Many Porsche fans have at least heard of a PDK transmission, but there are still many people out there that don’t know quite what the technology is, how it works or why any of that matters. This article is for all you people out there that are interested in the transmission that’s used on nearly every modern Porsche today. It’s impressive tech, and after you understand what’s behind the name you’ll be even more excited to get behind the wheel of one of these modern marvels of engineering.
What is it?
The PDK transmission stands for Porsche Doppel Kupplungs, which means Porsche double-clutch transmission in English. A PDK is a dual-clutch transmission, but it’s a proprietary one developed by the automaker. It works much the same way as any other dual clutch transmission, and offers all the same benefits of that tech.
How a PDK is Setup
A PDK transmission is very similar in construction to a manual transmission with a clutch and flywheel, but there is a second clutch that works at the same time as the first, creating a fluid motion that enables nearly instant gear changes. One clutch handles half the gears and the other handles the other half. This means that while one clutch is disengaging, the other can engage at the same time. A set of specialized valves that are electronically operated handle all the gear changes of the vehicle making gear changes on-the-fly as needed.
No Clutch Wear
There is very minimal clutch wear in this system because Porsche relies on a wet clutch setup. Both clutches of the system are covered with oil to help them maintain nice smooth performance with minimal friction. That’s why you can operate a Porsche vehicle under extreme conditions and do very little to wear out the clutches of the vehicle.
Started in Racing
Like many of Porsche’s best tech, the PDK originated in racing and later migrated to the rest of the Porsche lineup. It was a highly desirable racing solution because the PDK allows for faster shifting. Racers could move around the track faster and with less distraction since they no longer had to worry about shifting. Those are the same benefits offered to Porsche owners today, that and they won’t have to deal with expensive clutch replacements.
The PDK clutch system is pretty cool when you understand what goes into it, but it’s not exclusive to only Porsche. There are other performance vehicles today that rely on a dual clutch setup as well, Porsche is just known for offering one of the most efficient clutch systems and one of the most resilient, making it a good value for buyers.
Still to this day the Porsche 911 is made mostly by hand, and it’s that attention to detail that creates such a high-quality product. Yesterday was a historic occasion, Porsche produced its one millionth 911 car and it just rolled off the production line. Porsche has been putting out the 911 sports car since 1963, and it finally hit a historic figure that rarely comes for exotic sports cars. The one millionth vehicle produced and it’s not so different than the original produced back in 1963. Sure there’s more tech crammed inside, the engine is significantly more powerful and advanced than before, but the makeup of the car itself remains the same. It’s a rear-engined sports car meant to go fast and offer excellent handling mechanics.
Irish Green Nostalgia
The one millionth 911 sports car was given the same Irish green paint job as the original 1963 model for nostalgia’s sake. The car also comes equipped with a steering wheel that’s partially made up of wood, and the dials are chrome capped just like the originals were. Overall 911 number 1 million looks very different from the original, but Porsche went the extra mile to tie the two together with décor.
The Power Gap
In terms of power and performance the 911 has come a long-long way. Consider this, the original 1963 model offered just 128 HP from its air-cooled engine. The current base model 911 Carrera offers 370 HP and they get much more powerful from there. The high-powered 911 Turbo S can go from 0 to 62 in just 2.9 seconds, a feat that likely seemed all but impossible back in 1963. The original 911 does the same thing in 8.5 seconds, something more akin to a modern-day family sedan.
Not for Sale
If you’re hoping for a chance to bid on the millionth Porsche 911, you’ll be sadly disappointed. No collector will have the opportunity to own the vehicle. Instead it’s going to take a tour of modern racing locations around the world, and it will be retired at the Porsche museum when it’s finished making its trip.
Few performance sports cars hit the one million production car mark, and that’s a real testament to the Porsche 911 and its longevity.
There are some critics out there that talk about towing capacity and how it’s not always accurate. There are some companies that reportedly overstate the towing capacity of their vehicles to the displeasure of the vehicle owners, and then there are companies like Porsche, that are apparently quite conservative when it comes to the tow rating of their vehicles, or at least for the rating of the Porsche Cayenne. Just a few days ago Porsche made headlines all over the world, for doing something that seems impossible. The automaker used a couple different Porsche Cayenne’s to tow a 314-ton jumbo jet a total distance of 140 feet. That seems completely impossible when you consider the vehicle has a tow rating of a mere 7,700 pounds.
Setting a World Record
While towing the Airbus A380 jumbo jet down the tarmac, Porsche set a new world record exceeding the old production car tow record by a staggering 127 tons. The feat was accomplished at the Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport, and it’s going to be something that ever Porsche Cayenne owner takes pride in.
