Is General Motors following Porsche's steps and planning a seven-speed manual?

Not to be left out of the "we have more cogs than you" manual transmission game, General Motors is reportedly working on a new, advanced manual transmission of its own.

When Porsche announced that it would be equipping the 911 Carrera 991 with a seven-speed manual transmission many refused to believe it until they actual picture and video evidence - but now it seems GM too wants a piece of the seven-speed manual action, according to "trusted sources" that spoke with Inside Line regarding the matter.

According to these well-placed and well-trusted sources, the next-gen Corvette will arrive with a seven-speed manual transmission, give it one more trick up its sleeve to compete with its German counterpart.

What else we know about the upcoming C7

There has been an ongoing debate as to whether the next-generation Corvette would switch to a mid-engine layout, but our spy photographers sent us the first images confirming the C7 will be retaining its classic configuration.

Although the car seen here is an early mule, they clearly show the Corvette will be sticking to its tried and true front-engine, rear drive formula. However, it appears as though the C7 will be shrinking in size compared to the C6, as illustrated by the "tucked in" wheels visible on this test mule.

Outback a set of evenly-spaced quad exhaust pipes are in clear view, reminiscent of the Corvette Stingray Concept. Our spies described the Vette's engine note as Ferrari-like, with those sounds thought to be provided by an all-new 5.5L V8 developing 440 horsepower in base form.

We can't tell much about the C7's body from the mule, but it is believed that the next-gen Corvette will offer the option of a split rear window - paying homage to the 1963 car.

With testing now well underway, expect to hear more on the C7 in the coming months with an on-sale date likely in 2013 as a 2014 model.


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