View Full Version : New Porsche 911 turbo - PDK only...Grrr!

2nd May 2013, 11:55
Just read in Road & Track that the new model Porsche 911 Turbo will only be offered in a PDK only......no manual.

Now as far as I'm concerned, the only reason to buy a Porsche is to sample that magnificent feel of the riffle bolt precision of the stick shift. DIY gear shifting, matching revs to road speed, heel and toeing not that anyone knows what it is these days anyway.

Or...am I just a crusty old dinasour.

2nd May 2013, 11:58
Crusty old dinosaur

2nd May 2013, 11:59
"Or...am I just a crusty old dinasour."

No, you just learn't to drive properly, something that seems
to be missing from certain generations.

As such, you can appreciate what is what and what is not when
it comes to the finer things in life and the pleasures to be gained
from taking a high end car for a "drive" as opposed to just revving
the shot out of it :O

2nd May 2013, 12:01
Porsches, Ferraris etc - mere chick magnets.

If women hated 'em you wouldn't buy one.

2nd May 2013, 12:11
Porsche Double Kupplung (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDK_%28Porsche_Doppelkupplungsgetriebe%29#Porsche).
A dual-clutch transmission eliminates the torque converter as used in conventional epicyclic-geared automatic transmissions.
It can fundamentally be described as two separate manual transmissions (with their respective clutches) contained within one housing, and working as one unit.

Go with the technology (it's been around long enough to be reliable).

2nd May 2013, 14:14
To be honest the current iteration of the Porsche PDK is an absolute joy to drive. Give it a try !

2nd May 2013, 14:20
Real proper Porsches died along with air-cooled engines mumble mumble

2nd May 2013, 14:25
Those paddle shifts are fantastic, keep your right wellie floored and click away (right hand) while watching things start to blur in your peripheral vision.
All the manual Porsches that I ever drove had a very vague "gate" on the gear lever.

2nd May 2013, 14:45
the only reason to buy a Porsche is to sample that magnificent feel of the rifle bolt precision of the stick shift.

Loose rivets
2nd May 2013, 19:36
Might just as well only buy the stick shift.:p

2nd May 2013, 22:21
What has the Christian Democratic Party of Albania to do with Porsche? :E

2nd May 2013, 23:09
Or...am I just a crusty old dinasour.

Crusty old dinosaur.

Don't know about you, but I prefer to make my buying decisions based on vehicle dynamics, NVH and overall performance.

Fact of the matter is that the modern automatic or semi-automatic paddle shifts are pretty darn good. Not having manual is not such a big deal these days and certainly shouldn't be a deal-breaker.

3rd May 2013, 02:45
Call me a dinosaur if you will, but I shall continue to extol the advantages of the chain drive and transmission for the motor car over the faddish geared setups foisted on the driving public by the likes of Mr Ford not so long ago, and relatively popular since.

The lower frictional loss of the chain drive compared to the fancypants gear system decides the issue for me, not to mention lower weight and ease of lubrication. Ask any Minerva driver, Roi du Belges pilot or anyone who has ever seen Mr J G Parry-Thomas at speed in 'Babs' (prior to the accident, of course).

It's true that a little oil is inconveniently flung about the vehicle, but that's just a matter of decent goggles and proper motoring attire for you and your passengers.

Gearboxes indeed. It's over-engineering, and the Bosch, in particular, are addicted to it.

Loose rivets
3rd May 2013, 05:03
And then there was the Hudson Terraplane.

This is truely, the most exquisite, but bizarre transmission in the world.


3rd May 2013, 07:11
There is certainly a lot of pleasure in practicing the art of gear-changing, heel-and-toe and even clutchless gear changes. However I have driven automatics as my everyday car for years now, and I was reminded of the penalties of age when I was asked whether my "boys toy" was auto or manual. I replied that it was auto, unfortunately, only to be informed that it was preferred as the manual was really hard work.

The reason is that if a car is fairly high-powered it needs a pretty strong clutch to transmit that power, with a heavy spring to keep it engaged. Continual use of a clutch like this can be quite hard work - I remember forty years ago, when I was a lot stronger and fitter, and driving a relatively low-powered car (MGB) that the drive through London from south end of the M1 to the A23 would often leave me with an aching left leg. Certainly wouldn't want to do it with a car with three times the power.

As said by previous posters - use the modern technology that has cost millions to develop and practice your gear changing on a classic or racing car.


3rd May 2013, 08:48
you just learn't to drive properly
wossit, 500N? learn not? :E :p

Otherwise an old dinosaur, too (about gear).

