Home » Why This One Little Detail Of The 2025 Porsche 911 Makes Me Nervous For Sports Cars

Why This One Little Detail Of The 2025 Porsche 911 Makes Me Nervous For Sports Cars

911 Carrera Rg24 Ts
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Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Or, as it’ll likely be better known in some automotive circles, new Porsche 911 day. We knew it was coming, and Porsche delivered styling tweaks, new cabin tech, and the headline option of hybridization. In Porsche tradition, it’s likely to be absolutely brilliant, but there’s something else lingering in the back of my head. The 2025 Porsche 911 — the 992.2 to Porsche people — is the first refreshed 911 to be unveiled without a manual transmission.

None of the initial launch variants will be available with a manual gearbox, with the PDK being the only option on deck. Admittedly, this slick-shifting eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is what the majority of Porsche 911 owners need, given the tall gearing on the seven-speed manual ‘box, but auto-first feels like it could be a statement on where sports cars are going, and that’s causing me a little concern.

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Although the lunatic GT variants are massively impressive, the Porsche 911 isn’t the compact-feeling, unusual, slightly fringe sports car it once was. The current 992-generation model launched, it was wider, comfier, and more commodious than ever before, building more space between it and the 718 Boxster and Cayman. The 911 can still do the sports car stuff well, but leans GT-ish in everyday driving. Granted, a big part of this was the increased front fender width and front track, but the contrast over older models was hard to ignore.

Porsche 718 Boxster Gts 4.0 2020 1600 03

Mind you, with two engaging sports cars in the lineup, this was fine. Actually, it was great. Those who wanted a pair of tiny seats and that rear-engined lineage could buy a manual 911, and those who wanted the soundtrack and linearity of a naturally aspirated engine, along with a car that felt small, could buy a 718 GTS 4.0 in either Boxster or Cayman flavor. However, things are about to change.

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See, the next Porsche 718 is ditching combustion power altogether, and it’s coming relatively soon. After all, the combustion-powered 718 is already off-sale in Europe, save for the wild GT4 RS and Spyder RS variants. Expected to launch next year on the all-electric SSP Sport platform, this new 718 sports car will whirr along rather than roar and not require a single gearchange. It’s an interesting concept, given how electric sports cars are currently few and far between, but even if the result is spectacular, it won’t win over everyone, particularly those who explicitly want a traditional experience.

0936 Nevada Coupe U Crane Akos9626 Edit V02

It wasn’t that long ago when Porsche was a weird brand primarily for apex addicts who prioritized engagement over absolute power. Fifteen years ago, you could pick up an air-cooled 911 for less than $20,000, get a GT3 without playing Ferrari-like games with dealers, and even order a base car. While the sports car maker is firmly one of the hottest luxury goods makers on the planet, echoes of that old nerdiness remain, in forums and publications and owners’ groups. Although some Porsche fans have been fortunate enough to graduate to new GT3s, many more are either plying the second-hand market, hanging onto the less-expensive new models, or simply continuing to dream and put cash into a savings account. If the electric 718 fails to capture that childhood dream, and the 911 continues to polish its hard edges and climb in price, what Porsche will the rest of us aspire to semi-realistically own one day?

Porsche 911 Carrera 2025 1600 01

Don’t get me wrong, the mechanical changes to new Porsche 911 are still exciting, even if they aren’t as extensive as we’re used to with a Porsche update. In the past, when Porsche announced an extensive 911 facelift, there was typically some big new technology included throughout the range. On the 997.2 911, a new family of engines eliminated IMS bearing concerns altogether while adding performance. On the 991.2 911, turbocharging took over from natural aspiration, unlocking new straight-line speed and giving the aftermarket a new toy to explore. On the 992.2, mechanical changes to the base trim aren’t massive, but that isn’t necessarily reflected in the pricing.

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Porsche 911 Carrera 2025 1600 02

When an automatic-only base 911 Carrera starts at $122,095, and a more affordable, manual, combustion-powered entry point to the Porsche sports car range isn’t guaranteed forever, it’s understandable that some of us feel a little uneasy. Traditional sports cars that need to make money on volume may make less and less sense as disposable income continues to dwindle, but at the same time, we don’t want to be left behind. That won’t stop the world from changing, though. The manual transmission, the reasonably aspirational upmarket sports car you could buy in middle age, some things have a finite lifespan. It’s not an easy truth to accept.

