The Jaguar F-Type sports an eight-speed automatic gearbox now, but will be offered in about a year’s time with a manual transmission.
“Sports cars need a manual transmission for sports credibility,” global brand director Adrian Hallmark told Autocar. He also said that the brand realizes the cost and fun benefits of having a manual, which is why it will likely come to the F-Type.
In talks about other models, Hallmark revealed that the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles will use ZF’s new nine-speed gearbox, and that the large XF sedan may also be on the docket to receive a stick shift.
In the name of fuel-efficiency, JLR has been cutting weight on many of its models, most notably the new Range Rover which dropped about 700 lbs for the 2013 model year. The introduction of this all nine-speed solidifies the brand’s commitment to reducing fuel consumption as does the introduction of the first diesel-hybrid setup in the Range Rover.
Both brands are trying to break more into the main-stream market, and move away from being niche automakers. These fuel economy improvement represent just one of the ways the brands are trying to do so.