Porsche Says You Don’t Need A Manual To Get A ‘Real’ Porsche

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.”

  • Marc Gruben

    I don’t care if a PDK, or any dual clutch transmission, can shift gears in one-billionth of a millisecond. I happily and willingly concede that their performance is vastly superior to traditional stick-and-clutch manuals. What a PDK will never do is recreate the wonderful experience of nailing that downshift perfectly as you enter into a sharp turn. It’s like when you know, you just know that you nailed your golf swing and drove the ball 230 yards off the tee, or you just know you bowled a strike before the ball even hits the pins. The batter who knows, from the crack of the bat against the ball, that he’s hit it out of the park before the ball actually leaves the park.

    A PDK can never give me this feeling. I don’t care if the performance is better because I’m not trying to win a race. I’m trying to enjoy that twisting canyon road without feeling like I’m driving a video game.

    • db

      So eloquently and accurately stated.

    • Maisch

      Well put, you wrote it better than i would have done. I’ve tried many autos, including PDK. Sorry porsche, but you are wrong.

  • Nastinupe1911

    My Porsche 911 is a manual, naturally aspirated and also has hydraulic steering. I don’t care if it only has 355 hp. It’s still the best driving experience IMHO.

  • Honda NSX-R

    Are they hinting at the 992 not being offered in the manual?

  • lagann

    While I agree dual clutch transmission is faster than manual…it’s quirky in everyday traffic.

  • db

    Porsche Says You Don’t Need A Manual To Get A ‘Real’ Porsche
    Company speak for “We are dropping the manual”….

  • WarCloud

    They’re right !
    Tired of “manual keyboard warriors”, I don’t hate manual per say, but all those self proclaimed “purists” are annoying AF. Especially when they pretend to know better than anyone or car companies…

  • MarkoS

    For what one is paying it sure as heck should be an option.

    • donald seymour


  • Mr. EP9

    But if you want the most enjoyable driving experience there is no really substitute for a manual. Not everyone cares about how faster a PDK or whatnot is, they just want to enjoy driving.

  • Wrescr

    One word:


  • pcurve

    I love manual, but newer manuals have too many nannies to be even called real manual.

    Auto-rev match and clutch delay switch that dampens release of clutch. In BMW, auto-rev match can only be turned off in sport mode. Expect Porsche to go in that direction before they pull the plug completely.

    • Craig

      You hear a lot about that on Subaru forums. These new ‘nannies’ that are in place to reduce emissions has seriously taken the fun out of manual transmissions. I can’t help but think it was done for that reason alone.

    • Rahul Mandala

      The newer Porsche Manuals give that mechanical and solid feeling. Same with BMW’s manuals. Hell, even the manual in the Miata, Camaro, etc. have solid Manuals. Subaru happens to be the worst offender of the nannies with the Manual

  • Bikie Wright

    We don’t need their marketing speak. We just need them to continue giving us a choice.

  • Craig

    The video game generation has taken over.

  • xrnzaaas

    You don’t need a 911 to own a fun to drive sports car.

    • Astonman

      nice twist!

  • Wandering_Spirit

    They are really bent on turning humans into willing disabled entities

  • Rahul Mandala

    I can guarantee you someone at Porsche literally wants the brand to fail. How? Porsche still represents the drivers and judging by the manual take rate on the GT3 and other 911s, they wouldn’t want to can out the manual easily or even at all. Someone at the brand is trying to convince everyone to go PDK. While I respect the PDK for giving very precise shifts, the Manual has been mechanical and involving. I don’t know why someone at Porsche got the voice to say “let’s remove Porsche’s best feature”. Porsche, as much as I love you, you know much, much better than that.

  • An Existing Person

    My 911 is a 7-speed manual. Yes, I could’ve ordered it PDK like most of the non GT-car Porsches sold, but the manual transmission by Porsche is such a wonderfully crafted and involving experience. and there really is nothing else like it. Porsche has to understand that they are the manufacturer with the largest percentage of customers that option out or purchase a car with a manual transmission. Killing it off means killing off a large portion of your customer base and tarnishing the legacy they have as being the company for enthusiasts. PDK will always be faster than manual, but will never offer the same involvement and satisfaction.

  • SteersUright

    Totally agree. PDK is amazing. I had a manual 2013 911 base and then drove the same car with PDK and it felt like it had 50 more hp. It accelerated more brutally, ripped off shifts like an F1 car, did the most dramatic and precise downshifts, and overall the car felt more alive, angry and fun. The manual absolutely has its own appeal, but its just a different man-machine interaction. With the manual I found myself more connected to the engine and working harder to drive the car perfectly which is very fun. With the PDK, I found myself able to eck out every last drop of speed, feeling like I was driving a modern race car and it was, to me, even more exciting. But, to each their own. I remain a huge fan of PDK.

  • JTRintheUSA

    #1 It takes skill to drive a manual properly. Anybody can drive an automatic. The satisfaction of a properly executed downshift without autoblip… e.g., heel toeing g it yourself just like a Hurley Haywood is magical. I Totally understand that pdk is faster on the track… Bit ever try making a Left turn in traffic… There IS THE GLITCH! The goddam thing is “Thinking” When you are wanting it to GO… When I release the clutch.. I KNOW that I’m GOING… I will Forevermore be driving a manual Porsche… Just might not be a New one so goes it. My 987 with 365 hp and a beautiful machined aluminum short shifter mechanism is just a joy and is so precise. Unless you’re on the track, the manual… If you actually can appreciate it… some folks just want to “drive” a Porsche for status rather than truly appreciate it… then get the AUTOMATIC. Nothing more nauseating than a Turbo S with a pdk. SO ILL GET A 2016 GT4 when I want a “New” Porsche.

  • paul Grant

    Porsche is obviously taking the high end supercar philosophy that Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Mclaren etc. that a manual is really no longer needed for any version of the 911. I can see their point. The 911 has become more of a GT car with the ability to be a supercar when called upon. It is a very different car then what it came from. Personally I prefer a manual which is why I would opt for a Cayman or Boxster. That vehicle is now more closely aligned to what the 911 was rather what it has become today.

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