(Photo credits: Porsche)

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Bob Terwilliger
Bob Terwilliger
21 days ago

I grew up wanting a 911, I was able to get a 2013 base model with the PDK a several years ago and I was pretty let down by it, sure it was nice to see in the driveway but it was less fun the the Subaru STi i had before it. The door panels started to fall off too after 30k miles or so and I traded it in on an AMG and was happier but still missed owning a manual. Now I have a GT350 while its not as refined inside like a German car its manual and engaging and upkeep is no where near the cost of a Euro car and its barely depreciated at all.

Dan Bee
Dan Bee
21 days ago

The lack of a manual makes me sad. What’s the point of a sports car then?

“Fifteen years ago, you could pick up an air-cooled 911 for less than $20,000, get a GT3 without playing Ferrari-like games with dealers, and even order a base car.”

COTD

Pit-Smoked Clutch
Pit-Smoked Clutch
21 days ago

It’s hard to get too worked up when the 911 has long since passed into the unobtainium realm. It’s not as far removed as when the exotics ditched the third pedal, but it might as well be. If I was irresponsible enough to spend that much on a car… there are multiple other cars I would buy first.

But to be clear, the 911 is dead to me.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
22 days ago

My solution to this problem has been to stop dreaming about owning a Porsche some day.

Dan1101
Dan1101
22 days ago
Reply to  Shooting Brake

Yeah they are just getting way too complex and expensive. I can no longer imagine affording or maintaining a Porsche. Trouble is the older ones keep gaining value too

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
22 days ago
Reply to  Shooting Brake

Right. I want an old ratty one I’m not afraid to drive, that’s the point right? To drive it? Not this Camry. 😉 I’m kind of serious too. Oh wow! Cool! Another automatic, hybrid, sporty car. This vehicle success will tell us just how hypnotic the Porsche name really is. My guess is it’s very hypnotic.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
22 days ago

Yeah this is a big part of how I wound up with a BRZ. Only Porsche that I seriously looked at was a 944 but they are just a bit older than I was wanting to go. Early Caymans are cool but if anything goes wrong…gonna be a long time saving up for the fix.

Isaac Fortner
Isaac Fortner
22 days ago

I’m over the “manual vs. automatic” debate, and so should you. The market has pretty clearly shown automatics sell far better than manuals and I don’t think modern manual transmissions are all that great anyway. Besides, the dentists and salespeople actually buying brand new 911s today are going to choose the PDK regardless.

You want stick shift bliss? Buy an NB Miata and happily row your own pushing the car at ten tenths everywhere you go without ever worrying about a speeding ticket.

You absolutely have to have a manual 911? Get a 997 911S and have a ball. RWD, not so much power that actually wringing out the engine is a “go direct to jail” card, and you can row as much as you like. Compared to the newer cars that need to be going well into triple digit speeds to actually feel like they’re doing something, you can actually use the 997 powerband.

I remember the outrage when sports cars switched to electric steering (and I read old magazine articles moaning how power steering at all in sports cars was going to doom them all), and now I never hear anything about electric steering.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
22 days ago
Reply to  Isaac Fortner

I think you are hitting the nail on the head about why people are bummed though. There’s not an endless supply of 997s…and they’re already appreciating in value for the very reason you point out. And for poors like me who never got the chance to buy one new it means now we’ll probably never get a chance to buy a 911 that reflects the experience you’re describing. And honestly even the 997 I got a chance to drive awhile back was pushing into the “too fast and capable” for public roads territory. Which is the real problem, it’s not just PDK it’s that cars in general have gotten very refined but very fast, which combine to make modern sports cars pretty un-involving (as you point out) unless you’re on a track. And maybe this is where we differ but in my opinion part of the joy of driving a stick isn’t just winding it out but that they require more work and thus involvement even at slow speeds. Even a shift at 3,500 rpm is a chance to be involved and a perfect heel-toe downshift doesn’t have peg my tach at redline to feel pretty good. In fact I’d argue maybe this is why the manual is needed more than ever, it adds life to cars that are otherwise over-refined. I don’t see why it’s crazy for car enthusiasts to lament this even if it is pissing into the wind.

Also re: electric steering, it did get somewhat better, but also it still is pretty lifeless we just live with it as the new normal. Almost every review I’ve seen comparing older hydraulic steering to modern E steering will say that the older car has more steering feel. Unless that was your point, the new normal sucks get over it because it’s not going back to the way it was?

Isaac Fortner
Isaac Fortner
22 days ago

You bring up good points, and yes, I was referring to the earlier 997s. I think I drove a 2007 911S with a manual and it was driving bliss. Yes, it’s true they aren’t getting any cheaper.

