Rumormill: Next-gen Porsche GT3 to ditch manual transmission, rear-engine layout and KERS?

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.

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[Source: Rennlist via 0-60]

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