• Feb 7, 2011
2010 Porsche 911 GT3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Remember simpler times when transmissions came in two flavors? Choosing a manual or an automatic was a straightforward decision: enthusiasts took the manual, commuters took the automatic. The emergence of in-between options like sequential and dual-clutch gearboxes may make it easier if you're an enthusiast who also has to commute, but what does it mean when these robotized transmissions shift faster and smoother than any set of human limbs could ever hope to?

That debate will rage for years to come, but when it comes to one of the world's purest driving machines, we could have our answer right here. According to reports circulating the interwebs, the next-generation Porsche 911 GT3 could lose the choice of a manual altogether, replaced by the PDK dual-clutch transmission. (Of course the stick could, mind you, come back for the yet more hardcore GT3 RS should enthusiasts object.)

That one bit will be enough to have purists up in arms, but that's not the end of it. An enthusiast on the Rennlist forum citing high-up Porsche sources also claims the GT3 will pack a 4.0-liter flat-six with some 480 horsepower on tap and nearly 200 fewer pounds to schlepp around. Purists may also take exception to the point that the engine is slated to move forward from its trademark position behind the rear axle to a more optimal mid-engine layout.

Finally, notions of a streetable implementation of the Williams-developed regenerative braking system from the GT3 R Hybrid is apparently off the table as well – at least for the GT3, anyway. Guess a hybrid, robotic-clutched, mid-engined GT3 would be one step too far, even for the people who came up with the Porsche Cayenne.



[Source: Rennlist via 0-60]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      While I can (sadly) see the shift to a PDK-only transmission option for the GT3 to boost sales, it is highly doubtful that the car will shift it's engine placement too. Ferrari has all but jumped the shark (er... ship) moving to almost exclusively pseudo-manual transmissions in all it's new models so why shouldn't Porsche do the same. If Porsche is really worried about it's competitiveness with Ferrari, the new 918 will quell any of those fears altogether, and the 911 can cover the broad spectrum it does now. My opinion on dual clutch/automated manuals is that they are a classic case of "you're doing it wrong". There are only 2 reasons for these transmissions: increase sales/marketability and bragging rights for that extra 10th or 2 of a second faster to 60. But all that misses the point of driving ability and interaction with the car. Driving a stick takes skill, and is something that is honed over time to be ever perfected, and those who drive for the enjoyment of driving understand that. Those who argue the superiority of dual-clutch transmissions miss the point. I'd rather lose a race because of my skills than win a race because my car did all the work for me. Worse, I'd hate to lose a race because my car thought it knew what to do better than I did, or altogether just quit. Ever notice the increase in super-cars mating with roadside objects since more and more of them are now available with self-shift trannies? Just saying....

      @travisty - Personally, I'd stick with the manual transmission for the car. I hate being a passenger, even on a 2000+ mile road trip. If it keeps it from being borrowed by anyone else, all the better. Besides, if I ever get married, I'd hope my wife could drive stick anyways ;-P
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mid engine is progress and a better layout. But removal of the manual option?? That is just a step in the wrong direction. I do NOT welcome my robot car overlords!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      as stated, GT3 is only a racing class. so next-gen GT3 could be 911 or any Porsche's mid-engined layout. Cayman GT3 maybe?
      but as for 911 as well as the next-gen 911 (998), Porsche should stick to RR layout, they has maintained their good 'stubbornness' with it, besides drew various championship in motorsports. the 911's RR layout that's make 'Porsche, There Is No Subtitute'.
      it's okay to equip next-gen 911 with KERS to improve efficiency, offers PDK as an option, but Porsche, please keep offering proper 6-speed manual too!
      Porsche GT3 - proper driver's car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know that SMG/Dual-clutch transmissions are faster and therefore better purely for the drag strip.

      Does anyone know if they are sequential though (that is what I thought at least).

      I drive a 2004 Boxster S Limited Edition w/ a 6-speed. I gotta tell you, I usually drive skipping every other gear because they are sooo short. 1-3-6, 1-3-5, (from a roll it would be 2-4-6).

      I skip plenty of gears all the time because I'm not goosing it to the red light every time. It seems like with the paddle shifters you'll be forced to use every gear and therefore wear the clutch and tranny out quicker than normal. Plus it's less convenient.

      Am I nuts or has anyone else thought about this?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dear Autoblog,

      Please don't post blasphemy like this in the future.

      Sincerely,
      Enraged Porsche Enthusiast
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just posing a question for the engineers here, if the engine were moved forward of the rear axle, I assume it would change the driving dynamic of the car, but in what way? It seems like the Porsche engineers would do everything possible to make that big of a change a positive or at least neutral experience for most drivers... the GT3 being a lot to handle already.

