Why Would Anyone Live in California?

Sure…you can’t beat the weather.  But isn’t that what vacations are for?

High taxes, crazy governor, a regulatory zeal that makes the federal bureaucrats look tame….

And now, this:

Porsche Can’t Sell Its 2022 911 GT3 with a Manual in California

Is it because Californians are so soft that they don’t know how to drive a stick?  Well, maybe yes in most cases, but apparently not for all:

Porsche informed us that, due to the state’s sound regulations, it can’t sell the manual-equipped cars there, only the ones with the standard seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Before getting to the (il)logic about why a manual transmission car runs louder than one equipped with an automatic transmission…despite having the same engine and exhaust system…what’s the big deal, you might ask.  Most cars are sold with automatic transmissions these days, anyway.

The 911 GT3 is a track car that is legal to drive on the road.  A naturally-aspirated six-cylinder engine, 502 horsepower, 9000 RPM redline, lightweight with just 6.3 lbs./horsepower, 0.34 drag coefficient, 1.11 g on the skid pad, 100-0 braking at 262 feet, zero to sixty in 3.2 seconds based on Porsche’s always-conservative numbers (3.7 seconds with the manual), zero to 160 in 19.1 seconds, the quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds at 129 MPH, top speed of 198 MPH.

It is a street-legal race car.

So how does California conclude that a car with the same engine and exhaust system is not too loud with an automatic, but is too loud with a manual?  If you guessed “bureaucratic stupidity,” you would be correct:

Our Colleagues at Road & Track have found out why the manual-equipped 911 GT3 fails the SAE J1470 test. The procedure requires the manual 911 GT3 to run closer to redline in third gear, while the test hinders the automatic-equipped cars’ acceleration. You can read the story here.

This SAE test measures sound decibels as the vehicle accelerates past a microphone.  For the Porsche 911 GT3, the test is to be done while beginning in third gear.  The issue is this: the car is to accelerate as hard as possible without inducing a kickdown.  The manual, obviously, will not kick down; the automatic, at full acceleration, will kick down.  So…the automatic is not pressed at full-throttle the way the manual is pressed.  No full-throttle acceleration equals not as much noise.

So, why blame California?  SAE is a private organization, and California is just following this private testing procedure.  Well, yes…and no:

See, SAE J1470 was first published in late 1984.

Well, you ask, it isn’t California’s fault that this procedure hasn’t been updated.  You could think that, but you would be wrong:

SAE International addressed this with an entirely new vehicle standard: SAE J2805, published in 2008 and updated as recently as May 2020. J2805 completely revamps the drive-by test procedure. Rather than a full-throttle (or nearly full-throttle) drive-by, J2805 lays out a hugely complex method of calculating the appropriate rate of acceleration for each individual vehicle being tested.

Since late 1984, when the previous standard was published, powertrains have gone through tremendous change – hybrids, electrics, hydrogen.  Transmissions now include CVTs – continuously-variable transmissions.  Much has changed.  But California hasn’t:

Here’s the problem: California doesn’t use J2805.


For those last few holdouts…if this doesn’t get you to move out of California, I am certain nothing will.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.