Later, I drove a 2013 911 4S with 400hp, AWD, and a PDK and it felt completely lifeless at any legal speed limit. It was one of the most disappointing drives I’ve had honestly.

Regarding electric steering, I meant that yes, steering feel is probably less than hydraulic power steering (though in brand new cars with electric steering, there’s nothing else to compare it to), but just like people bemoaned the loss of steering feel going from full manual to hydraulic, eventually they did. Now history repeats itself with electric steering.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
21 days ago
Reply to  Isaac Fortner

IDK. It feels a lot like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me, unfortunately ultimately driven by regulation. Automatics have a ton of development costs that need to be recouped. They also provide much more service revenue than a manual. 5 quarts at $20/quart plus labor every 40K miles if you actually want to keep the car for an extended period of time. Compared a manual where the fluid lasts double that, is dirt cheap, and has little labor to change it. Not to mention the durability of a manual versus automatic.

For me, the debate has never been about what the market wants, because it was a self fulfilling prophecy, it was about which is a better ownership experience and for me, that includes driving enjoyment. Manuals win nearly every time. Cheap, simple, fun. That’s rare! I will debate that fact for a while. No one wants to heat that their new fangled automatic costs $500 every 40k miles and costs $5000 to replace.

You ARE right about go drive a miata at 10/10ths. But, manual or automatic porsche can’t be driven at 10/10ths, but an auto is still more fun. I think in a comment below you said as such.

Isaac Fortner
Isaac Fortner
21 days ago

Not to mention the durability of a manual versus automatic.

Sorry, but manuals being more reliable than automatics is a fallacy. There’s a reason 1500hp drag cars use automatics, and while obviously Jeep being a FIAT product has its own share of problems, the JL manual Wranglers have all kinds of ongoing reliability issues and recalls:

Jeep Gladiators, Wranglers With Manual Transmission Recalled – Consumer Reports

You may be right about servicing costs, but again, people who service their own cars and only drive manuals aren’t typically the kinds of people to buy brand new cars.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good manual, but I can hardly blame automakers for dropping them rather than cater to an extremely small sub-set of car buyers. I will also say I’d much rather drive a modern automatic than a mushy manual (looking at you BMW). In that regard, the Miata remains the crispest stick shift I’ve driven).

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
21 days ago
Reply to  Isaac Fortner

There’s a reason 1500hp drag cars use automatics

Oh come on.

  1. Those are built TH400s with 3 speeds. Not at all comparable.
  2. They do it because it’s faster with the durability being a byproduct of manufacturing enhancements and refinements over the 65 years the th400 has been around.
  3. If a manual were faster, they’d use that. It’s not. So they don’t.

The Jeep transmission is their own doing. They cut costs because they need to be able to make more margin on said manual transmission vehicles. That’s precisely what happens after an M&A: how quickly can we make our money back and what’s the lowest hanging fruit to do so. They license their 8 speed from ZF. They NEED to make that licensing cost back. How do you do that? Sell more automatics or increase margins on the manuals or BOTH.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
21 days ago

I’ll add that a lot of modern automatics, including the 2008 Porsche Cayenne S I used to own, have “lifetime” fluid which implies that service costs aren’t being built into the manufacturer’s projections since they’re basically telling you never to service it. Which is idiotic but that’s another story.

I also suspect that much of this is driven by the dealer network. The dealer is going to look at what they stock and see that manuals are more polarizing than autos. For many folks a manual transmission will keep them from buying BUT there is a percentage who could go either way, and if every other box is checked they’ll go ahead with an auto if that’s what the dealer has. So the dealer is less likely to get stuck with a car that they have to discount to sell. Now this may apply less to Porsche, and I’d be curious what % of Porsche buyers buy off the dealer lot vs ordering. But I have to think this is a big part of what’s contributed to killing off stick shifts in “ordinary” cars-well and traffic is only getting worse over time, even as a manual trans die hard I’d rather do rush hour in an auto…

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
21 days ago

There is a lot of truth to that too. My cynical view and kind of higher level view of the world is people buy what they’re told not what they need. We could all get to work just fine in 2008 Toyota Yaris’s with manual everything. That’s what most NEED. But we’ve all been told through marketing that we need more of everything; excess.

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
22 days ago

Making mental note to stop by a Porsche dealer soon and see if I can get in and outa a 918… If they don’t throw this ol’ lady out first!

Jj
Jj
22 days ago

Porsche has been manipulating its fanboys by playing red light green light with manual transmissions for years.

