Seven-speed automatic-based transmissions have been around for a while now. Even eight-speed automatics are becoming popular, but a seven-speed manual? According to German reports, the next Porsche 911 will feature this very gearbox.
Sources within Porsche have reportedly confirmed with Car and Driver in the US that the new model will feature such a transmission. The extra seventh gear will be designed for highway use and will help drop emissions and fuel consumption ratings.
It's not just a matter of sneaking in another ratio, however. The rest of the gear ratios need to be spaced appropriately too. The seventh gear in the Porsche will apparently be longer than the normal sixth, while gear ratios first through six will be brought closer together, which could improve acceleration.
As for the layout, this Photoshop image by AutoBild in Germany could be an accurate representation of the layout. It seems the seventh gear will be off to the side up on the right, like a conventional fifth gear in an old five-speed.
What do you think? Is seven gears too many for a manual transmission?