      A rumor is just a rumor at this point, but I'm curious as to the changes in handling. That would be a fun one to see a comparison on a track.
      • 3 Years Ago
      You can't stop progress.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Not only that, but the computer-controlled trans makes it nearly impossible to do the stupid downshift that arcs you beyond redline into $40-50K worth of engine damage.
        • 3 Years Ago
        No, you can't.

        But what Porsche could do is:

        1. Keep the 911 as a "romantic" car, with a traditional 3-pedal manual trans

        2. Advance a new 914 / Cayman / GT / 918-based mid-engine car only available with a SMG and let this car go forward as the future. Perhaps call it a "919" or something, but optimize it to go after Lambo & Ferrari.

        It's not like Porsche doesn't mix things up, with the 914 / 924 / 928 / GT / Cayman / Cayenne / Panamera. A nothing wrong with a new mid-engined car and seeing how it sells.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Next-gen Porsche GT3 to ditch manual transmission, rear-engine layout and KERS?" - yeah, when pigs fly.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Grains of salt. Yes, the manual option may be removed as the PDK has an infinitely better response time and these are, essentially, race cars for the road. However, to quote a random person on a forum who heard from a "higher-up" at Porsche that the engine will be moved forward of the rear axle? Spare me. The engineering required to do that would likely make it prohibitive. The platform is simply not designed to accept a mid-mounted engine. Porsche will save the M/R set-up for cars like the 918.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Agreed. Besides, it's always been policy to muck around with other model lines while keeping the 911 solidly enthusiast-friendly. And as a hardcore 911 guy, I would be beside myself if they went mid-engine. They've spent more than 45 years figuring out the rear configuration, why change that now?

        I think autoblog's just spinning its wheels.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Technically, the Cayman chassis *is* better than the 911.

        If Porsche were to put all of the GT3 bits into the Cayman (and I'm pretty sure they'd fit), with an equivalent bodykit upgrades, that Cayman GT3 should outperform it's 911 counterpart.

        Whether Porsche can manage the pricing and so forth, I don't know.

        Of course, the real heresy is "it's not a *REAL* Porsche"...
        • 3 Years Ago
        I agree - PDK for a race car, sure. Move the engine? That's called the Cayman.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This article is lies! Porsche is only making the PDK an option, not replacing the manual entirely. As far as the mid engine layout, they will be moving the engine closer to the center of the car, but it probably won't go entirely in front of the rear axle. It certainly won't be smack in the middle like in the cayman. I wouldn't be suprised though, if Porsche put KERS or a similar hybrid system in their road cars in the near future. They've been using hybrid systems in their race cars for a while now, and those have been doing great for them.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Purists will be up in arms but if it's fast, it will sell.
      • 3 Years Ago
      BIG QUESTION...

      Is it going to be:

      1: A WAY upgraded Cayman chassis?

      2: A simplified and lightened 918 chassis with a flat 6 and no hybrid stuff?

      3: A hacked up, very customized next-gen 911 body with the drivetrain turned around?

      1 or 2 make the most sense. Why bother with 3?

      Since the 918 came out, I have wished that the next gen to succeed the 987 (988 or 981, whichever they call it...) would become a junior version of the 918, and side-step being the junior version of the 997 or 998/991

      The mid-engined chassis' of the 987, it's successor, and 918 make more sense as 2-seat sports and race cars, than the 2+2 rear-engined cars.

      The Carrera lineup should not be cancelled in any way, it should be allowed to do what it is good at... a more practical and less cramped 2+2 Sports/Grand Touring car with optional AWD, which is more complex to try to implement in a 2-seat light-weight mid-engined sports car. Still keep the Carrera versions, S, 4S, etc... keep the turbo, also, as road cars that successfully split the difference between a sports car's performance, and a Grand Touring Coupe's long mileage and slightly more generous interior space and luxury appointments.

      But the GT3 and GT2, as high-powered, barely street legal race cars with the goal of outright supreme performance, naturally aspirated and turbocharged respectively, should be in the supreme performance chassis format, which is mid-engined, RWD.

      The 904, 906, 908, 550, 718, 917... all were mid-engined performers from Porsche, and mostly track and race cars, even if some were street legal. 918 and 981 should be tomorrows lineup for the street 2-seat pure sports cars, and race cars derived from them.

      The 991 Carrera successor will and should be the next generation of rear-engined road cars from the long and legendary line of 356, 911, 930, 964, 993, 996, and 997 road cars. The Porsche traditional road car lineage.

      Porsche has some history with naming conventions being odd. GT# cars are race-ready cars, not Grand Touring road cars in the dictionary sense. Carrera (which means race in spanish) is a nice road car that isn't even the very best racing chassis format in Porsche's lineup, and not even the name for the rear-engined race car models like the GT3/GT2, which are not referred to as Carreras.
    • Load More Comments