My favorite was the year when you could only get the manual in some special version (911R ?). The fanboys got all flustered and the special model was trading at silly markups. Then the next year the manual was a lot more easily (and inexpensively) available.

They may as well just make them all automatics for who buys them now. I know a few of them see high performance use, but most don’t. The hardcore track guys may want the faster shifts of the auto box anyway.

I’m about to buy my first automatic vehicle since 1996. I fought the good fight as long as I could, but I can’t buy what’s not available. Manual options for regular cars aren’t there anymore. A few flavors of Civic, a couple of off-roady things, Mini (not even sure on that one) and the WRX are really the only available choices.

Tom Herman
Tom Herman
23 days ago

If you like shifting, may I suggest a motorcycle. IMO they’re more fun to shift. You can do full throttle clutchless upshifts! Oh,my!

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
23 days ago

> Porsche 911 isn’t the … unusual, slightly fringe sports car it once was

Once as in the early 1970s? It’s been the archetype of the attainable sports car for decades and on millions of bedroom walls. That’s neither unusual nor slightly fringe. Or am I missing something?

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
23 days ago

Attainable? They’ve been stupidly overpriced for the last 15 years

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
22 days ago

I’m not sure they are overpriced, but their price has certainly crept up. The only real vehicle that can undercut it is the Corvette. So the existence of one cheaper competitor isn’t really enough to suggest it is overpriced.

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
22 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

I don’t think you’ve seen what people are asking for used 911s. A crappy 80’s example with the widowmaker suspensions will set you back $30k

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
21 days ago

I’ve seen.

If they were overpriced, people wouldn’t be buying them.

And besides, the price of used vehicles is completely out of the scope of this.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
22 days ago

It was no that long ago that used air cooled 911s from the late 70s thru early 90s were reasonably affordable for someone with a decent job. Probably even 10 years ago (maybe less) you could pick up a decent early ’80s 911 for $15K for a decent running car that might need some minor work and $25K for one that basically needed nothing, and a full on project 911 might be less than $10K. Due to how much simpler they were mechanically compared to later cars they were also regarded as the cheapest 911s to own and maintain. The same cars are now $35K for a full on project car, and $55K for a reasonably clean one. That being said, I agree that they’ve been dream cars when new for a long time, so not sure where the author is drawing that conclusion overall outside of the specific niche I’m pointing out.

Raptor
Raptor
23 days ago

Please please please don’t use click bait headlines like this. It’s old-site esque and tacky. I’m genuinely more likely to read the article if you just outright state your thesis. Thanks!

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
23 days ago

I’m preeeeetty sure that the 992.1 debuted with no manual, but other models with three pedals came later. I’m more annoyed that the base model — as with the 992.1 — still has no manual. I don’t see any good reason for the entry-level version not to offer that. It’s long-proven tech. It’s not cutting edge. It’s just fun.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
22 days ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

It seems like they removed the stick from the base model to keep it for the more expensive Carrera T model. I disagree with their reasoning but it seems to translate to sales for them

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
20 days ago

Yup. Sucks.

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
23 days ago

I’m kind of a Porsche nerd. I love the fact that they have kept on refining a drivetrain/chassis layout that really should not work, but they are definitely polishing it almost to the point where it’s too good and too capable. A lot of the things that make a 911 a 911 are taking a back seat to refinement and outright performance number chasing. I don’t really care about ‘Ring times or skidpad numbers or 0-60 times, especially if the car feels like it has no soul. The 911 isn’t there just yet, but I do feel like it’s going in that direction unless you have money for a GT car.

Regarding the PDK… Well, I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it. I got my G87 in manual knowing full well that the 8 speed is the better gearbox. It just feels like modern turbocharged engines pair better with modern automatic transmissions, and the performance numbers prove that. BUT, numbers can’t quantify the feeling of engagement that you get from a manual gearbox.

The thing that really gets me though is the electrification of the 718’s. The Cayman and Boxster are such wonderful little cars, and I absolutely hate the idea of an electric 718. While I reluctantly accept that electrification is probably the future of the automobile, I still feel like Porsche should have kept the ICE 718 around for a while. Make it a hybrid or something, but full electric ain’t gonna fly with me.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
22 days ago

Yeah this always feels like such a bummer re: electrification, the 718 sells in such small numbers they’re a drop in the ocean in terms of global emissions. Ford alone sells nearly a million ICE pickups a year. I hate to say the EPA and others should create carve outs for luxury cars, but they’re killing off sports cars for a negligible improvement to the overall emissions picture and it kinda sucks.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
23 days ago

