you can row your own way
The All-New Porsche 911 Finally Offers a Stick Shift
Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
The all-new Porsche 911 is, by almost every measure, a delightful advancement of the breed. As we discovered in our first drive, the 992-generation model — currently available in Carrera, Carrera 4, Carrera S and Carrera 4S forms — improves on its predecessors in practically every way. But while it came out of the gate offering the wide variety of performance, design and comfort features that have long made the 911 one of the most well-rounded sports cars on sale, the 992 was missing one very notable option when it launched: a manual transmission.
Until now, that is. Porsche has finally opened up the order books for new 911s with a stick shift.
The seven-speed manual gearbox will be available in 443-hp Carrera S and Carrera 4S models, whether you opt for the sleek coupe or the pop-top cabriolet. Opting for the stick also forces you to take the Sport Chrono performance package, which adds on extra driving modes and a sport mode for the stability control, active engine mounts that help reduce vibration and stiffen the chassis, and a super-nifty chronograph for the dash. It does, however, cause Porsche to swap out the tricky computer-controlled electronic limited-slip differential for a mechanical version.
Generously enough, while that option costs $2,720 on 911s equipped with the standard eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, it’s gratis with the manual — perhaps as an added incentive to push enthusiasts into stick-shift cars. (Porsche’s overall take rate on manual 911s sat around 20 percent as of last year, according to The Chicago Tribune, and market trends suggest it likely hasn’t risen since then.)
You’ll pay at the drag strip for opting for the manual, though. The stick-shift 911 Carrera S will take around four seconds to dash from 0 to 60 mph, according to the carmaker — seven-tenths of a clock tick slower than the dual-clutch PDK gearbox variant. It will save you 84 pounds over the automatic version, should you care about such things.
Still, while the PDK may be faster, more flexible and more efficient, there’s no disputing the pure pleasure of shifting for yourself, and Porsche deserves to be applauded for keeping the manual alive in an era when everyone from Ferrari to Ford is abandoning it.
While you can place an order for a stick-shift 992 as soon as now, Porsche says the first models so equipped won’t be hitting U.S. dealerships until spring 2020. In the meantime, might we suggest keeping yourself busy with a six-speed 718 Cayman GTS?