May 02

No manual transmission for the next 911 Turbo

The Porsche 911 Turbo is one of the all time greats. It is synonymous with performance, heritage, and style. Oh sure it has it’s critics and the style hasn’t change a whole lot in it’s entire history but it’s certainly evolved. Well it is evolving one more step it appears and that is the loss of the manual transmission.
I’m not one of those manual or no transmission guys, but that is probably the drag racer in me. I get wanting a manual and the IG company car has a manual transmission. It is fun to drive and allows for control of the car in more ways then an automatic. However, Porsche is not replacing the manual with an automatic, it’s a PDK transmission. This just makes sense. First dropping the manual from the turbo (also the GT3) means less RnD dollars spent on developing a transmission not very many people want. The fact is most of the American population has never even driven a manual transmission, let alone wants one. However the PDK transmission gives them the chance to row through the gears and still have the ease of use of an automatic. Not to mention the PDK transmission shifts faster and out performs a manual 100% of the time.

There is of course another advantage to these PDK transmissions and that if fuel economy. Porsche says that the new 911 will be 13% more efficient then that last and that is largely due to the PDK. The computer knows what gear to be in where for power and efficiency. It is really better all around, except of course is you just love playing with a stick.

With the price of these types of transmissions going down this trend will only continue. Manuals are just losing their place in the market and the automakers have less a reason to put them in their cars. I’m not ready to announce the death of the manual transmission just yet, but it’s certainly on life support.