Victor Muller, CEO of Dutch , was introducing the C8 Preliator Spyder to the North American market at the New York auto show, and while noting that the Preliator comes standard with a manual transmission, he said that, in contrast to all the doom and gloom surrounding shift-'em-yourself transmissions, "really, enthusiastic car connoisseurs are buying manuals again."
When Spyker got its start in 2000, its first cars had manual transmissions. Then the Aileron came along, and most of those were equipped with automatics. Now, with the C8 Preliator, Muller says buyers are showing renewed desire for the six-speed manual transmission, with very few customers opting for the available automatic.
(In the interim, there was , , and , but that last notion appears to have been forgotten.)
Spyker's current big news is a switch from Audi-supplied V8 engines making 518 horsepower to a Koenigsegg-supplied V8 for the Preliator Spyder and coupe. The Koenigsegg engine is a naturally aspirated dry-sump 5.0-liter unit rated at 592 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque and revving to 8000 rpm.
The carbon-fiber-bodied Preliator Spyder also features a softtop available in eight colors, a head-up display with gesture controls, and a Lotus-designed suspension. Curb weight is a claimed 3065 pounds. U.S. pricing starts at $429,000.
With only 100 Preliator Spyders to be built, this clearly isn't a tectonic shift in the market away from automatic transmissions. But if buyers of ultra-high-end exotics start fancying them again, it could spur some changes, since currently none of the major supercar makers—Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, and Bugatti—offer one.