Are Tiptronic Porsche 911s a hard sell?
The PDK double-clutch automatic gearbox is so good, the decision between manual or automatic can be quite a dilemma for 911s from 997.2 onwards. But where does that leave models that have the previous incarnation of automatic technology, the Tiptronic models? Are they tougher to sell, and take up valuable forecourt space?
“In short, no,” says Philip Raby, of Philip Raby Specialist Cars. “We had two in lately, both 996; a Cab and a Coupe. Both sold within 24 hours,” he says. With many of our everyday cars being automatics, Raby thinks that familiarity with two pedals means owners are happy to go for Tiptronic 911s. Paragon’s Jamie Tyler agrees. “There may have been a phase where they were unloved, mainly down to the introduction of PDK, but in recent times we have found a resurgence in the popularity of Tiptronic cars,” he says, reasoning that may be because of the shortage of good manual 996/7 stock.
Don’t think owners are making do, though. Raby highlights that budget does play a part, but also makes the point that Tiptronic gearboxes are solid, proven units, which bring other benefits to a 911 than simply the lower cost. “You know that a Tiptronic car won’t have been thrashed, there’s no clutch to wear; they’re a good, solid option,” he says.
Which brings us to something all 911s face today: traffic density. Whilst we may dream of the open road, Raby points out: “In reality, all driving involves stop-start traffic, so Tiptronic is more convenient, most of the time. Tyler also echoes this. “For people that are driving in and out of town it is superb, giving you the best of both worlds,” he adds. “It is actually a good gearbox, and we sell lots of them.”
“A 993 Tiptronic will always be a harder sell, and a manual will sell quicker,” reveals Paragon’s Tyler, but Philip Raby reminds us: “964 and 993 were relatively small production runs compared to water-cooled models, so we don’t see the same quantity of Tiptronics in the 964 and 993.”
As ever, there are no bad 911s, just different options to suit how you use them.