too often. No one likes to be outdone, less than adequate, or as a shill who was misinformed making a purchase. The C8 eliminates all these excuses, other than ‘Why did you buy a C8, it isn’t available with a manual.’
Too many times I’ve had people question my purchases. When I got my E60 M5, people asked, 'Why didn't you look for a six-speed?!' The truth being, I was never looking for an M5 when it popped up for sale from a friend. It was an overly well-maintained car, at a good price, at the right time. People even come up to me and ask, 'Is it a manual' when all they need to do is look through the windows--it can get rather annoying.
Even in line at a store, a stranger can question our purchases and qualifications for connoisseurship. I once stood in line with a Stihl BR600 backpack blower and the old yokel in front of me commented on it; he was well aware there were two sizes of blower bigger than the one I was purchasing. I explained the BR600 was the gold standard, more common, more tested, and truer than the newer models. He shrugged and said, “There is no way I’d turn up at home only to be outdone by my neighbor with the big blower.” And the sad thing is, he was not wrong. Many of my own decisions, unfortunately, have been made under this guise.
With the C8 and it's an automatic option only, this is no longer a problem. You can live in a world where your choices are limited to color and trim preferences. You don’t need to hear from every car nerd about how you bought the worst C8 on the market—that is until the Z06 arrives, and this process starts all over again… ‘I can't believe you bought a standard C8?! The Z06 is way better…”