Lon More
3rd May 2013, 08:57
is there a steam powered version? Wouldn't need any form of reduction gearbox

3rd May 2013, 09:03
LR, I had a look at the guff for the Hudson Electric Hand contraption. No doubt the superficial coverage given is due to the space restrictions of 35 pages.

I'm waiting for Archie Frazer-Nash's 'chain gang' (below) to really catch on. One of its joys is the simplicity of maintenance, using the service tool to the right of the picture.


I am, however, tempted to try one of these Wilson pre-selector mechanisms.

cockney steve
3rd May 2013, 09:14
Pah! you namby-pamby kids....You know NOTHING.

Can't beat a good leather belt-drive for simplicity and efficiency....dog-clutches and fast and loose pulleys take care of the rest.

For a real sporting challenge, try driving a Daimler-Lanchester Preselector....If you're not ahead of the car and panic with your gear-selection, a mighty kick to your foot is the reward.....many a Bus-driver (yup! daimler buses had 'em as well! ) had a broken leg as a result of a sudden encounter with the underside of the steering-wheel.

Proper men's gearboxes they were. Paddle-shift?- POOF just a modern iteration for soft kids.

cockney steve
3rd May 2013, 09:22
@ RJM... A Wilson box (Daimler-Lanchester as alluded to above, and also BSA, will spoil you forever.

Anticipate, select the next-required gear and a quick kick on the pedal will smoothly engage it (fluid-flywheel, no clutch.)

Party trick is to drive into a filling-station, stop, reverse, without removing hands from the steering-wheel. the bafflement on spectators' faces is pure entertainment.

3rd May 2013, 09:22
Luxury ! You're all too soft ..

You can't beat this for ease of maintenance !

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTulNGemG4amkJppAsmS6oT0O0dZUzfUxhMJiQPD_i ZMMaR85lCFg

3rd May 2013, 09:49
I say! The voice of reason!

Not enough has ever been said about the humble dog-clutch. Positive engagement; zero loss of power and torque... What's not to like?

Here's a typical motoring application - in this case a fast tourer with several aero engines neatly connected by modern, fool-proof dog clutches (provided the fool in the driving seat manages the simple task of synchronising the powerplants as he pulls away from the kerb). Two V12s in the back and one (for luck, as they say) in front,


while the driver sits relaxed and comfortable at the centre of the action. This 81 litre cruiser is capable of a lazy 207 miles per hour!


Not enough dog clutches for you? Mr Gar Wood, of America, has the answer with his weekend runabout, Miss America IX. A quartet of Packard V12s and ample space for two plus a picnic basket!


So I'm with cockney steve... Phooey to German technology, auto boxes and gearboxes in general. The dog clutch - choice of the discerning sporting gent, or lady, depending perhaps on calf size.

3rd May 2013, 09:53
This 81 litre cruiser is capable of a lazy 207 miles per hour!

Well.... just like gearboxes, engines have moved on too.

You can now achieve 207 miles per hour with a lot less than 81 litres ! Bugatti Veyron, for example, manages it (and more) on a mere 8 litre, or the Koenigsegg modestly sips 4.7 litres.

3rd May 2013, 10:08
Of course, mixture, but in utter safety (comparatively). Where's the excitement in that? The teeth-clenching, scrotum-tightening, Hail Mary Mother of God risk-taking in your sleek luxo-barges? And not a chain or dog clutch in sight! And no effete 16 speaker sound systems either - all you hear in these babies is the purr of the engines... :}

B Fraser
3rd May 2013, 11:24
I'm waiting for Archie Frazer-Nash's 'chain gang' (below) to really catch on.

It is the other way around, AFN is now the largest Porsche dealer in the UK. Excellent chaps they are too !

3rd May 2013, 11:41
The old DAF Variomatic didn't have any gears; expanding and contracting pulleys were enough.


Some people were crushed to death in their garage when the transmission engaged whilst they were working on the engine.

3rd May 2013, 11:48
The old DAF Variomatic didn't have any gears; expanding and contracting pulleys were enough.

The current Honda 'constantly variable transmission'uses the same principle. In some models there are electronic steps built in so that you can select up to seven gears, with no clutch..

3rd May 2013, 12:03
Yes I've got to admit the modern semi or semi auto boxes are good. But I remember my Mom teaching me to heel and toe. It was about 1973. Came in really handy when I learnt to drive an HGV.
Twelve speed Foden gearbox anyone??
No synchromesh, if the revs aren't right you won't get the gear.
I still think Formula one would be much more exciting with a 7 speed gate manual gearbox with a foot clutch.

Are you listening Bernie!!

