By on April 22, 2008

08911c4scaba4.jpgOur spies tell us that the 911 is finally slated to receive the killer app: a sublime dual-sequential gearbox (DSG) or similar (don't ask). The paddle-shifted Porsche should hit dealer showrooms by the end of the summer. [The delay's due to horsepower and installation issues.] From there, the world's best paddle shifter will trickle down into its rightful place on planet Earth: the Boxster/Cayman. And upwards onto the Cayenne (the mind boggles). And over to the forthcoming Panamera (due in '09 as a '10). And all Audis. Meanwhile, the 911 gets all the e-toys it lacks: Bluetooth, touch screen (death to Chicklet buttons!) and iPod integration. It remains to be seen whether the refreshed 911 will get a displacement bump or find a few more hp through the usual Stuttgartian black magic. And whether the 911's stick-intensive clientele (60% plus) will abandon their purist predilictions for paddles. As anyone who's driven the DSG GTI will tell you, especially a TTAC writer who owns one and lets his designated girlfriend drive it after a couple of few bourbons, there's really only one good reason not to make the switch: most car thieves can't drive stick. 

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22 Comments on “Refreshed Porsche 911 (997.5) Finally Gets Proper Paddle Shift...”


  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    “a couple of few bourbons,” eh?

    We’ve all been there.

  • avatar
    meocuchad

    I’d still take the complete manual option, and not even for the burglary protection. I like driving my cars. Not just trying to make them as fast as possible.

    I think of it this way:
    Would you flappy paddle-supporters enjoy a car as much if it’s steering/road feel was numbed? I wouldn’t think so. I wouldn’t want my transmission to get a dose of morphine either.

    Pass.

  • avatar
    beetlebug

    Gosh,
    Do we really have to do this every few months? Some folks like the lazy flappy paddle gearboxes and those who like to drive choose stick shift. See? You baited me. Darn you! However, I really don’t see why we have to be baited quite so often.

  • avatar
    CarShark

    But with the flappy paddles, aren’t you still controlling when the gears change? The whole argument against sounds like grasping at straws.

  • avatar

    Hopefully it won’t eat clutches at the same rate as the Ferrari paddle shift does…
    Having said that as I don’t have enough money to buy either it’s not a real worry!

  • avatar
    RayH

    The 997 is what I plan buying used in 10 years… I look forward to watching this transmission’s durability for 9 years, especially in a high-horsepower application. Hopefully it doesn’t act like it’s had a couple of few bourbons…. or be the Kentucky Beau of DSGs.

  • avatar
    meocuchad

    My bad. Didn’t mean to sound like I’m enciting an argument.
    But Farago took a stab at the manual trann. Being an enthusiast, I took the bait, and had to justify/defend my love.

    CarShark :
    But with the flappy paddles, aren’t you still controlling when the gears change? The whole argument against sounds like grasping at straws.

    Simply put, yes. But driving a manual transmission isn’t all about just changing gears on demand. That’s what tiptronic is for. It’s about the feeling of the control you have over the car. Just can’t beat using all four limbs to pilot a vehicle. Call me stone-age if ya want, but damn do I love it. You can’t feel any more connected to a car than that. Since I use my car almost every single day of the year, I want to be as connected with it as possible (within reason, of course).

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    @ meocuchad:

    I’m with you.

    Besides, can you drop from 4th to 2nd coming into a hard turn and kick into a 4 wheel slide with a dsg*?

    *on a closed course only…

  • avatar
    Cyril Sneer

    Paddle shift doesn’t allow one to use the clutch pedal as an extra method of vehicle control.

    Also, I too would not want to own a paddle shift gearbox 10 years from now, and wonder if they will affect long-term values…

  • avatar
    Qusus

    Even if you find a standard manual transmission to be superior to DSG’s; more involving, you have to admit that a manual can be tiring for stop and go traffic in daily commuting. Sure, if my everyday everyday was traffic-free and there weren’t any stop lights I’d drive nothing but manuals. (Though in my opinion, a DSG is only marginally less involving.)

    Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t work like that. Whatever driving benefits are garnered from standard transmissions are quickly lost when traffic catches up. A DSG offers 90% of the involvement without any of the downsides – it’s just a superior transmission and flapping the paddles on a GTI is a lot of fun. Plus, even if you don’t care about this stuff: it does shift better and faster than any human could (though of course, you can say this about many normal automatics as well).

