Tested: 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S Reminds Us of the Importance of a Clutch Pedal and Shifter

Photo credits: Marc Urbano - car and driver
From the car and driver
If someone had said a decade ago that the most powerful Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Corvette weren't available with a manual transmission, but with a Porsche 911 Carrera S, you'd be laughed out of the bar. We are pretty sure that the executives of Porsche and Volkswagen Group would not have accepted this bet from that time. The decline in the manual take rate of the 911 really began with the refresh of the 997, which the brand equipped for the model year 2009 with dual clutch automatic transmissions (PDK in Porsche language). In its home market, only a single-digit percentage of 911 buyers choose to relocate. It's a different story in the United States. Around every fifth 911 buyer chooses the stick.
Photo credits: Marc Urbano - car and driver
After driving the latest 911 generation with a manual transmission, you can count us as part of that 20 percent. The three-pedal 911 started about a year after the first new 911 hit (the 992 generation), and we finally have one in hand: the 443 hp 911 Carrera S. The seven-speed stick is a transaxle from Porsche, with the help of the trans supplier ZF, partly with a sophisticated mechanism called MECOSA changed from double clutch car to manual. This acronym stands for mechanically converted shift actuator and causes the double clutch hardware to work with a conventional shift pattern. Without them, you would instinctively try to shift into first gear and reach third, maybe reverse. (It's confusing, we know.) Imagine a Magic 8 ball that returns a different layer pattern every time, and so confusing would be the non-MECOSA pattern.
The system works, which means that the driver doesn't notice anything else, no strange sensations or something special in the transmission. The shift feeling is not confused or cloudy. You only get a normal gear lever. Well, at least as much normalcy as you can feel when there is the rare ability to shift down to the sixth. The Corvette team should really consider trying this approach to create a manual from their new Tremec dual clutch automatic.
Photo credits: Marc Urbano - car and driver
Despite these efforts to hold three pedals - a much appreciated effort, mind you - the manual version has a performance deficit that is likely to drive some sales to the automatic. When the car is not moving, Porsche limits the engine speed to 3500 rpm in order to protect the transmission and the drive train from unnecessary misuse. Clutch ejection at this engine speed leads to a bog or a standstill because the rear tires have a lot of traction. To reach a time of 3.6 seconds between zero and 60 miles per hour, you have to slip the clutch. And while this was also the case with the 911s of the 991 generation, you had to work with them with an additional 500 revolutions, which made it a little easier to get it right. The rear tires of the 992 with a larger diameter are not helpful. An additional inch total diameter effectively extends the shape of the contact surface and increases the longitudinal grip. This benefits braking, but also increases starting traction.
Forget trying to keep up with an automatic Carrera S (60 mph in 2.9 seconds). Even a 379 hp Carrera, a car that you can't get with the manual, will protect the manual Trans Carrera S from green light. Only after the quarter mile, in which the 11.8-second run of the S is 0.3 seconds behind the base car, does the superior power-to-weight ratio of the manual car take over. With an acceleration of 19.0 seconds, the Carrera S reaches 150 mph, the Carrera 1.5 seconds behind.
Photo credits: Marc Urbano - car and driver
However, the manual has no effect on braking or cornering as the larger pirellis pull down from 136 mph to 270 mph and 100 mph in 136 and 270 feet, respectively. The 1.06 g, which is stronger on the skidpad than the gravity of the manual, corresponds exactly to the 911 today.
Ordering a manual 911 doesn't increase the cost of the car, but that doesn't mean "no cost," as Porsche used to charge $ 3,200 for the automatic. As an olive branch, Porsche equips vehicles with manual equipment with a version of the Sport Chrono Package, which includes a dial on the steering wheel for changing driving modes, dynamic drive train brackets, a competition mode for stability control and a stopwatch dial on the dashboard. The manuals also include an automatic downshift of the speed adjustment, which is deactivated in normal mode and when stability control is deactivated, and a mechanical limited slip differential. Brake-based torque vectoring helps the car turn corners, but we haven't found any understeer on this car because it sticks and moves faster than Larry Holmes, which is in part due to the 0.4-inch lower sports package ($ 3390) and the $ 2090 is rear axle steering. If we had problems, the high limit values ​​make cornering under 1.00 g a bit boring and almost too easy.
Photo credits: Marc Urbano - car and driver
This 2020 911 started at $ 114,650, and in addition to the above sports equipment, ventilated sport seats plus and red seat belts drove the final bill to $ 121,950. However, the order books are already closed for 2020. With the 2021, you'll initially receive $ 1,800 more. This now includes standard keyless entry, a $ 550 option for 2020 that we'd like to trade for the red belt.
If every C / D employee had the opportunity to buy a 911, everyone would order a manual. It's a little slower from the stop, but it's also a lot more fun to improve the interaction with a car that is fun to drive. But then think about how wonderful the Porsche double clutch is and how fast it is. Hmm, forget it. Let's just celebrate the manual while we still can.
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