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Monday, May 27, 2013

The new 911 GT3: Another superhero loses the stick

The GT3 has been Porsche's purest car. Both the RS race and the "civilian" street versions were stripped off all the unnecessary weight adding options and equipment. The cars would have high revving normally aspirated detuned race engines, huge brakes and heavily modified suspensions. They would also come in at under 1,400 kg - VW Golf territory.

The new GT3 promises to be another great machine for a maniac pilot seeking the purest driving experience available without a racing licence. 0-100 km/h takes just 3.5 seconds, 200 km/h less than 12 seconds and the top speed is over 300 km/h. The car's motor redlines at 9000 and makes 475 hp from just 3.8 liters.


But wait. What's that? No manual transmission? In a 911? Porsche 911? Porsche 911 GT3? That's right; the new GT3 is PDK transmission only. Start crying now.

"Just shut up and drive the thing." says Andreas Preuninger, the man responsible for Porsche's GT cars. "I don't get this Stone Age idea about what a 911 should be. With the first GT3, they were practically throwing rocks at me because it didn't have an automated-manual transmission, which was where all the hype was at the time. But those transmissions weren't very good. Now, the GT3 gets a perfect [dual-clutch automatic], and everyone is screaming for the manual."

I can't make up my mind whether I'm happy or sad about it. For years and years, I'd never consider a sports car with an automatic. Then when the race-inspired, quick shifting dual clutch trannies started arriving, I was high on those. Now I have mixed emotions. What will tomorrow bring? The manual will likely completely disappear in gas engines and electric cars don't really need a transmission to begin with. We better enjoy the stick whenever we get an opportunity.

Road and Track: 2014 Porsche 911 GT3

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