Despite an increasing number of high-end sports cars offering with automatic and/or dual-clutch transmissions, Jaguar isn’t ready to abandon the traditional stick shift. Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark told Autocar that Jaguar will launch manual-transmission models about a year from now.
Although automated transmissions can offer quicker shift times and better fuel economy, Hallmark told Autocar that, “Sports cars need a manual transmission for sports credibility.” To that end, Jaguar will reveal a version of its 2014 F-Type two-seater with a manual transmission about a year from now. The company is reportedly experimenting with manuals with a “minimum of six speeds” — given that the new Porsche 911 features a seven-speed manual transmission, it only stands to reason that other sports-car makers would try to follow suit.
Jaguar has so far confirmed that the F-Type will launch with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Customers can choose between a 340-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine, a 380-hp version of that engine, or a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 with 495 hp. Reports suggest as many as 2000 people have already pre-ordered a Jaguar F-Type, even though the car doesn’t officially go on sale until next year.
In addition to the F-Type roadster and coupe, Jaguar could add manual transmissions to its more traditional models. Autocar says that Hallmark would consider fitting a three-pedal transmission in the XF sedan, but that it wouldn’t make sense in the larger, luxurious XJ sedan.
Even if some cars are offered with manuals, the majority of future Jaguar products will continue to use automatic transmissions. Hallmark reportedly confirmed that Jaguar and corporate sibling Land Rover will soon adopt a nine-speed automatic built by ZF. ZF’s nine-speed is slated to go into a number of future Fiat/Chrysler products, and rumblings suggest Honda too may be eying the gearbox. Most Jaguar-Land Rover vehicles, including the new Land Rover Range Rover and the 2013 Jaguar XF and XJ, already use a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic.