New dog-leg: Porsche's new 7-speed 'box
Decades after Porsche had forgotten about the good old 'dog-leg' first gear for their 911, they have come up with a new one for their new 911 (991). Not to accomodate a first gear (ideal for racing about as you don't need the first gear anyway, but changing quickly from 2nd to 3rd), but to accomodate a seventh gear (!). What Car? editor Chas Hallett's twitter thingy showed the photo above to prove it. Obviously, on many a Porschephile forum it started the following discussion: 'Why? How could it possibly add anything?' At a first glance one would immediately agree with that. Six gears are good enough, I for one have never used sixth gear in the previous 911. Perhaps that shows I'm a crap driver, but it's probably more to do with the fact that if you never go faster than 200km/h, don't like cruising and don't want to save fuel either (why would you in a sports car!), you just don't need it. Still, if you do all of those things you will certainly benefit from a seventh gear. Besides, what harm does it do?
It must harm something, as there is one more gear; weight, space, more mechanicals and costs if you gearbox goes wrong (which of course isn't like with teutonic German build quality). Anyhow, hail S-Zuffenhausen they still bring out the 911 with a manual gearbox! Considering the new one seems more GT than sports car and most mainstream rivals forget about a manual 'box altogether, this is a a great big colourfol feather in the 991's cap.