3rd May 2013, 13:02
The drawback of a 'conventional' automatic (epicyclic gears (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicyclic_gearing) with hydraulic torque converter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torque_converter)) is that it is less mechanically efficient than a 'simple' mechanical geartrain.
Automated manual mechanical gearboxes (such as the Porsche PDK) does not suffer from the same inefficiencies as the fully-automatic torque-converter - yet it can be arranged to be fully automatic shifting.

A win-win situation (apart from the possible oncost over a simple manual stickshift transmission).

3rd May 2013, 13:36
There's an interview with a senior Porsche engineer about PDK up on ewetoob (below). Its quite apparent that the PDK decision was not taken lightly and that a lot of time and effort was put in on both hardware and software side in order to ensure the experience was not compromised.

Not that I can afford one, but I'd love to take one for a test drive, preferably with a little bit of time on a track too !


3rd May 2013, 15:04
I can't afford one either, but fascinating. Thanks, mixture.

3rd May 2013, 15:34
I owned a DAF 33. The only merit it had was taht it was as fast in reverse as it was in forward, roughly 60 MPH in both cases. The belts broke often but could be easily replaced with an International Harvester combine belt that cost US$2.57 at the time IIRC.

My two 911's (964 and 993) were both equipped with God's own approved five speed manual transmission. I have never driven a Porsche with a "precise" gear shifting mechanism although I am theoretically prepared to believe taht such exist with the non-rear engined vehicles.

Unrelated trivia: Some years ago I was preparing for a product launch targeted to US ATP's. We discovered that slightly more than 50% of then active US ATP's owned at least one Porsche. I thought that was logical since all five of us involved were ATP's and owned Porsche's ourselves.

Fewer of us probably own Hudson Terraplanes.

Loose rivets
3rd May 2013, 20:19
My little postwar garage* did well with the local Hudson. They installed a manual gearbox, because - as you may have seen from the pdf link - the original auto-shift was a nightmare of complexity. The original shift stick was a miniature gate on a stalk. The stick was about an inch long.

*I recall the brothers rebuilding it when they got home from the war. It had been demolished by a bomb.

I've mentioned the fact my friend in Essex has a fairly new Honda that is a computer-controlled manual. It was sold to him as an auto, and he was incensed when he found out why it seemed so different. But as a Fireblade owner, he's grown to like it's fast paddle-controlled changes.

Much argy-bargy with the Honda dealership but he persuaded them it needed a new clutch, and it transformed the car.

However, they are so rare it seems it may be a problem getting it serviced in the future. They stopped making them the next year.

Modern auto-boxes are exquisite. Packed into a slim tube of a casing, some of them have efficiencies close to manual boxes. Some claim better. The trouble is, the control logic is too smart for it's owner's good. Tries to think for you. For example, bombing onto a highway, I put on a lot of power. I like to nurse my engines, and eased off at 4,000 rpm. I expected it to change up. It didn't.

It seems it thinks, "If masses of power has been put on, then I need to hang onto this gear in case my owner suddenly wants the power back again." It has a certain logic, but really, if I'm in that driving mode, I'd like to use manual control of the shifting. But even that has some thoughts of its own.

It also changed totally differently when on hills. Living in a place that's exactly flat, it came as a surprise when I went to the Texas hill country and it, for example, hung onto low gears longer when tilted skywards.

MB came out with an insane variable slip torque converter. I hadn't realized it was designed to run in the slip rage for much of typical town and urban driving. Long runs were the only time it would truly lock up.

I hadn't realized until recent years just how clever torque converters are. Even 50 years ago the fluid control was very advanced, and some huge old American cars just had a converter and one overdrive-type, final gear.


B Fraser
3rd May 2013, 20:36
I used to have a 930 turbo with a 4 speed box, no ABS, no traction control and a flamethrower B&B triflow exhaust. I could spin the rear wheels in 3rd gear if it was wet and I was wearing my brave trousers. :ooh:

I wish it had been a 959 :E

Milo Minderbinder
3rd May 2013, 20:54
"The old DAF Variomatic didn't have any gears"

Well, that idea was pinched from the Raleigh Ultramatic mopeds, which were themselves based on a French design: the Mobylette
Rubber drive bands galore on those. And very disconcerting to ride at first as the engine swung backward in its frame as you went faster, moving the drive band up/down the pully wheel incline and so changing effective gear ratio.

4th May 2013, 10:37
Now that's engineering!

The White Triplex Special (three V12s, pictured above) having only dog clutches managed to reverse via a roller, driven from one of the magneto drives apparently, which could be lowered onto one of the rear tyres, thereby driving the rig backwards, if fairly slowly.

It's sturdy mechanisms like that, once the hallmark of robust British design, which have all but disappeared from the needlessly complex machines flooding the market today.

