While the number of new cars available with a manual transmission is dropping, even as the take rate increases slightly, Porsche remains committed to offering its sports car with three pedals. The company explained that it’s doing all it can to keep the stick-shift around.
“Manual transmission is always what the customer wants in the 911, so we have been and are working as long as possible to save the manuals. That’s absolutely relevant for the 911. That’s why we have the 911 T with a manual gearshift, and now the 911 S/T with a stick-shift, and that’s really because customers want a stick-shift,” Frank Moser, the head of the 911 and 718 model lines, told The Drive.
Keeping the manual transmission around has become easier said than done, even if the demand is there (which it often isn’t). Stick-shifted cars tend to pollute slightly more than automatics so carmakers are increasingly dropping the option to comply with emissions regulations. The new Mini Cooper will not be offered with a manual transmission, and the Volkswagen GTI will lose this option after the 2024 model year.
That’s why Porsche can’t guarantee it will offer a manual indefinitely. Moser noted that his team is “working on” making sure the 911 and the 718 are available with three pedals until the current-generation models retire. What’s next depends on which model we’re talking about. The next-generation 718 will be electric-only and Moser ruled out developing a fake manual like Toyota. “What we want, and that’s the key for Porsche, is to make it authentic. So therefore, I don’t know that there’s a way for us to have a stick-shift in an electrified car,” he clarified.
Put another way, if you want a new 718 with a manual transmission and a gasoline-burning engine, order one quickly. As for the 911, what the future holds depends largely on where regulations take it. Even if the stick-shift disappears, at least Porsche will have tried to save it.