When it comes to running hot laps at your local track or even doing runs on a drag strip, the feeling of using a manual can be great. Unfortunately, a growing number of car companies have been moving toward automatics with paddle shifters. Porsche was one of them, until it heard the cries of performance enthusiasts.
The Germans have paid attention to everyone complaining that the current 911 GT3 can’t be had with a manual, no matter what. While the 911R was an important gesture, the sad truth is your chances of driving one is about the same as getting struck by lightning while chewing raspberry bubblegum.
Now word is that Porsche will make a manual transmission option for the next-gen GT3. It might have been all the people rushing to scoop up the Cayman GT4, but somehow the company realized something that your average enthusiast knew all along.
The six-speed manual from the 911R will be used for anyone who wants it on the next GT3. Even though you might think it only would make sense, the GT3 RS won’t be available with the manual. Sorry.
This means that Porsche is taking a step back from the edge of becoming too soft and catering to lazy drivers who don’t want to row gears. That’s great, because without enthusiasts the Porsche brand becomes just another nameplate dentists and soulless corporate executives buy for prestige and nothing else. This is Porsche remembering its roots by making cars that are engaging and fun to drive on both the road and track.
Maybe, just maybe, this will cause some other automakers to realize there is enough of a market to offer performance models with an optional manual transmission. After all, heel-toe-shifting in some high-powered beast that handles tight is a great feeling you can never get by slapping some paddles.