Ok, you’ve heard this argument before and it’s certainly ongoing. Manual or automatic? Yes, there was a time when automatics sucked, and they do still kinda’ suck. But the technology doesn’t–for instance, you have automated sequential manual gearboxes, dual-clutch automatics, which are controlled by “flappy paddles,” and those don’t suck, from a performance aspect.
Because such technology exists, it’s pretty much casting a dark light of obsolescence on the classic, traditional, manual transmission, scaring those into thinking that the manual is dying. Well, it is something to worry about since, if you haven’t noticed, manual-equipped cars are getting harder and more difficult to find.
Add to the fact that diehard petrolheads will say, these automatic transmissions, even with the shifter paddles, aren’t as engaging, and some performance cars aren’t even given the option of a manual transmission, and the future does look bleak for the manual. Lot’s of “ands,” but there’s a lot working against the good ‘ol manual.
But to a great relief to many, Porsche decided to step up to the plate by making a “pure” 911, one with less amenities and more for the sake of forward momentum, that comes strictly with a manual transmission. So I guess this does make things a little better, does it?
It’s called the 911 R and it basically starts life as a 911 GT3, but without the giant wing. It even comes with the same lovely naturally-aspirated 4.0L flat-six from the GT3 RS. And that mill, as previously mentioned, comes mated only to a six-speed manual, and not Porsche’s latest and greatest PDK.
There’s a lot going one with the body too, to separate this 911 R from other 911s, such as the unique vinyl coloring and the Carrera RS-inspired “Porsche” side-skirt graphics.
Only 500 are to be made, with prices starting at $184,900. So better get yours, quick.
– By: Chris Chin