Porsche isn’t walking away from the manual transmission… just yet.
“Manual transmission is always what the customer wants in the 911, so we have been and are working as long as possible to save the manuals,” said Frank Moser, head of the Porsche 911 and 718 lines, to The Drive.
“That’s absolutely relevant for the 911. That’s why we have the 911 T with a manual gearshift, and now the 911 S/T with a stick shift, and that’s really because customers want a stick shift.”
Mr Moser told The Drive Porsche is “working on” keeping manuals alive until the end of this generation of sports cars.
But he has ruled out developing a simulated manual transmission for its growing electric vehicle (EV) range. The brand plans for 80 per cent of the vehicles it sells to be electric by 2030.
“What we want, and that’s the key for Porsche, is to make it authentic. So therefore, I don’t know that there’s a way for us to have a stick shift in an electrified car,” he told The Drive.
In early 2022, Toyota patented technology that will allow its electric cars to control the torque of the electric motor similarly to a manual transmission by using a “pseudo-clutch pedal” and a “pseudo-shifter”. It has yet to put this technology into production.
With tightening emissions regulations in some markets and greater efficiency from automatic models, not to mention declining demand for manuals, many brands have whittled down their three-pedal options or removed them entirely.
Porsche isn’t the only brand still offering manual sports cars, though. BMW, for instance, has a range of hot models available with manuals including the M2 and M4, while there are still hot hatches with three pedals from Hyundai and Toyota. Ford’s upcoming next-gen Mustang will also still offer a manual.
But manuals have disappeared from Mercedes-AMG’s model range, as well as the Ferrari and Lamborghini line-ups.
In mid-2022 Porsche claimed although it removed the option of a manual transmission across the 911 range with the exception of the GTS and GT3, demand for the gearbox still remained exceptionally high.
Around the same time, sales of manual Porsche 911 GT3s made up 50 per cent of all Australian deliveries, while the brand’s 911 GTS had a healthy 20 per cent manual take rate.