A new seven-speed DCT is expected to be the only offering on the next-gen Corvette.

The rumors surrounding Chevrolet’s mid-engine C8 Corvette are numerous and filled with speculation. In keeping with the speculative theme, a new report suggests that the C8 Corvette will forgo the manual gearbox entirely in place of a dual-clutch transmission, or DCT. Sorry, enthusiasts.

The report stems from Car and Driver, and suggests that Tremec’s acquisition of Hoerbiger Drivetrain Mechatronics played a big role in the decision. Not to mention recent spy photos that show a heavily camouflaged Corvette prototype allegedly putting a new transmission to the test. That transmission being a seven-speed DCT designed specifically for Chevrolet by the two companies.

Thanks to some Tremec engineering documents, we know that this new powertrain has a maximum input speed of 9,000 rpm, and a 664 pound-feet (900 newton-meter) of torque capacity, meaning it would more than meet the needs of a new Corvette. Sharing similarities with vehicles from Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari, and McLaren, the Tremec TR-9007 from which it stems can be positioned in rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or transaxle configurations.

Mid-engined Chevy Corvette spy photo
Mid-engined Chevy Corvette spy photo

But why would that mean a single transmission offering? With the complexity in development of this powertrain alone, Chevrolet doing away with the manual would be a cost saving effort, considering this new Corvette is expected to move slightly upmarket.

Expected to make its world debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and be on sale for the 2019 model year, the new C8 Corvette will use a mid-engine layout and the aforementioned seven-speed DCT. Horsepower is expected to be in the neighborhood of 450 to 500 (335 to 372 kilowatts), with a starting price of around $80,000, and a more upscale design, similar to the rendering seen here.

Later in the life cycle we could even see an electric version dubbed the “Corvette E-Ray,” featuring an electric-driven front axle and an all-wheel drive layout - likely using the same seven-speed DCT. For now, the jury is still out on many of these reports.

Source: Car and Driver

Gallery: Mid-engine Corvette prototype