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2015 Corvette Stingray will get an eight-speed automatic transmission

Tue, 08 Apr 2014

2015 Corvette Stingray buyers will have a new transmission option when they head to dealer lots next year: An eight-speed automatic that will supposedly weight less than the six-speed it replaces and boasting quicker shift times than the dual-clutch in the Porsche 911.

Named the 8L90, this eight-speed will be built in Ohio and will also be found on the upcoming Corvette Z06. If the gearbox is capable of handling the 625 hp put down by that supercharged beast, we're sure it'll take on the regular Stingray's 455 hp without breaking a sweat. In fact, GM says the 8L90 bound for the non-Z06 Vette has “unique clutch and torque converter specifications matched to the torque capacity of the Stingray's LT1 6.2L naturally aspirated engine.”

The 8L90 is not, however, the eight-speed found in the 2014 Cadillac CTS. That car's automatic transmission is built by supplier Aisin, at least for now.

Of course, improved fuel economy is the main driver behind the eight-speed's impending adoption. Aluminum and magnesium parts mean the eight-speed is lighter than the soon-to-be archaic six-speed as well -- in a day where every ounce seems to count, that's not too shabby. No word yet on how it improves on the 17 city/29 highway fuel economy ratings won by the seven-speed manual-equipped 2014 Stingrays.

According to GM, the extra gears won't hurt performance: “wide-open throttle upshifts are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911,” an official release promises. Steering wheel-mounted shifter paddles should give drivers at least some control over what the gearbox is doing.

We certainly appreciate the manual-equipped Stingrays we've driven so far -- that seven-speed manual provides one more way to interact with what is one of the most rewarding driver's cars to come out of an American automaker in recent memory. But not everyone likes to row their way around town, and we're eager to see if the new not-so-slushy slushbox can hold its own against the best the Germans have to offer.

It certainly wouldn't be the first time we've put a Bowtie-wearing performance car up against a Porsche.

By Graham Kozak