New Vette gets stick as standard; automatic an option for 2005 Chevrolet expects two-thirds of all Corvette buyers to choose an automatic, but it's making a six-speed manual standard for 2005. By DAVE GUILFORD | Automotive News (07:36 April 12, 2004) DETROIT -- Hard-core driving enthusiasts will love it. But less-intense Corvette buyers may be annoyed to discover that Chevrolet has flip-flopped the transmission options on its iconic sports car. When the sixth-generation Corvette goes on sale this summer, a manual transmission will be standard for the first time since 1980. An automatic will be an option. In the 2005 Corvette ordering workbook given to dealers, GM says it expects 65 percent of Corvette buyers will choose the automatics - increasing the number of optional transmissions GM will sell. Chevrolet has not revealed prices of the new Corvette. So it is unclear if Corvette buyers who want the automatic will pay more than they do now on the current model. The optional six-speed manual now costs $915 more than the standard automatic. Production of the coupe will start in July, GM says, and convertible output will begin soon after that. Chevrolet spokesman Bob Tripolsky says GM made the change because most pricey sports cars offer manuals as standard equipment: "It's putting us more in line with where the market competitors are, especially Porsche." Rick Daniel, Internet manager at Les Stanford Chevrolet in Dearborn, Mich., says the 200 customers who have ordered 2005 Corvettes aren't complaining: "Most of your diehard Corvette people are going to want a six-speed (manual) anyway. You're going to hear from the sports and speed enthusiasts first."