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Porsche 911 Engineer: Manual Transmissions Are Walking Dead

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On: Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 1:56PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche 911 Engineer: Manual Transmissions Are Walking Dead

Despite the fact that about half of all 911s sold in the United States are equipped with a manual transmission, a prominent Porsche engineer feels Stuttgart will phase out manuals by the end of the decade. Automated manual transmissions like Porsche's seven-speed dual-clutch PDK have just come too far in combining the driving advantages of traditional manuals with the ease of use of automatics.

Porsche 911 project manager Michael Schätzle - whose name most certainly rhymes with my favorite German side dish - told Automobile magazine that he foresees the manual hitting extinction within the next generation or two of the 911. Schätzle said that about 78 percent of 911 buyers globally are already opting for the seven-speed PDK, and he sees the increased speed and efficiency as too attractive to let the manual survive much longer.

Porsche actually built a new seven-speed manual transmission for the 2012 911, which it debuted at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. However, Schätzle believes that the German automaker will eventually ditch the manual and develop a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission. He believes that the manual transmission will become a thing of budget cars in Europe, no longer an option for sports car drivers hoping to connect with their vehicles.

While Schätzle's prediction might seem rash to us shift-loving Americans, Porsche wouldn't be the first European sports car marque to lose the manual. Lamborghini designed a new seven-speed single-clutch transmission for the Aventador LP700-4 and will not offer a traditional manual option on its flagship. The Raging Bull has said that it plans to drop the manual from its entry level model when it launches the Gallardo replacement.

Ferrari has similarly ditched the manual option in favor of seven-speed automated transmissions in cars like the 458 Italia and FF. In a few days, we'll see if the F620 joins them in dropping the six-speed manual option currently offered on the 599 GTB.



dwalter | 3:12PM (Fri, Feb 24, 2012)

Save the manuals!


James Roberts | 3:46PM (Sun, Feb 26, 2012)

I love my Clutch...

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