You Can Trust in that Tow Rating
With such a heft accomplishment under its belt, you shouldn’t have any trouble trusting in the pretty conservative 7,700 lb. tow rating put on the Porsche Cayenne. We’re not recommending that anyone go over that limit, but Porsche drove the two Cayenne’s away from the event and they both functioned fine, so owners that go above and beyond the rating occasionally probably won’t suffer from any issues as long as they are careful with how they drive. Either way, it’s an amazing feat, it’s something that every Porsche owner should be interested in, and it shows that good engineering makes it possible to accomplish much more than you think.
Not Just a Diesel Thing
First Porsche relied on a Cayenne S Diesel to complete the feat, but before you go ahead and say that it’s a diesel thing, Porsche also did the same exact thing using the Cayenne Turbo S, a gas-powered vehicle. It’s all in the Porsche engineering, not the type of fuel running the vehicle.
If you’ve been looking around for a rugged SUV to tow stuff with, it’s hard to argue against the stylish and well-equipped Porsche Cayenne. Just don’t expect to tow your jets with it, this was a carefully planned feat and probably isn’t that easy to reproduce by just anyone with a Cayenne and a jet sitting around.
The Porsche Macan went from being a strange idea that many Porsche fans rejected, to a popular mainstay of the brand. The Macan has already been through a few evolutions since being released, but Porsche is clearly trying out another one as we speak. The interesting thing isn’t the changes the Macan is receiving, but how Porsche has decided to mask the next vehicle, with stickers.
That’s right, Porsche has placed stickers over top of the 2018 Macan in order to make it look like a 2017 version of the vehicle. By looking where the stickers have been placed, it’s easy to see what changes are coming on the latest model and what you can expect from the automaker overall. The stickers are actually pretty difficult to notice in pictures, and they’re a brilliant way to block distinctive features on the latest Macan while still getting it out there for testing.
Only Minor Changes are Coming
On the front of the Macan the headlights are clearly being changed up in some way, but it’s tough to see exactly what the change is from a picture alone. It also looks like the Macan is getting a new bumper and fog lights, and it’s very likely that it’s going to have an LED across the entire back, or at least that’s what the full-sized rear sticker would suggest. Overall the cosmetic changes are all just speculation, but there are quite a few modifications coming.
Expect Interior and Engine Upgrades
Not only is the exterior of the 2018 Macan getting some changes here and there, but buyers should expect the interior to be notably changed, and for there to be different engine options than what is currently offered on the Macan. There could even be a plug-in hybrid version of the popular sports SUV offered by Porsche, which would be very interesting.
While the 2018 Porsche Macan doesn’t look like it will be a revolutionary vehicle, it will come with quite a few changes to its front and rear, and it will be interesting to see exactly what those are. Don’t expect to have to wait months to hear about them though, it’s likely that Porsche will put out an announcement and show off the vehicle before the end of summer.
Autonomous driving is a feature that’s coming soon, or at least that’s what most of the experts in the auto industry are predicting. Most major car companies are hard at work trying to get a car to safely drive you around the road, and through extensive research tests are getting closer and closer to successfully doing just that. Many automakers want to make it so that drivers never have to drive again. So that they can lounge peacefully behind the wheel of the car, or even without a wheel at all, and get transported to the final destination. This isn’t want performance brands like Porsche or Mazda want though. They’re more interested in meeting somewhere in the middle.
Why Porsche Doesn’t Want Always on Auto Driving
Porsche isn’t interested in autonomous driving features that are always on for vehicle owners. That’s because Porsche is a performance brand and most Porsche owners have the vehicles for the driving experience. In other words, Porsche owners wouldn’t have a reason to buy a Porsche if they weren’t going to be driving it.
Instead Porsche wants to create vehicles with autonomous driving that you can switch on and off as you see fit. These systems would give you control over the auto features, but still make driving safer at the same time.
Autonomous Driving Standard in Every Porsche
According to Klaus Zellmer, the North American CEO of Porsche, autonomous driving will be like cruise control is today. It’s a tech that will soon be standard in every Porsche, but something that you’ll be able to pick and choose when you use it. This means that Porsche owners will have the option if they don’t feel like driving, but there’s no need to use an autonomous driving feature, just as there isn’t a need to use cruise control today.
A Behind the Scenes Nanny
Porsche understands that autonomous driving is a way to make driving safer, and Zellmer believes that the best answer is to create safety features that run in the background without taking away from the driving experience. In other words, a computer would be running with a series of sensors that detect any danger, and correct errors that the driver makes without even worrying the driver about the errors. You could safely enjoy the thrill of driving your Porsche, while operating it under much safer circumstances than is possible today with this tech.
Autonomous driving is exciting for car owners and it’s a feature nearly everyone wants to implement, Porsche just wants to make sure that the act of driving remains enjoyable and that aficionados can drive to their heart’s desire without being taxied around all the time.
