Posted by: porschebahn | July 8, 2008

Driving the 2009 Porsche Carrera with the PDK transmission

   You will be BLOWN AWAY by the 2009 Carrera with the PDK transmission and new engines ! ! ! It doesn’t matter if it is a standard Carrera, Carrera 4S or any model in between. In reference to Steve Sutcliffe’s Autocar video in my previous post, I found the following: driving Carreras every day, to me the engine had the same raw sound we are used to. And I did not find the paddles on the steering wheel a problem. I too was used to having an up shift paddle on the right and down shift on the left. But I found myself instinctively pulling on the paddle to down shift without even thinking about it. With your hands at the 3 and 9 position on the wheel you just flick your wrist inward and up shift with the palm of your hand below your thumb.
   We were taken to the Monteblanco Race Track, about 50 km outside of Seville for a day of driving. What a magnificent facility. Porsche had set up a slalom course in one of the parking lots at the track that also had a brake test portion.  But the best part was actually getting on the racing circuit and out on the country roads.
   What an incredible car ! ! ! ! I went to the driving event with an open mind but expecting some thing close to or some where between the BMW SMG and the Ferrari F1 transmissions that I had driven before. Hated the BMW M6 and M5 with SMG. Felt the Ferrari F1 to be a little fragile. I felt like the F1 would break if I drove the car as it should be driven. The PDK out classes them both in my opinion. The launch control on the Sport Chrono equipped cars was the icing on the cake.
   For the launch control you push the Sport Plus button, hold your left foot on the brake, put your right foot to the floor and the engine revs to 6500 rpm, then your release the brake and you are launched down the road at full throttle. It was like dumping the clutch on my old ’68 Camaro at the drag strip.
   The PDK was awesome. In automatic mode you barely felt the 1-2 shift. From there on up you do not feel it shift. You just see the numbers change on the gear indicator and the tachometer drop. Unlike the BMW SMG transmission, getting on and off and on the gas again does not lead to transmission/computer confusion. In Sport Plus mode in the automatic setting it would not shift until the red line. It would down shift very aggressively when you were hard on the brakes and it blipped the throttle to match the revs with the speed of the car. It does that as well when you are in the manual shift mode. Sport mode reminded me of the Formula 1 cars I heard in Indianapolis in 2001. As I hit the brakes hard in the turns it would shift down 2, 3 or 4 gears, which ever was needed, making me feel like a Formula 1 champion. The up shifts were equally as aggressive. All of this excitement while in the automatic setting with Sport Plus mode on.
   In the manual setting and the Sport button off, the up shifts were just as smooth as in full automatic. And up shifts in the higher rpm range were instantaneous and smooth. Manual shifting in Sport was every bit as exciting as automatic but you control the action.
   We will have our PDK equipped launch cars by the middle of September. I encourage you to get out to your nearest dealer and experience the car for yourself and be blown away!
Great Video explaining how PDK works:

Responses

  1. […] Not sure if this has been posted yet…but here is a pretty positive review by someone who has driven the PDK on track…making me reconsider my thoughts of sticking to the manual Driving the 2009 Porsche Carrera with the PDK transmission Porschebahn Weblog […]

  2. I know a lot of the purists will have a hard time accepting the PDK, the thought of it wasn’t working for me either, but you have to drive it before passing judgment. A very well known American endurance racer was at the event and you should have seen the smile on his face after a day of driving it. I should not quote him without permission but lets say the smile told the story. A Cayman or Cayman S with PDK will be outrageous.


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