Think manual transmissions are going the way of the dodo? That does seem to be the way the market is heading, especially at the top end of the market. But not for Spyker, and not for its customers.
At the New York Auto Show last week, Spyker chief Victor Muller told Car and Driver that few of his customers were opting for the automatic transmission option on the new C8 Preliator – sticking instead with the six-speed manual “Really, enthusiastic car connoisseurs are buying manuals again,” said Muller.
That could come down in part to the beautiful exposed transmission linkage that forms part of the Spyker’s cabin. Though its mid-engine layout might suggest otherwise, the C8 is oriented more towards luxury touring than the outright performance. More performance-driven brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini have discontinued offering traditional, three-pedal manual transmissions due to lack of customer interest as dual-clutch gearboxes shift faster than any human could.
Whichever transmission its customers select, they’re getting a 5.0-liter V8, naturally aspirated to 592 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. The Koenigsegg engine replaces the old Audi unit, despite earlier indications that the company (under its new ownership) would focus more on electric propulsion. That may or may not yet come, but as it stands, the C8 Preliator – priced from $429k in Spyder form – looks like it’ll have a bright future ahead of it, combusting internally and shifting manually all the way.