Here’s the thing, PDK is good. Dare I say, very good. I would prefer a manual because my left foot gets bored, but that’s my fault, not the transmission’s. But here’s my real issue. We have a customer who ran Sun Valley Tour De Force in a lovely 2019 911 Turbo a year ago and hit 205mph. We also have a customer with a 2005 911 Turbo, over 150k miles and nary an undented panel on the whole body. He has reported doing 199mph under less legal circumstances and, madman that he is, I’d ballpark the accurate speed at 195. There is an absolutely massive gap in value between these two vehicles, yet only 10mph difference in speed. I’m sorry, but what Porsche is asking for a new 911 is somewhat ridiculous when the performance difference is so negligible. Add in that bored left foot and it’s a no brainer, if I’m getting a 911 (which I’m not, they’re not my cup of tea) I’m taking the older option. And no, I’m not talking handling into account here as part of the experience. If I’m honest though, having recently seen the cost for an active swaybar repair, I’m still taking the older 911 without an endlink capable of fucking leaking.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
22 days ago

Well not just the negligible performance gains, but also that you can’t really exercise any of these cars on a public road anymore. I think in general what you bring up applies to any dedicated sports car newer than about 2005. My one experience driving a 911 was a 2007 997 C4S cabriolet with a 6 speed. My boss was feeling generous and tossed me the keys and told me to go wring it out, went for a run along a river road that I’d often run in my then daily a mildly warmed up e30 BMW 325i. I couldn’t even get the 911 breathing hard on the same road that was a fun after work run in the e30. From what I read it seems like everything done to the 911 since then has made them faster, better handling and more refined-i.e. dull on most back roads.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
23 days ago

These long ago exited the sports car category, so I don’t lament the PDK. I’m never going to drive one past 4/10 of their capability. Even if I can afford one. Now don’t take my third pedal away in my daily driver. Especially for winter driving.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
23 days ago

I had two 911 posters on my wall as a kid. One was a slantnose targa with a whale tail, the other a 911 turbo in metallic orange with whale tail. I’m 48 and have recently approached the point where I could buy a sports car. But the deals are long gone thanks to Covid and inflation. I’ll never own a Porsche unless I sold my house. I could probably afford a C5/6 corvette, but that’s not the same thing by a country mile.

Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
23 days ago

The 911 feels like a tragic tale. As the new ones get more out of reach, people miss the old ones more, and they inch up the market as the longing increases. My 986 is likely the only Porsche I’ll ever own, after this I’ll probably get some oddball MG, maybe a Lancia or old French hot hatch.

I’ll always love the 911 for what it was, but the market shift and Porsche’s reaction has completely wiped it from my plans or dreams in any trim. 997’s are gaining value, 996’s will follow soon, 991’s interest me less than my Boxster even if they do depreciate that far, and no GT3 will ever sell for an acceptable price. Any 911 from now on will always be accompanied by a better, more interesting deal. If I ever have enough money for a crusty 964 Targa, I’ll spend it on a tidy TVR 2500 instead. If I had money for a clean long-hood coupe, I’d get a Dino.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
23 days ago

When I was a teen in the 80’s I pined for a 911. These days I can’t even keep track of all the different special models, and surprising to myself I don’t care. I don’t 100% know why.

Long ago being fast and quick was unique. Now everything is fast and quick and it doesn’t have the cachet it once did. Consider that Bugatti just announced a naturally-aspirated V16 in their Chiron successor, not because it would be faster than the Chiron but because no one else offers an NA V16.

I think the people that build “special” cars should remember that what enthusiasts want are unique experiences. Morgans are sold out for years, and I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
23 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

The unique experiences part is spot on, even when it comes to regular, everyday stuff.

When I got my Mustang new in 2002, I was absolutely aware that it was antiquated in a ton of ways. It offered, as Mustangs always have, great bang for the buck performance in relative sense, but a pure performance car it wasn’t. But that wasn’t what I wanted.

What I wanted was a throwback experience – a chance to drive around in a something approximating the raw, uncouth feel of a domestic performance car from the ’60s/’70s, but with modern safety features. And that was fairly hard to find combo, even then.

And it absolutely delivered. Still does, every time I drive her!

Car Guy - RHM
Car Guy - RHM
23 days ago

I’ve driven the whole variety of new Porsche’s (2015-2023) on the track with the PDK, in sport + and they are pretty awesome (I’ve done work for Porsche and have been invited to a number of track events). I don’t think I could manhandle a manual as precisely as the PDK works. The upshifts and downshifts are comparable to what I’d be doing in a manual just without the extra effort of clutching and thinking about my next gear change. Most complain about no manual but have never driven a PDK or equivalent in many of the modern sports cars,.