The 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S is an exciting throwback to the original Targa with the same looks, but a whole lot more tech and performance. It’s a modern-day high powered equivalent to the classic car, and it’s exhilarating to drive around. We’ll get into what makes it so special down below, but to really understand what makes the car special you have to drive it for yourself.
It Has the Original Look
The car looks very similar to the original 911 Targa with the same curvaceous rear glass, the same Targa bar and the same overall body shape. Sure it’s not identical, but for a Porsche enthusiast it’s the best you’ll get other than picking up the original vehicle for nostalgia’s sake.
An Advanced Retractable Top
The cloth top on the original Targa couldn’t have been simpler. You unhook a few clips and it pops right off. The modern equivalent of that is an overly-complicated electrical-mechanical matchup that takes nearly 20 seconds to fold down the top under the glass. The plus side of that is that during that time you don’t have to do anything. You press the button and the top folds up and out of the way until you need it again. It’s convenient, you just have to be patient.
A Whole Lot of Power
The modern Targa 4S comes with a massive amount of power. You’ll have 420 HP and 368 lb.-ft. of torque at your disposal thanks to the 3.0 liter twin-turbo flat six under the hood. It’s water cooled and mechanically impressive and the car really hauls down the road because of it. There’s no better feeling than stomping on the pedal and being thrown back against the seat as you literally launch.
The Targa 4S comes standard with a silky 7-speed manual transmission that’s fun to operate, but if you’re not the shifting type, or you want the absolute peak performance, you can upgrade to the seven-speed dual clutch automatic PDK transmission. It gets the job done faster and more smoothly, and you don’t have a clutch pedal to worry about. Either way power distribution is excellent and you’ll climb through the gears without any notable jerks or uneven performance.
Massive Performance Power
Thanks to that oversized engine that I mentioned earlier the 2017 Targa 4S is a serious monster on the track. 0 to 60 happens in just 3.3 seconds, a quarter mile is over in 11.7 seconds and the car stops on a dime with 0 to 60 occurring in just 97 feet. Sure it won’t win any fuel efficiency awards with a 24 MPG combined rating, but it saves fuel better than many other sports cars that you’ll encounter.
If there’s something about the handling of the Porsche that you don’t like, you might be able to modify it to your liking as well. You can change around the drive mode between Sport, Sport + and a small collection of other drive modes to change the steering stiffness, the throttle response and shifting aggression to get you a dynamic that feels right for your situation.
The 911 Targa 4S is a real joy to drive, but it doesn’t come cheap with a base price of just over $123,000. It’s not uncommon for the price tag to climb above $150,000 with options added on, so you have to be comfortable spending heavily to enjoy this car.
2018 Model-year Porsche vehicles are going to receive a number of enhancements that make them more worthwhile than ever before. Whether you’ve been wanting more power, different color options, or an enhanced media system, all those changes and more are coming to the 2018 model year vehicles. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from the next lineup of cars, pay close attention.
911 S and 911 Owners Get Power Bump
In 2018 911 S models are going to come with an optional performance kit that will increase overall power by 30 HP. This is an enhancement that current 911 owners will also be able to make use of, that is as long as they chose to get the Sport Chrono package at time of purchase. That means that 2017 Porsche that’s sitting in your garage can be even faster, you just have to be willing to shell out some money at the dealership to have the performance enhancement added in 2018.
In order to achieve this performance enhancement the vehicle will be equipped with upsized turbochargers as well as the Sports Chrono package, an enhanced brake cooking system, dynamic mounts for the engine, and a dual tailpipe exhaust system. Overall the cost should be approximately $12,350 for the added performance, and it’s going to be available for new 911, Carrera S, 911 Targa 4S, Carrera S and 4S models as well as the 911 S.
More Color Options
Not only will 2018 bring performance enhancements to Porsche vehicles, it also brings more interior and exterior color selections to choose from. You’ll have several additional colors to pick from, though some are completely model exclusive, like Palladium Metallic for the Cayenne, and Saffron Yellow Metallic for the 911.
Enhanced Media System
Vehicles that are available with the Porsche Connect service are going to benefit from the addition of many additional services. This includes things like in-car WiFi and LTE access to help make vehicles more connected overall.
All these changes are notably improving Porsche vehicles across the lineup in 2018, but some of the improvements, like the power boost pack will come at a cost. You’ll have to look through all the 2018 enhancements and decide if they’re worth the added cost or not when the time comes to make the purchase.
The recent Geneva Motor Show brought welcome news the Porsche faithful and enthusiasts, the “Drivers 911″ the 911 GT3 would once again be offered with a manual transmission!
