Porsche Engineer Predicts Demise Of Manual 911s

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2012 Porsche 911

2012 Porsche 911

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When Porsche introduced its latest-generation 991-series 911, the automaker also brought to the table an innovative seven-speed, three-pedal manual transmission.

Surely, then, the automaker believes that the conventional manual transmission has a secure place in its future, but it seems that may not be the case.

Just as rival sports car brands Ferrari and Lamborghini phase out the availability of manual transmissions in their latest models, so too may Porsche in the near future.

The information was revealed by Michael Schätzle, a project manager for the new 911, who spoke recently with Automobile.

He said that he personally believed the manual option on the 911 would only last for “one or two generations,” suggesting that it may be phased out by the end of the decade. He explained that globally, 78 percent of 911 buyers choose the PDK dual-clutch option over the manual, though in the U.S. that figure is only around half of all orders.

It’s important to note that one of the reasons Porsche launched the latest seven-speed manual was due to the cost benefit of it sharing much in common with the seven-speed PDK. That benefit may not last much longer as Porsche is studying a new nine-speed PDK, Schätzle also revealed, and it’s unlikely that such a unit would share much in common with a conventional manual.

The first signs of the manual’s demise at Porsche may come with the arrival of the 2013 911 GT3. This traditionally hardcore 911 variant is expected to offer a special race-tuned ‘PDK-S’ dual-clutch instead of a manual for the first time.
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