Some supercar manufacturers, such as Porsche, still offer manual transmissions in even their most expensive models, but you can’t get a manual Ferrari. The Italian automaker’s one-off division might stick a manual in a modern day Ferrari if someone were to cut them a rather large cheque for it, but as far as official production cars go, all Ferraris come with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The fact that Ferrari no longer offers a manual in any of its cars probably has something to do with the fact that the last time they did that, less than five people bought one. Speaking to Australia’s Motoring.com.au, Ferrari chief technology officer Michael Hugo explained just how low demand for a six-speed manual California was.
“The last time Ferrari had the possibility of a manual transmission as a special order was the first version of the California,” Hugo said. “I’m not sure exactly but I think the total manual order was between three and five cars. It led to the conclusion that if you find one of those five cars in the market the value will be extremely high, but that’s a different subject.”
Some publications have reported that just two Ferrari California six-speeds were built, but Hugo’s estimate around five seems more plausible. A red example with a black interior was sold by Artcurial earlier this year and this web page features photos of a grey example with a black interior, a red example with a beige interior and a white example with a blue and grey alcantara interior. A photo of the fifth car is out there somewhere, we presume.
Hugo said Ferrari’s main reasoning for dropping the manual in favor of the dual-clutch automatic was performance. The automaker’s quick-shifting dual clutch is more efficient and faster than a manual, so it only made sense for it to drop it as cars became faster and more advanced and demand for manuals shrunk. Don’t expect Maranello to change its mind on the stance, either.
“Technically spoken, no,” Hugo replied when asked if Ferrari would resurrect the manual in the future. “Ferrari is design, performance and state of the art technologies. There’s no manual transmission that can beat this performance and therefore we have decided to stay on the double-clutch gearbox.”