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Don’t rush to get a manual-transmission Porsche 911 yet, but it seems production of the seven-speed sports car might be limited to the next eight years.
Michael Schätzle, project manager of the new 911, said so in an interview with Automobile, citing sales figures that say 78 percent of the seventh-generation 911 sold with the PDK dual-clutch automatic. It’s a fact that might make driving purists cringe, but transmissions like Porsche’s PDK offer faster, more efficient shifts and consequently improved forward propulsion potential and efficiency.
The 2012 911 actually got a seven-speed manual, as mentioned above, which is a departure from the majority of cars being sold today. Instead it’s more common to see something along the lines of Mercedes-Benz‘ seven-speed automatic or Porsche’s PDK in high-end cars. Nonetheless, the company will offer a manual for the better part of the coming decade, if not longer.
It’s tough to see exactly what else will be available that far in the future, but easy to imagine feeling just as disappointed at not being able to throw a stick around during a 3-2 downshift and feeling the rear tires’ grip melt away.
As for that murky future, Schätzle told Automobile that Porsche is interested in looking at a 9-speed PDK for future models, though such extra gears will require a re-engineered transmission.
Schätzle also said the views he was expressing were his own, not those of Porsche. He also said that even if manuals are forgotten in the 911, they would likely remain on less expensive models.
GALLERY: 2012 Porsche 911
Infiniti knows sexy. Their cars have flowing curves that look right at home next to car show babes, a set of golf clubs or a well-manicured lawn.
That’s why it really was a tease when they released photos last October of their new extended-range electric sports car. The company is still playing coy about the concept, but we know that it’s going to take the same philosophy as the Chevrolet Volt by implementing a 1.2-liter mid-mounted engine.
A few days ago Infiniti released their third teaser, which included a few snippets of information about the car. What’s probably most intriguing is that Infiniti is committed to making a car that has zero emissions capability and track-ready performance in the same vehicle.
Francois Bancon, Infiniti’s Deputy Division General Manager of Product Strategy and Planning, says the car will be a guilt-free experience with exceptional handling.
What’s really interesting is how different manufacturers are approaching the marriage between performance and efficiency. On the one hand, you have the Tesla Roadster, which is fully electric and fun to drive albiet with less sports car speed than you might hope. On the other, there are cars like the Scion FR-S, Toyota’s soon-to-launch sports car that uses a Boxer 2.0-liter four cylinder.
The FR-S is far from a zero-emissions car, but as performance coupes go, we’re expecting pretty mild EPA estimates. That brings us back to Infiniti’s take on the whole thing. They’re saddling up right in the middle, with both electricity and gasoline. It’s set to debut in March at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, where we’ll bring you coverage of the event.
You can watch the video below, but be warned, you may fall asleep. This video makes your uncle’s tired family Christmas stories sound as epic as Homer’s Iliad.