Edit - BB beat me to it.
No. It is new for 2008.
It is called Incline Start Assist, and is integrated into the VDC. Not mechanical at all anymore.
"Incline Start Assist is designed for when a vehicle starts off on a hill, the brake remains on for approximately one second after the driver removes his or her foot from the brake to prevent the vehicle from rolling backward. This is designed to assist drivers who are not well versed in hill starts to start up smoother and with confidence. This feature is only on models with manual transmissions.
I have owned a few with the old mechanical system, and this one is much less intrusive, no initial jump when the brakes are released. Totally slick and seamless. Wife even commented that she like the new one. LOL