In an ever increasing world of automation and complication, there comes a time and reason to unplug from it all and get back to basics, or at least as basic can get in this current day and age. When the 991 GT3 debuted it was hailed as the next great step, save for one thing, the lack of a manual transmission. The Porsche PDK is a superb transmission, and if the goal is to get around the race track in the quickest time, then there is no better tool to row through the gears. In the daily commute, stuck in traffic, the PDK also shines saving your left leg in stop and go traffic.
However, there are times when you want to row your own, to truly feel connected to the car and the driving experience, and for that, the best tool for the job is a manual transmission! If you wanted something close to the GT3 with a manual, you had to be lucky enough to get the 911R, but those were only offered to those who purchased the 918 Spyder, or, if you found one second hand, they started at $500,000 and went up quickly from there.
Porsche heard loud and clear that the faithful still wanted a manual gearbox and now they have responded. With the 991.2GT3 a six-speed manual returns attached to a 4.0 liter naturally-asperated flat six developing 500 horsepower and 339 lb/ft of torque. It wasn’t that long ago that 997 Turbo topped out at 450 horsepower, and now, the GT3 brings 500 naturally-asperated horsepower to the dance to sing that glorious song as it approaches it’s near 9,000 rpm redline.
Deliveries of the 991.2GT3 will begin in September, if you’d like to reserve one today, please contact us as these will be very hard to get.
Please have a look at this video as Andreas Preuninger, Porsche GT Project Director, guides DRIVETRIBE’s Features Editor Henry Catchpole around the latest Porsche 911 GT3.
It was a long hard road to get here, but it was worth it.
Not only does Porsche South Bay have a spectacular new home, we are now one of only four Porsche Classic Partner locations in the United States! To celebrate we held an open house, and over 700 people were in attendance for our 60’s themed party! We had an amazing display of classic Porsche’s including a few VERY special ones.
We had Jerry Seinfeld’s 901 Porsche on display, Mike Sullivan’s 918 Spyder and enough other classic Porsche’s to be the envy of any Cars & Coffee. Factory Porsche race driver Patrick Long was also in attendance with his personal 964.
We had great food and drinks, along with a DJ, and we gave away a bunch of prizes, including four vouchers for the Porsche Experience Center!
We’ve assembled some great shots of the event, click the link to see them all!
Porsche Classic Partner Program
Porsche Classic cares for Porsche vehicles that have been our of standard production for at least 10 years. As a Porsche Classic Partner, we have a dedicated team of technicians, advisors and parts specialists trained and certified to work on Porsche Classic Vehicles. To learn more about the Porsche Classic Partner program, please head over and have a look.
By now most people have heard about the Porsche Mission-E all-electric supercar that Porsche is working on. They know that the automaker is shooting for a 300+ mile range for the car, while making something that’s going to be a blast to drive and that’s going to be very quick. If Porsche can deliver on all these things it’s going to have a pretty successful vehicle on its hands, but the automaker isn’t content to just stop there. Porsche also plans on releasing a car that is upgrade-able over the air, and that might be capable of automated driving with a simple over the air update.
Over the Air Upgrades
Much like Tesla did with its Roadster, Porsche wants to be able to make enhancements to its Mission E with wireless software changes to the vehicle. It wants to be able to adjust the tune of the engine, increase or decrease power output in the future, and maybe add in additional tech features like improved automated driving features over time as well.
By simply turning your vehicle on, it could connect to the Internet and receive the updates that it needs to put new features into place using the existing technology. This is something that software companies do all the time today, but not something that is as common in automobiles currently. If Porsche can incorporate this feature into is Mission E, and we’re confident that the company can, buyers will be able to get more life out of the supercar before wanting to upgrade to the latest model.
Automated Driving Features
Porsche, once fully against automated driving, stated that it plans on releasing the Mission E with some self-driving features. For instance, the car might be able to pilot the driver through congested traffic on a straight road, and tackle other simple tasks like that that would otherwise be dull. The Mission E might come with pretty limited self-driving features, but over time as the tech improves, Porsche should be able to make software updates to the vehicle to make it more capable than before. Owners will notice their vehicle getting smarter, the media system getting new features and the vehicle improving over time. That’s the benefit of over-the-air updates, and it’s an exciting feature that Porsche owners could really benefit from.
Porsche is planning on releasing the Mission E in different power levels, so its possible that buyers will be able to change from one power level to the next with a paid update to the vehicle, but there’s no word if that’s going to be the case for the Mission E or not.
Porsche is betting big on this electric supercar and is sinking more than 1 billion Euros into research and development for it. The automaker is planning on selling 20,000 models each year, which would be significant for the luxury automaker, making it account for approximately 10 percent of all sales.
The features set to come with the Mission E are not set in stone, but so far the specs are exciting and something to look forward to. Serious Porsche fans that want to get into electric vehicles should seriously look at this option.With a 300 mile range and a 15 minute charge time the Mission E could be a convenient daily driver that replaces a gas-powered vehicle with ease.