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by Tim Beissmann

Lamborghini has confirmed the ageing Gallardo supercar will be the last production vehicle it makes with a manual transmission.

The all-new Gallardo replacement coming in 2012 – rumoured to be called the Cabrera – will only be available with a fully automated transmission.

Lamborghini research and development director, Maurizio Reggiani, told Motor Trend that manual transmissions had no place in the Italian supercar manufacturer’s future.

Mr Reggiani said only one or two per cent of the 1200 Lamborghini vehicles produced at the company’s Sant’Agata Bolognese factory last year were equipped with a manual transmission.

“A manual transmission is a break in the electronic chain of command that harmonises absolutely everything that happens between engine combustion chamber and tyre contact patch,” Mr Reggiani told Motor Trend.

“The only way Lamborghini can guarantee soothing smoothness in city driving or back-thumpingly explosive acceleration on a winding road is for every system in the car to be interconnected. You can’t rely on a driver to always shift gears without glitches.”

Lamborghini is not alone in its move away from the manual transmission. The Ferrari California will be the last manual-shifting Prancing Horse, with Ferrari likewise focusing on super-slick sequential and dual-clutch systems.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Lexus LFA and Bentley Continental Supersports are just few supercars launched recently without a manual option.

Fans of three-pedalled supercars might have to head to a Porsche showroom in the future, with recent reports suggesting the next-generation Porsche 911 will feature an unprecedented seven-speed manual ‘box.

What do you think? Is there still a place for the manual transmission in supercars, or has self-shifting technology finally delivered the knockout blow? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.




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