Manual transmissions are becoming increasingly rare, but Porsche says that’s okay as the “advantages of the dual-clutch transmission are too great to ignore.”
While the automaker concedes that manuals used to be better than automatics, the company says you no longer need a stick to drive a ‘real’ Porsche.
Dual-clutch transmissions have been around decades, but Porsche didn’t offer one until the seven-speed PDK gearbox debuted on the 911 in 2008. It was a huge leap forward as the gearbox was 22 pounds (10 kg) lighter than the Tiptronic S automatic transmission and shifted up to 60% faster.
This significantly improved performance as the PDK-equipped 911 Carrera 4 could accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) four tenths of a second faster than its six-speed manual counterpart. Besides improving performance, fuel consumption was reduced by 0.4 L/100 in the 911 Carrera S.
Fast forward to today, and Porsche says more than 75% of 718 and 911 models are equipped with a PDK transmission. It still offer a handful of advantages as the PDK-equipped Cayman is up to 0.4 seconds faster than the manual to 60 mph (96 km/h).
While modern automatics offer an assortment of benefits, that wasn’t always the case. Porsche pointed to the example of their Sportomatic semiautomatic transmission that debuted on the 911 in 1967. When equipped, the transmission made the 911 two seconds slower to 62 mph (100 km/h) while also increasing fuel consumption. As a result, the gearbox was “not a rousing sales success.”