Goof
Goof
23 days ago
Reply to  Car Guy - RHM

I’m the guy who sold a Miata for a brand new, custom ordered, PDK-equipped Cayman GTS (3.4L NA) in late 2014 for damn near $100K. “Embrace the future.” Moreover, this THREE TIMES as much money as I had ever spent on a car. I saved eon, scrimping and saving and being absurdly frugal to make it a responsible purchase.

It was fast (saying this as a Skip Barber grad), impressive, but it wasn’t fun to me unless I was doing things that were going to get me arrested. I took delivery of the Cayman in September, so during winter (we got nearly a meter of snow) it had to mostly sit idle. Yet come spring, I basically couldn’t give a crap. I had no desire to drive it.

I realized I legitimately wanted my Miata back.

The Cayman was brilliant as a car, but I couldn’t give a rat’s ass as something to enjoy unless I was consistently deep into felony territory. I ended up getting an allocation for a 2016 Boxster Spyder and I’ve had that since.

Where’d the Cayman go? 2nd owner. He’s had it since. Granted, he’s never had anything else really sporty before, so for him it fits the bill. Which is where you’re correct, in that for most people, PDK is brilliant, wonderful, and everything you’d ever want.

Yet there are some of us, “it would be better if it were a bit worse” rings true.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
22 days ago
Reply to  Goof

This is why hot hatches are so much fun, and MG Midgets and the like. When I have fun in my kei car, no one else has to be bothered or put at risk.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
23 days ago
Reply to  Car Guy - RHM

I’ve owned a PDK 992 and now a manual. The PDK is certainly much faster and a better shifter than I could ever hope to be, even if I was lot younger than the geezer I am now. But it wasn’t more *fun*. Not for me, at least. I even have a bad knee, but I’d rather suffer with that than give up on my manual. That’s not to say I think the PDK is bad – it’s a fantastic transmission, and I’m glad it’s offered for those that want it. It will without a doubt give you the best lap time. But I think driving a manual is just more engaging.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
22 days ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

This is me. Many of the “you only cry manual because you’ve never driven this amazing auto” type comments seem to utterly miss the point. For me, that point has never been max speed. Its about engagement. I don’t drive anything fast honestly. I’m not a speed enthusiast. Speed tends to cost a lot of money be it track days, felonies, broken parts etc. But I love driving FEEL. So I take a slow shifting truck based manual transmission over the worlds premier auto trans every time. Because I WANT to engage with the vehicle with all 4 limbs. It makes me happier.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
23 days ago

Agreed. None of these new Porsches will ever equal the thrill I experienced pushing an ‘82 911 SC Targa alongside the Rhine River. Note, I said thrill, not performance. The thrill came from knowing the little black beast would eagerly bite me in the ass if I screwed up a shift, throttle input, or entry line. The new Porsches have all of that well under control, just not my control.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
23 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

In his latest book, Matthew Crawford has a great anecdote about test-driving an Audi R model of some sort.

He says it was amazing in terms of its raw performance, but the overall sensation was that every input, throttle action, etc. of his was being evaluated by the computer and then corrected, massaged as needed…”we value your input into this driving experience and hope you enjoy it.” It left him cold.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
23 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

That’s my impression, too. No question modern cars can do incredible things compared to those of yore, they’re just dialing down the fun component for those who enjoy seat-of-pants driving. On the other hand, it does allow less – let’s say – adventurous drivers to get deeper into the outer performance envelope than they might otherwise venture. Not sure whether that’s a good thing, though.

Goof
Goof
23 days ago

Thomas, if you want to get real sad panda, look at the entire convertible and roadster market. For 15+ years now I’ve always driven without a roof unless I know I’ll be under 40mph and it’s raining.

Yet I live directly abutting Boston, and even though New England isn’t California or Florida, if I were to ask anyone if they’ve considered a convertible, I’d be looked at like I have three heads. Meanwhile, 30+ years ago, all sorts of people had them. Even my grade school teachers bought them! Wranglers and Broncos aside, it’s now a super niche body style. There’s a market, but it’s ever shrinking. Open-topped vehicles are something “other people buy”, just like sports cars.

