In the middle of Porsche's four-car reveal at this year’s Geneva motor show, one understated bit of news stood out like a fat thumb pointed upward: The next-generation 911 GT3, the track star among 911s and the old-school purist’s favorite new Porsche, will once again be offered with a manual transmission.
Never mind that only a relative handful of buyers will choose their GT3s with a manual (in the hundreds globally). Never mind that the 2018 GT3’s 0-62 mph time increases half a second when the dual-clutch PDK automatic is swapped for the manual, even when Porsche’s best drivers do the shifting (from 3.3 to 3.8 seconds). Never mind that the current, PDK-only GT3 (2013-17) has sold as well as any previous generation.
Porsche purists were outraged by the thought of a GT3 with no clutch pedal. and Porsche has heard the hue and cry, particularly from the United States and almost certainly from a voter base that will never actually buy a new 911 GT3 (they sell about 1,100 per year). For a relative handful of buyers and the sensibilities of the faithful, Porsche accepted the cost of certification and returned the manual transmission to the 911 GT3.