The Porsche 911 GT3 has always been one of the brand’s most fun-to-drive track day specials, and for many drivers, there is no substitute for a manual transmission. Porsche’s decision to put a manual transmission back into the 911 GT3 paid off far more than the brand expected, especially in the United States, where the take rate for the last-generation manual GT3 was 70%, Bloomberg reports.
“We lost several bottles of wine by betting on the take rate when we reintroduced the manual option,” 911 model line vice president Frank-Steffen Walliser told Autocar. “We were surprised by how high it was.”
Porsche Product Spokesperson Luke Vandezande told Bloomberg that some 30% of the outgoing 911 GT3’s buyers worldwide opted for the manual, which is significantly more than the standard 911 lineup’s 20-25% take rate for manual transmissions. Yet the U.S. is where the manual still reigns supreme, where 70% of 911 GT3 buyers get the manual.
Porsche head of GT cars Andreas Preuninger told Autocar that he now expects the global manual transmission take rate for the 2022 911 GT3 to be 40%. Walliser now says it could even be more.
The standard gearbox for the 911 GT3—both on the previous generation as well as the upcoming 2022 GT3 announced this month—is Porsche’s PDK, a seven-speed double-clutch automatic. The six-speed manual was brought back in 2017 as an option in response to Porsche fans’ demand. Given that the manual-happy United States has been one of Porsche’s largest markets throughout the company’s history, keeping it for the new 992-generation 911 GT3 makes perfect sense.
While many armchair stats-fiends love to argue that the double-clutch gearbox is faster, the 911 GT3’s six-speed manual is simply more fun to a lot of people who don’t mind losing that fraction of a second at every corner on track. (You can’t win the track day, Dickie Speedmaster.) Vandezande told Bloomberg that the larger-than-expected take rate for the manual transmission “are illustrating exactly how meaningful the connection to the car associated with a manual gearbox is.” Hear, hear!
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