"We are not ignorant, Porsche is not ignorant," says Andreas Preuninger, the engineer in charge of the company's GT series cars, with the air of a man who wishes to draw the current subject of conversation to a close.
We've been discussing the decision not to offer a manual transmission in the new 2014 Porsche 911 GT3. It's a topic of conversation that has consumed most of his waking hours for the past six months and, to be fair to the man, not one on which he can offer much more.
For reasons of cost, engineering and marketing, Porsche has chosen to build the newest GT3 (the car that perhaps connects the company with hard-core drivers better than any other in its model range) with only two pedals.
Accordingly, the cognoscenti have gone native on Porsche. There will be no manual GT3, and Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche's R&D chief, has stated that even the RS version of the GT3 will be PDK-only, which would put an end to speculation were it not for Preuninger's pointed assertion that Porsche is not ignorant.
If the lack of a manual hinders sales, I think we can assume that the company will reconsider the strategy. But not for now. It's an automatic or nothing.
No Complaining About the Engine Given the extent to which the transmission has dominated discussions before anyone has actually driven the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3, it might come as a surprise to learn that the gearshift is not the first thing that grabs your attention in this car. The motor dominates the experience.
There was also much discussion among the Porsche community that the 991 GT3 would suffer for not using the classic split-case flat-6 that lifted it above the regular Carrera. However, the first time you stretch this new derivative of the 9A1, 3.8-liter direct-injection boxer beyond 7,000 rpm, you realize that the rabble-rousing was unnecessary.
This is a sensational engine, smooth and musical from 1,500 rpm to 8,500 rpm, whereupon its character shifts into something altogether racecar for a final 500-rpm push to the 9,000-rpm cutout. Its 475 horses produces one of the most unadulterated mechanical sounds you'll hear in a new car. It's so addictive you keep extending the motor to hear it.
And That's Not All Then there's the chassis. Electric power steering is undoubtedly a negative development for sports cars in terms of driver involvement, but this has to be the best resolved system yet devised. There's more weight than a standard Carrera and a far greater sense of connection with the front axle; in fact, you'd swear it was an entirely new steering system, but the hardware is identical to the normal 911's, as all the changes are in the software and calibration.
A completely new set of lower suspension arms and different tires also contribute. It's certainly a little more muted than the last 997 GT3's steering, but it's pretty damn good.
Better still is the chassis. A longer wheelbase and wider front track already helped the 991 understeer less than 911s of old, but the GT3 is a big step forward. The suspension sits 1.2 inches lower than the standard Carrera and utilizes lightweight components that shave nearly 15 pounds of weight off the running gear. Then there's the rear steer system and an electronic locking rear differential that makes it a revelation on the road: fluid, keen to change direction and far more nimble than its claimed 3,153-pound curb weight would suggest.
Grip levels are exceptional for a street car, but if you switch the traction and stability control off you can play with the rear axle just as you could in the old car. The rear steering moves into a fixed position and you end up with a machine that will smoke its tires all day long.
A Retuned Automatic That Works And only once you've grinned at the brilliance of the engine and admired the advances Porsche has made with the chassis and its seamless integration of four-wheel steering do you stop and think about that transmission. And you ask yourself two questions: Is it a good dual-clutch gearbox, and would the GT3 be better with a good old manual?
The PDK here is a vastly different piece of equipment to the one found in other Porsches. It has shorter gears with tighter spacing and can shift between them in under 100 milliseconds the instant you pull either paddle, both of which have half the movement of a regular PDK paddle. Even the gearlever has been changed to allow a pull backward to bring an upshift, as it should be in any racing car.
With seven gears and a motor that revs to nine grand, it's hard to argue against this gearbox for road use. As a powertrain package together they are compelling, the paddles allowing you to nip that 9,000-rpm limit and enjoy the crack of exhaust as the revs drop a little. It's a new kind of driving: one that hard-core GT3 fans might not buy into, but from behind the wheel the car feels utterly alive. You can even disengage the clutch by pulling both levers to simulate a clutch-kick.
About That Manual Gearbox As slick as the PDK is, a car like this should surely offer both options. For those who want to work a stick and enjoy the fruits of their own skills, often learned over decades, the new 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 will be a slight disappointment. But I defy any of those people to not celebrate how impressive this car has become.
