Opinion: Am I mad for wanting a Porsche 991.2 GT3 with PDK?
Manual gearboxes have been quite a talking point on Total911.com in recent months. It all started back in July when our spies spotted a 991.2 GT3 test mule with what looked very much like a gear lever on the centre console.
It all but confirmed what we had been hearing on the grapevine: the next 911 GT3 would get the same six-speed shifter as found in the revered 911 R, a car that appears to have truly opened the Porsche board’s eyes the sheer number of Neunelfer enthusiasts who’d rather have a manual gearbox.
Having briefly driven the 991 R up the hill at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, I can understand why people are so eager for the new manual ‘box to make its way onto the next GT3 (where it will undoubtedly be experienced by more than the 991 owners lucky enough to snag an ‘R’).
Of all the analogue shifters on our top five list earlier this week, the six-speed MT11 unit in the Porsche 911 R is easily the most technically accomplished. It’s a joy to use and I know it’s a personal favourite of Total 911 Editor, Lee too.
With the likely choice of PDK or manual on the 991.2 GT3, I know which gearbox I’d choose if had the financial means to order the latest creation from Andreas Preuninger’s incredible Weissach department.
Yep, PDK is the only way for me. Yes, you’ve read that right. Despite all my love for the six-speed manual, if it were my own money on the line, I’d be taking Porsche’s stunning dual-clutch gearbox. Am I mad?
I may well be. If I was buying a normal 991.2 Carrera, I’d have the seven-speed manual shifter everyday of the week over the PDK unit but, on the motorsport-inspired GT3, I want to shift with those delightfully tactile paddles and left foot brake, exploiting all the mechanical trickery of Preuninger-tuned chassis.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t enjoy driving the manual Gen2 GT3. In fact, on the road, it may be the more engaging proposition but, on track, where a Porsche GT truly belongs, the PDK transmission just seems like the logical choice.
The statistics may offer me some solace too. In our recent poll – the results of which you can see in the next issue of Total 911 – the final reckoning between manual and PDK was probably much closer than you expected. And, in the UK, 911 enthusiasts were split exactly 50:50. Maybe I’m not quite such a black sheep….