    (And yeah, I’m worried about reliability issues and how they’ll hold up on long-term too but at this point it’s just speculation without evidence.)

  • avatar
    phil

    i doubt the satisfaction of a good heel/toe downshift can be obtained from the paddles. i’ve driven enough of them (paddletastic cars) that i’ve decided to pass. and can you imagine the repair costs for a porsche DSG? jeez, even our buddy jay would cringe at the thought. now the bluetooth and a few more horses; that’s what i’m talkin about.

  • avatar
    beetlebug

    I’ve heard people complain about standard transmissions and traffic. Personally, I’d still take the stick. I’ve been on the DC Beltway, LA Expressways, etc. and it’s not a big deal to me to have to crawl with a clutch. Keeps me awake at least. I drove in and out of traffic two hours a day and I’ve never screamed for an auto. I’ll scream at the traffic, though.

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    Yeah. Manual transmissions. Cold, dead hands.

    R.I.P.

  • avatar
    Adonis

    I’m with beetlebug on this one. I honestly don’t even notice my shifts anymore in traffic, it’s just autopilot.

    You know, another way to get shifts much faster than the human hand to get that top speed is Launch Control. I hear Nissan’s making a new, even better gadget than that: You sit in the passenger seat, press a button on the dash, and the car takes off and shifts by itself. It’s really the best way to get the top 0-60 time (on a closed track, of course). It’s totally worth it, I mean you get that race-car experience of driving a car fast, without having to learn anything. The American Dream.

    In all seriousness, though… non manual = no, for me.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Of course, with the DSG you could brake with your left foot and have less to get used to when you want to drive an F1 car fast…

  • avatar

    I can’t stand DSGs

    oh – and consider the expense of fixing them – the standard repair operation is to simply throw out the old unit, purchase a brand new one, and reinstall it (~$5000 when your tranny goes).

    Honestly – DSGs have evolved because more and more rich people don’t know how to drive a stick and don’t want to be embarassed, and the automakers want to capture them and sell them cars.

  • avatar

    Qusus – I would drive 1 hour in traffic to go 12 miles when I commuted from Virginia to DC – twice a day – with manual transmissions – and no complaints.

    Suck it up and quit making excuses. Its not as bad as you make it out to be.

  • avatar
    blau

    This is such a nondebate I can’t believe it. Is Porsche phasing out manual transmissions because of DSG? No! They’re phasing out torque-converter automatics.

    Porsche (like VW with the GTI) is not asking you to choose between manual and DSG. They used to have one good transmission option and one bad one; now they’re going to have two good ones. We should all be cheering, dammit!

  • avatar
    Cyril Sneer

    blau, maybe not Porsche, and maybe not now, but we are heading in the direction where your ‘manual’ option will be a DSG or similar. Manufacturers benefit hugely from this. Consumers, not so much…

  • avatar
    CarShark

    Who cares? It’s all going to end up being DSG-only in the future.

    A person driving a stick, with the ridiculous usage of all the arms and legs, strikes me as Rube Goldbergian. You can do it faster and easier, but you don’t because you need by all the motion to feel like something’s being done. It’s like being impressed that someone can rub their tummy and pat their head at the same time. Utterly useless.

  • avatar

    CarShark – let me know when you find a DSG that can skip-shift or allow creep and hill balance like slipping a clutch.

    Oh – also, there’s this thing called driveline loss – manuals lose less power to the wheels through their transmission – thus manuals put more power to the pavement.

    And finally, I’ve driven the VW DSG and I’ve raced the VW DSG – I can shift faster than it can, given the proper stick (S2000/Civic SI).

  • avatar
    LA Boy

    Quite possibly the reason it has taken Porsche so long to give us DSG is that they wanted to deliver one that doesn’t self destruct every few years. Here’s what gets my goat: we know most folks who buy Porsches want manuals, they want to feel connected, drive the car themselves. So, that is what Porsche has delivered their cars with for so long. Now that the Nissan GT-R is out with it’s uber-fast DSG shifter, Porsche is criticized for being backward, old-fashioned and behind the times. My guess is, when we do finally see the Porsche DSG, it will be bullit-proof, most likely the best you can get. Question is, will Porsche constituents want to buy their car with DSG. I think I read somewhere that most folks who have bought the Ferrari 599 stop using the paddles after a short time.


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