Porsche’s decision to offer a manual transmission with the 911 GT3, off the back of the very limited run of stick-shift 911Rs, was seen as something of a gamble by the company, and not least by Motorsport Division’s head of road-car development, Andreas Preuinger.
“We were having bets about how many we would sell,” he admits, “and we recognised the risk that the demand might not be as strong as we hoped.
“But I can say that it has been a success, it meets our expectation for what the share would be. You shouldn’t forget that when you offer something new there’s a big demand at first, and that can fall away, but I think we’ll end up at around a 30 percent share for the manual transmission, although obviously that varies in different markets.”
Above: The 911 GT3 has a manual, but the RS will remain PDK only
But although he admits the success makes it likely that a manual gearbox will remain part of the mix for the basic GT models, there’s no chance that it will also be offered with the harder-core RS variants.
“RS means Renn Sport, which means it has to be quick on the track, that it’s all about fast times on the track, and that means the PDK,” Preuinger told CarAdvice at the GT2 RS launch.
“The PDK has advantages on the track that can’t be beaten by a manual, and the ones who prefer the manual transmission are not typically the track rats as we call them, but they are those who like to enjoy their cars on the normal public roads. I would say a GT2 RS with a manual option would have a four or five percent share of the market, we couldn’t justify that.”
When the next Cayman GT4 appears, we’ll know how deep Motorsport’s commitment to the manual gearbox is.