As much as it pains us to admit it, the traditional manual transmission is antiquated technology. While no paddle shifter will ever give the gratification of perfectly nailing a 3-4 shift, automakers continue to trot out automated manual transmissions that are capable of making that very same 3-4 shift more quickly and consistently than any human driver can.
With the debut of the all-new 911 GT3, Porsche has placed another nail in the clutch pedal’s coffin by offering the high performance GT3 exclusively with the company’s PDK automated manual transmission.
Producing 475-horsepower, the 911 GT3’s 3.8-liter flat-6 engine is based upon the unit in the 911 Carrera S; however, it only shares a handful of common components. With forged pistons and titanium connecting rods, the GT3’s flat-6 engine shrieks all the way to a 9,000-rpm redline.
With seven gears to play with, Porsche redesigned its PDK transmission for the race-ready GT3. Like automated manual transmissions from performance-minded competitors, drivers of the GT3 can engage neutral by simultaneously grabbing the left and right paddles located behind the steering wheel. Drivers can also use the shift lever to engage gears. Unlike other Porsche models, the company designed the GT3’s PDK shift lever to mimic a Formula 1 car, and requires drivers to push the lever forward for downshifts and pull the lever backwards for upshifts. Whichever way a driver chooses to shift gears in the 911 GT3, he or she will be greeted with shift times of less than 100 milliseconds.
Yet, quick shift times and lots of horsepower are only one part of the 911 GT3’s performance equation. In order to maximize the 911’s performance capabilities, Porsche has added distinct bodywork that helps the GT3 better manage airflow around its body, which has been lowered by 30 millimeters and includes a rear end that measures 43.2 millimeters wider than the standard 911 Carrera’s.
Underneath those widened haunches sits an active rear wheel steering system. Able to vary the angle of the rear wheels by up to 1.5 degrees, the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front wheels at speeds below 50 km/h and steers the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels at speeds exceeding 80 km/h. Porsche says the system helps the GT3 “achieve even higher steering precision and improved lateral dynamics,” helping the GT3 perform better both on the road and track.
Capable of reaching 314 km/h and lacking a clutch pedal, the new GT3 is truly a car that you can race on Sunday and comfortably drive to work on Monday. And if a clutch pedal is the only way you’ll be caught in a Porsche, the company still offers the old school manual transmission in its mainstream Boxster, Cayman and 911 models. To learn more about the Porsche 911 GT3 and the rest of the Porsche lineup come by South Centre Porsche today.
Image credit: Porsche