Why I'd choose a manual transmission over PDK for my new GT3!

"The latest GT3 comes with a sensation: The unexpected return of the manual transmission - What was already considered extinct, can now be ordered at customer's request again. If you have the small amount of 152.416€ on your bank account, of course!"

The new GT3 is actually a maintenance of the 991 GT3!

A few weeks ago Porsche presented their new developed Version of the 911 GT3 and just burned a new track record in the asphalt of the Nürburgring Nordschleife!

Only 7 minutes and 12.7 seconds are needed to do a full round with this new tracktoy on the almost 25 kilometers long route. Theoretically!

After all, even a very ambitious hobby racer won't be able to do what a professional racingdriver did. In any case, the 'new' GT3 is 12.3 seconds quicker than its predecessor. In the racing world literally about as long as a millipedes needs to get his shoes bind - a half eternity.

One point that makes the new GT3 - which is strictly spoken only a rework of the 991 GT3 - so fast, is its engine. While the 991.1 GT3 had 3.8 liters of displacement, which were enough to send full 475 horses to the PDK transmission, the new 991.2 GT3 has a displacement of 4.0 liters now. So, it reaches a full performance output of 500 horses. Added to this are a reworked chassis as well as some optical retouches on the front and rear apron.

But the real sensation does come from the transmission! For the first time ever Porsche offers two different gearbox variants with its most sporty 911 derivative to its customers. So, the six-speed manual gearbox already believed dead within the more sporty and powerful variants of the Porsche 911, is celebrating an unexpected return!

A manual transmission has only been available for the Carrera, Boxster or Cayman Versions, so far. Other sports car manufacturers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini have banned a classic manual gearbox completely already and it seemed as if the classic 'shift stick' would also give way to a vicious 'selector lever' soon at Porsche, too.

But how do we say in Germany? - The condemned live longer and so the manual transmission celebrates a brilliant return with the new GT3 and leaves the whole Porscheworld confused. So, what gearbox to choose now?!

Well. The choice is very simle, isn't it?

The PDK shifts so fast the driver can't even think the word 'Neunelf'. It also has a seventh gear, which takes unpleasent pessengers from one racetrack to another relaxed. The driver also never has to put his hands off the steering, which is quite important on racetracks, while hunting for tenth of a second. Finally the GT3 is a road legal racecar, isn't it?!

Nevertheless, if I could order a new GT3 tomorrow - just as I have compiled it a hundret times already on Porsche's online configurator - mine would come with a manual.

The elephant in the room: Manual- or PDK transmission?

What?! - But you just told us that the PDK is so much faster and better, the one or other of you might object now. Nevertheless, my decission was firm and I tell you why:

When I got the 991 Carrera S about 4 years ago, I was totally thrilled. Not only from the car but also from the PDK gearbox. There is no better transmission in the world than Porsches PDK. It switches the gears softly while driving through the city, barely noticable on the highway and lightning fast on the race track. If you use it in Sport-Plus mode it always has the right gear selected and there is no hobby racer in the world who could do it better I guess...

But something crucial is missing. The personal pleasure of driving a car!

This realization however came to me about one year later, when I got infected by the 'aircooled' virus and a Porsche 964 had to be added to the garage. Driving an aircooled Porsche is work. At times it can also be really striking, especially if you are driving up mountain passes and another green RS is hanging at your back! Sometimes you don't find the right gear and in the evenings you leave your car completely done. But:  BY GOD THIS IS TRUE FUN!!!

This is true sports car driving and nothing else.

When you finally have enough confidence in your skills and your car, driver and car almost merge into one unit. You have the feeling of absolute control. Nothing sparks you in between. You can feel the transmission working and the power running through the transmission directly to the rear wheels. There is no way of getting anywhere near that feeling without a manual transmission. No matter how good a double-clutched gearbox can be. THIS is true driving pleasure to me and nothing else.

If I had 152. 416 € (That's the exact price for a new 911 GT3 without extras) on my bank account for waste, I would definitely buy myself a new GT3 now with a manual gearbox. Maybe because it is the last one of its kind, too. I would buy it just for me. For my own pleasure and for no one else. I would drive through the Dolomites, over the Berninapass, the Sellajoch and the Großglockner. I would drive up to Finland with it and back again. I don't care if the GT3 does the 0 - 100 km/h time 0,5 seconds quicker with PDK and I don't care if it is 12 seconds faster on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. I don't even care if other drivers can overtake me on the track and of course I don't care if there is an even faster RS Version presented a few month later! - This doesn't matter to me. I would buy a GT3 for the joy of driving and nothing makes more fun than shifting manually!

Photos: Stefan Bogner - CURVES Magazin | All rights reserved. ©

Kommentar schreiben

Kommentare: 3
  • #1

    Hans (Dienstag, 09 Mai 2017 17:29)

    Ask Lars Kern, I did, I ordered a manual GT3 but will change to PDK. I'm convinced now.

  • #2

    Thomas (Mittwoch, 10 Mai 2017 03:54)

    I would choose the manual anyway! Great article

  • #3

    MWW (Mittwoch, 24 Januar 2018 12:11)

    @ Hans: What was the reasoning behind the decision?

    I am still struggling with my choice. I have ordered the manual but contemplate switching to PDK.

    I loved the manual in my GT4 - also for track driving. I mostly do track driving but do not chase tenths - there is still plenty of room for me to improve lap times by improving my driving skills). I still feel that the PDK might suit the overall GT3 with the engine possiblly better.