Take 'split-level climate control', among many highly debatable 'advances' offered to the modern motorist.

Again, in the White Triplex, the pilota intrepido, surrounded as he is by the comforting thermal radiation of 36 cylinders, enjoys toasty warmth from neck to toe, while his head is kept pleasantly cool by the breeze wafting past as he proceeds briskly about his business. Elegant simplicity, undeniably. And completely automatic.

4th May 2013, 11:10
I you want an infinitely variable transmission, there is always the GWK car, built in Maidenhead, Berkshire, which had a friction drive.


A driven disc which could slide along a splined shaft had its periphery running on the face of the driving disc. By moving the driven disc towards the periphery of the driving disc the ratio was increased, and vice versa. By crossing to the other half of the driving disc the direction of rotation is reversed. Seemples!

Lon More
4th May 2013, 14:31
As already suggested; buy a DAF 33. More power than most posters here could handle.


All immaterial anyway. When Engerland leaves/is kicked out of, the EU you won't be able to afford a Porsche anyway.

4th May 2013, 15:15
That green looks very close to one of the slightly odd colours Rover came up with in the latter days of the P6.

Loose rivets
4th May 2013, 16:27
I drove a new rubber band Hyundai I think it was. Horrible. I just wanted to know what gear I was in all the time. It was like something a kid had made.

4th May 2013, 16:50
Gosh Rivets

You're pretty promiscuous with your four-wheeled steeds: Hyundai, MB, Cadillac, Dodge (?) van and those are just the ones that were , I imagine, your most recent try-outs.

What happened to the van with the persistent ignition problem ? Did I miss the denouement or is it still in the garage awaiting inspiration ?

Loose rivets
4th May 2013, 20:51
No, the Hyundai was taken back to the showroom a bit smartish. My neighbors like theirs, but then Father Bob has just bought himself a vast Dodge V8 thing. 460 hp I think he said.

The old Caddy has gone - part of the preparations for selling up in southern Texas. Ponderous old thing, but I'd grown to like it.

The Oldmobile van still misses at tick-over. :ugh:

At this sage, I know what isn't causing the problem: Crank sensor, cam sensor, ignition module, Main Drivetrain computer. (that does most everything.) X1 signal and its harness. X3 etc., etc. The darn thing's in daily use, so playing with it is not an option.

I did however get a frantic call from the Rivetess a week or so back. Won't come out of reverse. Stuck across the road. But now I only have one car! Got me a lift and borrowed the centre brolly stem of a patio table. Reached deep into the abyss and poked the selector hub on the transmission. It worked.

Next bit's significant. It needed a cable, but one end disappears into the dash.:ooh: Phoned Auto Zone and they do a little packet of assorted ball and socket inserts. One fitted, and saved a looooot of work and $100. The whole job with tow in would have been $500.

The mate of mine with the Honda and Honda Fireblade, has dreamed for years of making an constantly variable transmission. Can't see the point now, there will be electric motors on the hubs, and few other moving parts. All we need is a battery, but it will come. Has to, such a simple build with no liquid fuel to worry about. Don't suppose I'll see a viable one in my lifetime, however.

4th May 2013, 22:08
Until the advent of the hybrid drivetrain, I thought that the double-clutch gearbox was the ideal solution. The downfall of the automated single clutch manual was the power interruption during gear change. However, a hybrid drivetrain allows an electric motor to 'fill in' the gap in motive power during the change. So this simpler automated manual might now come back into vogue. The double-clutch might now be on borrowed time.

Saying that, twenty minutes in the company of a Golf R32 with the DSG double-clutch box, had me convinced. Simply like a knife through butter, and all with a flick of the fingertips. It was sublime.

4th May 2013, 22:12
Had a hired Austin Metro with CVT once, which took forever to spool up after each corner. Tried left foot braking at full throttle to keep the revs up. Worked AOK until I ran out of brake servo vacuum at the third bend.

5th May 2013, 06:22
Years ago, a friend imported to Australia a fairly worn Ferrari 400. The local Ferrari mechanic had been down to the docks to give the car the once over, and we arrived later to drive it away. Knowing that it was shipped with only a gallon of fuel in it, we headed for the service station just outside the dock, but ran out of petrol on the way.

Apparently starting it, driving it around the warehouse a couple of times, plus our few hundred metres was a gallon's worth. And so it turned out to be. The car drank fuel at an alarming rate even in perfect tune.

The point of the comment is that it had a double clutch. Not a fancy clutch within a clutch as described above, but two clutch plates which operated simultaneously.

I wonder if there are any other cars with two plates operating like that?