There used to be at least three good reasons to buy a car with a manual transmission: 1) They were more efficient. 2) They were faster. 3) They are more fun to drive. Ok, the last one is open to debate but we don’t think it would even be a close call if we were to take a poll. Nowadays, manual transmissions have gotten to the point where the first two points are no longer true. Combine that with the fact that many people experience stop and go traffic on a daily basis and even worse, many (most?) people can’t drive a stick shift anymore. Thus, it’s no surprise car companies left and right have been shunning manuals altogether across most of their lineup.
Porsche, however, is not afraid to buck the trend and take a stand for what’s right! Erhard Mossle, engineering chief for the 911 Turbo, Carrera 4, and Targa, has recently told Car and Driver that manuals are here to stay. Mossle was quoted as saying,
“It’s a unique selling proposition for Porsche to have a manual in the 911 range, and I think we will fight for that as long as possible. Even if it’s only 10 percent of the market, it’s important for some customers and for some markets, especially the U.S., to have that kind of gearbox… What we learned from the last two years with the Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder is that it’s not only a discussion of lap times, but also of emotion, of being fun to drive. Even if the car is not the fastest, it is fun to drive with a manual. Of course the PDK is faster, but a lot of customers want to change gear by themselves. Therefore I think we should keep it, for the next generation also.”
Kudos to Porsche for making a business decision that might not make sense on paper. The move, however, could pay off in the long run if they become one of the last sports car makers to offer drivers the chance to row their own gears.
This story got us thinking… how many people these days can still drive a stick? Can you and your significant other handle a manual, how about your kids? Let us know in the comments below and check out Episode 2 of TFL’s new series Project Porsche!