There’s an interesting feature in this month’s 911 & Porsche World by Adam Towler, comparing Porsches with manual, Tiptronic and PDK gearboxes. OK, it’s nothing new, as various other similar articles have appeared in the past – I’ve written some myself – but it’s a debate that doesn’t go away.
There always have been, and probably always will be, those Porsche purists and he-men who insist that any Porsche should have a manual gearbox, to put the driver ‘in control’. However, today’s PDK automatic transmission do a much better job than a driver messing around with a stick-shift and clutch pedal could ever hope. Indeed, you could probably say the same for the previous generation Tiptronic gearbox.
Tiptronic first appeared in 1990 as an option on the 964 Carrera 2 and Porsche gradually refined it over the years until, with the 996 and 997, it became a credible alternative to a manual box. That said, the 964 and 993 Tiptronics are decent cars, and ideal for city dwellers or those that can’t be bothered with a manual change.
And there are more and more people in that latter category. I’m finding that Tiptronics are selling well. People often tell me that they are looking for an auto “so my wife can drive it”. That could be a bit of a smoke screen for men who can’t admit to wanting an auto. It makes sense, though, as many people have an auto as their main car – maybe an an Audi or a BMW – and they don’t want the bother of adjusting to driving a manual Porsche at the weekends.
After all, you wouldn’t dream of winding your windows down manually these days, so why change gear yourself?
There’s another useful benefit of buying a used Porsche with a Tiptronic transmission. It’s not possibly to over-rev the engine and it’s far to assume that the car’s been driven relatively sedately. There’s no clutch to change, either, so a win all round. We have a very nice Porsche 996 Turbo Tiptronic – click here for details.