Public outcry made Porsche reconsider its plans for the stick-shift transmission

As the rest of the industry slowly shies away from cars fitted with manual transmissions, Porsche has made a handful of about-turns on the matter. The latest word, coming from no less than Porsche North America CEO Klaus Zemmler, is that the German automaker will be offering manual transmissions “as long as there are customers who demand” one.

Porsche Isn't Getting Rid of Manual Transmissions Yet Exterior Spyshots
- image 793833

Porsche North America CEO Klaus Zemmler made those comments in a conversation with Motor Authority. According to Zemmler, the Stuttgart-based automaker was actually looking into phasing out manual transmissions on its cars before public outcry forced it to reconsider. “We were actually on a path of fading out a manual transmission, and the outcry of our customers was so loud that of course we listened and with the last GT3s…we came back with a manual,” the CEO said.

“I can share with you that two-thirds of all GT3s ordered are being ordered with a manual, and that exceeds our original planning by far.”

Porsche’s back-and-forth on using manual transmissions dates back a few years when it launched the current-generation 911 Turbo and the track-focused 911 GT3 with glaring omissions in their respective options lists. Neither model received options for a manual transmission. That decision sent Porsche fans, specifically fans of the weapons-grade GT3, into a frenzy. Porsche eventually listened and brought back the manual transmission, even though Zemmler also admits that only 20 to 25 percent of 911 and 911 S buyers choose a manual transmission.

Still, the company knows that getting rid of the row-on-your-own gearbox will send a lot of Porsche purists into their own versions of hissy fits. Porsche admits that even though a PDK transmission is better with regards to the pursuit of speed and performance — “if you want to be the fastest, the most control of the car, using the full potential of the car, there’s nothing better than the double-clutch, the PDK. It doesn’t get any better,” Zemmler said — there are still some buyers who prefer to be in control of their own Porsches and not rely on a computer to shift gears for them.

Porsche Isn't Getting Rid of Manual Transmissions Yet Exterior Spyshots
- image 793828
That thinking may run counter to the conventional wisdom that sequential and dual-clutch transmissions change gears faster than any human hand possibly can.

But even then, that’s not going to stop Porsche from sacrificing the manual transmission because it already did so in the past, and it received a lot of backlash because of it.

So the manual transmission lives on in Porsche. For now, at least.

Further reading

2018 Porsche 911 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 708353

Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3.

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo High Resolution Exterior
- image 658139

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo.

Source: Motor Authority

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: