"Shut Up And Drive", Urges Porsche 991 GT3 Engineer

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

I have not had the opportunity to drive the newest iteration of Porsche’s 911 GT3. I probably won’t until somebody I know buys one. But I have driven the 991 Carrera S with the 7-speed manual transmission, and plainly put, it’s a crappy gearbox, the polar opposite of the enjoyable unit in the 997. The shifter feels balky and soft, the clutch is heavy and feels oversprung. It is the furthest thing from enjoyable. Purist tendencies be damned, I would get a PDK 911 in a heartbeat rather than dealing with the awkward, artificial stick shift. Apparently I’m not alone.

Canadian outlet AutoFocus spoke to Andreas Preuninger, the man in charge of the 911 GT3 since day one. Addressing the inevitable complains about the GT3’s switch to PDK-only, Preuninger politely proclaims what many of us are thinking; the people doing the complaining are never going to drive, much less own one.

Q: Here’s the question you’re getting a lot: Why PDK only and no manual transmission?

A: The PDK that is so discussed so much—‘Why! How can you do this! Holy Manual and skip it overboard’—I say it’s a shut up and drive.

It’s a crucial period now, people complain, forming strong opinions about something they can’t judge because they didn’t have any opportunity to drive it and judge it realistically. But that will pass as soon as the first journalists come back with their feedback—and I know exactly what this feedback is going to be like.

I experience it too often. With every new RS: ‘Oh no! This colour scheme; Oh no! These decals; How can they do this; Blah blah bloop.’ And everybody bought it nevertheless and is happy.

What this also leaves out is a stark fact that many do not like to admit. Just because it’s a manual gearbox does not automatically (no pun intended) make it superior to the two-pedal option. There are cars where the automatic is the better choice. Mazda’s Skyactiv cars spring to mind. I fear that Porsche is next on that list.


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  • Stumpaster Stumpaster on Jul 10, 2013

    I know for a fact that when it comes to Acura TSX, automatic is most definitely, without shadow of a doubt, a less enjoyable option than the manual. Just drove my mom's E46 325i with auto and that's the right way to shift and spread 5 gears.

  • Johnny Canada Johnny Canada on Jul 13, 2013

    Too bad Porsche's marketing department is pushing PDK hard while ignoring those interested in the man machine interface. PDK owners will no doubt feel the pain at re-sale time. That's good company for all those lonely M3's with SMG transmissions collecting dust at the used car lots.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?
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