In 2021, premium performance cars with manual gearboxes are very rare. Mainstream supercars don’t bother with them at all, and there aren’t many stick-shift sports cars around either. Even a lot of hot hatches, particularly the spendier ones, are now automatic-only.
It wasn’t that long ago, though, that many more cars were offered manual gearboxes even when it made little sense. Destined to be exceedingly unpopular tick-boxes in the configurator, but offered anyway just because that was the done thing. Take this 2007 Porsche Cayenne S - an automatic gearbox would suit it down to the ground, but as you can see from the interior shot, there’s a manual gear lever poking out between the front seats.
Inspired by our recent review of the thoroughly bonkers Cayenne Turbo GT, we went hunting for manual versions of the SUV in the classifieds, turning up just four, only two of which are V8s. This being the facelifted first-generation model, it has the bigger 4.8-litre naturally-aspirated V8, which is good for 380bhp. That’s nearly 50bhp up on the earlier 4.5.
It’s a heavy car, of course, but 0-60mph still happens in a respectfully brisk 6.4 seconds. A far cry from the Turbo GT which will do the same in about half that time, but enough to give a VW Golf GTI of the era a run for its money. The manual S will also do the deed a couple of tenths faster than a ‘Tiptronic’ auto-equipped Cayenne S.
The black exterior looks tidy overall, although those five-spoke alloy wheels could do with a refurb. The black leather interior trim has stood up well to 14 years and 87,000 miles of use, and the dashboard is in good shape too.
Along with the leather, you get electrically-adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers and tow bar preparation among other things. The infotainment system also includes satellite navigation, but this being a car from nearly a decade and a half ago, you might not find it hugely useful.
The manual Cayenne is listed on Autotrader and is sold with a full main dealer service history plus just under six months of MOT. The most recent test included a few advisories and minor defects, including low front brake pads and condensation in the light clusters.
The price is £9,000, which is actually a little less than a lot of automatic Cayenne S examples we’ve seen of this age. So, you can enjoy the perverse pleasure of heel and toe in a V8 Cayenne without paying a manual gearbox premium. Happy days.