Honestly, I think it’s more than just dwindling disposable income. I think everyone just prefers to be comfortably numb, because using a car to go to work, buy food, get the kids, etc. isn’t what it was eons ago. It’s more stressful, on top of every day being more stressful, so people would rather be comfy,

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
23 days ago
Reply to  Goof

In my formative days, it was possible to get an everyday, every person car as a convertible. It wasn’t uncommon to see Chevy Cavaliers and Pontiac Sunbirds rolling around in those forms!

Goof
Goof
23 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

The thing I keep coming back to is, “the standard for everyday comfort has changed.” Not just for cars, but for everything.

We’ve had days in the low 80s (26-28C) so far. Again, I’m only a few miles (< 5 km) from Boston. However, every one of those days, about half of where I live has their A/C on. Not in the car, in their home. Also, not on for a little bit, but all day. Now, today was a similarly warm day, and it barely touched 74 (23C) in my apartment, yet still about half of folks have their A/C on.

This is the end of May. Yet I started seeing people turn their A/C on in MID-MARCH, when most days were 60F (15C). I mentioned it then to a friend, and even he responded, “Oh yeah, I’ve turned on my A/C at home already.” When I asked how warm his home was, it was the same as mine.

Air conditioning on 60F/15C days in Boston is when I realized that everyone else’s expectations have raised precipitously, but mine haven’t.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
23 days ago
Reply to  Goof

I’ve noticed for nearly a decade now that I’m now one of the few people who drives with their windows down when it’s anywhere in the vicinity of nice. This has become a sorta benchmark for societal comfort standards from my pov.

Choosing to pop to the top on a convertible comes easier for a lot of people, b/c it’s exactly why they bought their special toy that they only drive when it’s pleasant out; but the choice to put the windows down on their everyday car shows how they really feel about it for its own sake.

Goof
Goof
23 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

>Choosing to pop to the top on a convertible comes easier for a lot of people, b/c it’s exactly why they bought their special toy that they only drive when it’s pleasant out

I’d disagree. I’ve lost count of the number of people with a convertible I’ve run into over the past decade that when I ask them how often they drop the top, for them to respond “never” or “only once or twice a year.”

Wranglers and sports cars are the exception. Yet something like a BMW 3-series, or a Camry Solara or Chrysler Sebring? Never.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
23 days ago
Reply to  Goof

I’d add almost any of the large European luxury convertibles likely never see sunlight on that backseat.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
23 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

As a convertible lover & owner it pains me to see people driving with the top up. I love having the windows open in the house (despite my allergies) but the wife has them closed and the AC on already. It’s like 70 here in Milwaukee! It’s perfect window open weather!

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
23 days ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

My allergies are low key killing me right now, but I can’t resist fresh air either. I figure I have all summer to sit in the a/c, so I’m enjoying the uncanned stuff while I can!

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
22 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Science is showing that sun for 2 hours a day also prevents myopia/nearsightednes. So convertibles are good for your health too. I also have allergies, but the fresh air is worth it every time.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
22 days ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

I’ve used both Allegra and Claritin, both work just fine.

Better living through chemistry!

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
22 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

At the risk of being a bore, try nettle extract. It works amazing for me and I think 47% of the population. I still feel the pollen, but I don’t suffer from them.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
22 days ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

Thanks! It’s usually not too bad for me, but I guess this year the counts are particularly high, so I’m feeling it for sure.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
22 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Don’t get the non-alcoholic (glycerine) one though, it is not strong enough or something.
Hope it works.
Nettle extract became hard to get a few years ago, because some quack claimed that it cured COVID. I was sneezing a lot.

Luvmeadeadpedal
Luvmeadeadpedal
23 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Buffeting. New cars are so slippery that you interrupt the airflow when you roll the window down that is unless you roll ALL of them down. Went on a drive in my 1990 F250 this weekend I was able to drive the whole 60 min trip with just the drivers window down. Also wing windows!!

Last edited 23 days ago by Luvmeadeadpedal
MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
22 days ago

Spot on correct. Buffeting is bad on newer cars. In my 56 Lincoln you could have any or all windows open and it had zero buffeting issues. And the vent windows were perfect to cool you down. Makes me miss my 89 XJ’s vent windows.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
22 days ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

I love to drive with my windows down, and will sometimes blast the heat in the winter so I can get some fresh air without freezing to death.
But the buffetting in the 2023 Golf I got last year is AWFUL. All 4 windows need to be down for it feels like I am being repeatedly punched in both ears. I live on Lake Michigan. Sometimes the wind is coming in so hard from the west that if the west-facing windows are down all the way, it is ALSO like being punched in the ear. Total bummer. Something I never would have thought of in buying a new car!