The interior is exactly what you'd expect of a GT3: a light twist on the 991 theme with a few scattered badges, that imposing 9,000-rpm red sector and, should you want them, carbon bucket seats. If there's anything to wince about, it's the hand-me-down steering wheel and shift paddles from the last-generation 997 Turbo S.
Only time will tell if Porsche made the right decision with the 991 GT3's specification. It's a stunning car to drive: faster, more agile and, well, plain better in every area. But the GT3 brand also contained an unspoken contract between driver and machine that has been slightly broken with the insertion of two metal paddles. We'll have to wait and see if the sales numbers reflect any loss of enthusiasm.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
2014 Porsche 911 Overview
The 2014 Porsche 911 is offered in the following submodels: Coupe, Convertible, GT3. Available styles include Carrera 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 7M), Carrera 2dr Convertible (3.4L 6cyl 7M), and Carrera S 2dr Coupe (3.8L 6cyl 7M). 911 models are available with a 3.4 l-liter gas engine or a 3.8 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 400 hp, depending on engine type. The 2014 911 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed manual. The 2014 911 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a used 2014 Porsche 911?
Save up to $300 on one of 16 used 2014 Porsche 911s for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $60980 as of Dec 17, 2017, based on data from 15 dealers and 44 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 4.6 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2014 Porsche 911 trim styles:
The 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S is priced around $127994 with average odometer reading of 24198 miles.
The 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera S is priced around $82702 with average odometer reading of 16951 miles.
The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 is priced around $138884 with average odometer reading of 4185 miles.
The 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S is priced around $87980 with average odometer reading of 19525 miles.
The 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera is priced around $70502 with average odometer reading of 18224 miles.
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Vehicle Carrera 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 7M)
Review They talk about heritage, everyday daily driver, prestige, bla bla bla. But unbeknownst to all your daily consumers, The 911's that are worth looking into are ones that are unaffordable to your typical middle class business man such as myself. My particular car was packaged with 20 inch S wheels, 14 way seats, bose, and sunroof. Being a BMW person, I wanted to try something different. After test driving the base 911, it seemed more than adequate. But what I learned later on was this car absolutely sucked! This car was absolutely the worst purchase ever. The lack of TECH, Comfort, Service, and Performance made me dread the payment and the drive every single day. Here's the breakdown: TECH: The car has none. The user interface is so outdated that it made my sister's entry level Lexus look like a futuristic car. Navigation is useless, all buttons are very small and hard to identify, front gauges are blocked by the steering wheel, making it difficult to see how much gas you have and such. Automatic Start stop actually eats more gas then it saves, and for such an expensive car, you would think that at least parking sensors would come standard. Comfort: NONE. It would be idiotic to take this on a long distance trip. You will find your lower back and legs feeling very sore. Getting out of the vehicle is straining and frustrating. Service: NONE. There is no complimentary service whatsoever, and warranty only lasts for two years. Also car requires service every 10k miles so you will find yourself visiting the stealership or mechanic quite often, spending a lot of money. Performance: The base 911 is not what it claims. at 350 HP and a light body weight, it is underachieving. I went head on with a BMW 335i Coupe and got burned. Literally. Gas consumption is worse then my SUV. No need to elaborate there. Don't get me wrong, if you're in the market for a Porsche 911, its a fantastic car. But just be sure not to get brand new base model. It is way smarter to purchase a pre-owned S or Turbo. Nowadays, the competition eats base 911's for breakfast. Other factory tuned cars come Cheaper,smarter, faster, comfortable, and nicer looking. Final thoughts, buy used. Do not lease or purchase new. And be sure to test drive the competition.
2014 Porsche 911 inventory listings Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Porsche 911 for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 23 new and 214 used and CPO 2014 911s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 60980 and mileage as low as 1720. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2014 Porsche 911. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 300 on a new, used, or CPO 2014 911 available from one of 2807 dealerships in your area.
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2014 porsche 911 Carrera 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 7M), 7-speed manual, premium unleaded (required) 22 combined MPG 19 city MPG/27 highway MPG