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Porsche Has A Great Theory On Manual Transmissions

Interview / 13 Comments

They're the cornerstone of a healthy life, for one.

When it comes to sports cars, few brands have been as successful as Porsche. And that's from a performance standpoint as well as a financial one, as the company not only builds some of the fastest cars around but also has a range of hot-selling SUVs and has managed to discover how to make the 911 one of the industry's most profitable cars.

But there's another area in which Porsche exceeds: earning credibility from the world's community of car enthusiasts. Part of that has to do with some of the decisions it's made, like keeping the manual transmission alive and preventing turbochargers from ruining its hottest performance models. And we recently learned that some of that has to do with Porsche's GT boss Andreas Preuninger's stance on modern cars.

He recently mentioned how the world needs more emotional cars and said that the 718 Cayman GT4's naturally-aspirated engine will make it to other Porsches in the future. And now, during an interview with WhichCar, Preuninger said that the manual will accompany the naturally-aspirated engine into the future.

"I think we have an advantage in the market over the competition because everybody has skipped and deleted the atmospheric engine and deleted even the manual gearbox. That's a mistake! Because if you look at the take rates on the GT model side, in some markets half of the cars are manual and everybody is longing for a car like this with a normally aspirated, high revving engine," said Preuninger. "It's not an A-to-B means of transportation. It's something you do for yourself, it's something you do for pleasure and in that case it's a healthy car, it's like medicine because everybody is grinning and that's healthy."

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Preuninger also talked about how the Porsche brand plans to evolve with electrification the same way it did with SUVs. Meaning, he thinks it's fine that Porsche builds EVs, as long as his GT cars are left alone. "I'm sure there will be a lot of garages where a Taycan is parked next to a GT3 RS and it's no contradiction," he said. "The good thing that we [Porsche] decided to do is not to neglect one for the other."

He added, "I think everybody takes notice and understands that we have to help on the automotive side to get emissions down, and I think for a car that's used mainly in the city, in the big urban areas and isn't used for the long-hauls, then an electric car is perfect. It's great! But the expectation might not be that it's a thing I have the urge to drive just for the sake of driving. For that hobby instrument, we want GT cars to be alive as long as possible."

That news makes us happy because it means we can have our cake and eat it too. Classic Porsche.