2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test


2013 Porsche 911: Still Not Sure About PDK

February 8, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

An automatic in a Porsche 911? Yeah, it sounds bad, but only if you've never used Porsche's PDK automatic. It makes a very good case for the demise of the manual transmission.

Shifts from the PDK are ridiculously quick, well timed, and every bit as firm as you can muster with a manual. And that's before you even put it in "Sport" mode. You can try to confuse it and nothing happens, it does the right thing anyway.

With such a smart transmission, it's no wonder so few manuals are purchased these days, but that doesn't mean I still wouldn't want one in this 911. As well as the PDK works, it's the feeling of working the gears that I miss. Modern Porsche 911s have one of the best shift linkages in the business, so it's fun just to row through the gears even if you don't really need to. It's hard to explain, but I'm not quite over the manual transmission just yet.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 1,182 miles

Comments

  • bonzjr bonzjr Posts:

    I've driven the new 911 equipped with the PDK. I'm one of the biggest manual trans defenders on this (or any) site. And I have to say -- that for the first time ever -- someone build an automated manual I could live with on a daily basis. The Porsche PDK is that good. (I'd still have to have a weekend toy with a true stick somewhere in the household fleet though.)

  • sharpend sharpend Posts:

    Actually, a lot of reviewers complain about the new 7 speed manual in the 911 and recommend the PDK instead. The 6 speed manual in the Boxster/Boxster S, however, is highly praised.

  • bassracerx bassracerx Posts:

    i just want a manual in a big sedan with a big engine you can't find one these days =(

  • cjasis cjasis Posts:

    Amen Ed, amen. The PDK is an absolutely fantastic transmission and is more efficient and faster than any human being on the earth. But... and this is a big old, Sir Mix A Lot type but... it's still not a good three pedal manual. There are still a few of us who are ok not magazine racing or being the fastest thing every to go stop light to stop light that like the challenge of getting a properly executed heel toe downshift right. I hope and pray Porsche doesn't go the Ferrari route and abandon the three pedal manual all together.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Agreed. I know a good automated manual, and even some true automatics, offer better performance these days, but they still don't give you the same fun involvement that a proper manual has. If you want the ultimate hot lap time machine, sure go for the automated manual, but if we're talking just enjoying the drive, give me the manual.

  • motorstreet motorstreet Posts:

    I've driven a PDK 911. It's great transmission, probably the best dual clutch out there, but it can't come close to the fun of a manual. I would get the manual, but I do understand why people get the PDK, I just wish fewer would get it.

  • homer281 homer281 Posts:

    Agree.. not to mention that on the Boxster PDK is a $7,000 option! That's way too much to pay IMHO for something that still is not quite as good as the feeling of rowing your own gears. I understand availability and depreciation may change that over the years, but $7,000 is a lot on a car that starts at around $50k.

  • homer281 homer281 Posts:

    Agree.. not to mention that on the Boxster PDK is a $7,000 option! That's way too much to pay IMHO for something that still is not quite as good as the feeling of rowing your own gears. I understand availability and depreciation may change that over the years, but $7,000 is a lot on a car that starts at around $50k.

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