Jj
Jj
22 days ago
Reply to  Goof

I am in your area and I have been running my AC for a while. Hey, I need to sleep and I have a tough time falling asleep when the room, pillows, bed are too hot.

It’s also full-on allergy season.

I am a windows-down guy in the car, though. As long as I’m moving along. In traffic I’ll usually roll them up and run with ac.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
23 days ago
Reply to  Goof

The fact that no manufacturer has figured out they can make a fortune offering a brown manual diesel convertible wagon just amazes me…

Jj
Jj
22 days ago
Reply to  Goof

There are no convertibles because there are no 2-door variants any more. Even the pickup trucks have 4 doors now.

In the 90’s, a manufacturer could just send some cars to a contractor to have the roof cut off. That can’t really be done with a four door sedan unless the contractor’s going to put in a cage or weld the rear doors in place.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
22 days ago
Reply to  Jj

I saw a family of 4 crawl out of a 2-door car the other day and it made me realize how rare that is. My dad’s cars/trucks were typically 2-door and it wasn’t a big deal to us. But survey familes of 4 today if they would consider a 2-door car and you would hear crickets.

Jj
Jj
22 days ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

I grew up climbing into the back seat of a 2-door car. I believe part of it was a safety thing.

My dad’s sister once fell out of their suburban when the door swung open with the car in motion. That was not a rare story for boomers. Many fell victim to S.U.P.S. (Sudden Unintentional Pedestrian Syndrome).

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
22 days ago
Reply to  Jj

Yikes! I remember being a kid and being told that we needed to lock all of the doors so we didn’t fall out …

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
22 days ago
Reply to  Goof

I’ve never been able to enjoy top down driving. I hate convertibles, always have. I’d like a Cayman, not a Boxter. I have a 69 datsun roadster but I want to build a fastback hardtop for it. I enjoy windows down driving, but I just couldn’t ever find the pleasure in top down driving. So I am definitely part of the problem here.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
23 days ago

I share the concern, but I do think the writing’s on the wall – the 911 is moving into the realm of what I term luxury race replica cars. It’s not going to be a sports car too much longer.

It’ll have all the performance stats you can dream of (I feel cars like this will eventually come with a proprietary app that can present all of these stats so you can impress people at parties), but will steadily drop the direct driver engagement that used to define the Porsche ethos. And there now IS a substitute. In fact, plenty of them.

It’s sad from my pov, but that’s how it goes. Mustangs and Camaros are no longer pony cars, they’re proper sports cars now, so it’s not too surprising that many of the target buyers of this type of car would want something different out of the segment, I guess.

Goof
Goof
23 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Yep, it’s been this really since… forever ago. I’d argue the 996.

If you want what you remember 911s to be, you buy from the GT department. If you want a well handling GT-ish car that hangs with the best, you buy any other 911.

Jatkat
Jatkat
23 days ago

In before the “Autos are better” comments. I know they are better! They are faster, shift quicker, and deliver better fuel economy than manuals possibly can now. I accept that modern automatics are the superior choice. I just don’t care! Sports cars are about fun, and driving a GOOD manual is just more fun to me than shaving a bit off of a lap time, or delivering the highest possible usage. The connection between man and machine, and manipulating that machine to your highest ability is what matters to me in a car like this.

Guess it doesn’t really matter though, not like I could ever afford one!

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
23 days ago
Reply to  Jatkat

Well put. What’s always been intoxicating about the traditional 911 is it offers that connection coupled with a razor-thin margin for error thanks to the unconventional design.

So to drive one well demonstrated you had true skill as a driver, something that money couldn’t directly buy…you had to put in the work and earn it.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
22 days ago
Reply to  Jatkat

Just last Friday I test drove an Integra CVT and a Civic Si back-to-back. With the flat torque-curve of that turbo four, and the CVT in sport mode, the power was immediately there whenever I asked for it! Driving the Civic Si showed me that driving a manual transmission is easier than ever! The gear ratios narrow, rev matching, etc. BUT, I was challenging myself to shift to keep the best power going. It ended-up being a lot of shifting. It was fun, but it was starting to feel,– un necessary.

I’ve been lusting after a 6 speed manual for 15 years, but family got in the way. Now that I have that option, I’m strangely conflicted. It surprises me.

I might need to drive the Integra Type S to force myself back to my senses. (Type Rs are rarer than hen’s teeth, so no chance test driving those!)

R53 Lifer
R53 Lifer
23 days ago

The Camry of sports cars: brilliantly well designed & executed for its intended purpose…..and as interesting as choosing the right shade of gray for your living room. Yawn…

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