By on October 20, 2008

Dumfounded by my disappointing experience driving the new Porsche 911 PDK, I sought out another example this weekend. I located a 911 S PDK with the sport chrono option plus Porsche Active Suspension Management. The sport chrono option coupled with PDK offers three transmission settings. The normal setting shares the same fuel saving/fun deleting shift pattern as the car I drove previously. The sport plus setting wrings the engine to redline no matter how aggressive you are driving and makes sense only for the track. The middle sport setting is heavenly- shifting around 4,000 RPM under casual circumstances and bouncing off the rev limiter when angered. Porsche needs to replace the normal setting with the sport setting in all vehicles. The sport plus button is the one I would charge more money for. If people who drive 911′s really give priority to fuel economy over driving enjoyment, then they shouldn’t be allow to purchase one at all.

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11 Comments on “Update: Porsche Carrera PDK Review...”


  • avatar
    Wunsch

    Audi’s DSG has two automatic modes too: a conservative, efficient setting, and a setting equivalent to the middle sport setting you describe. Personally, I think that’s perfect. There are plenty of situations where the conservative setting is what you want; as long as you’re not stuck with it when it’s not, I don’t see a problem.

  • avatar

    why not just save $5000 and get a manual transmission which delivers pure driving joy?

    Not to mention 8 year olds and housewives won’t point and laugh at you, and call you a girl or poseur for driving an automatic sports car.

  • avatar
    gakoenig

    So would your previous review been 5 stars if the original 911 had the Sport Chrono Pack?

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    Porsche does not give anything away. I think the seats are optional on the base model.

  • avatar
    shoes

    If the original car I had driven included the sport chrono package, I would have awarded it 5 stars.

  • avatar
    NoSubstitute

    I drove a 911S on Friday with the same set up you describe, and was perplexed by your earlier negative review. At my salesperson’s suggestion we kept the transmission in “sport” throughout the test drive, and I thought the drivetrain performed magnificently. It’s not a stick, but the steering wheel mounted controls work surprisingly well. Based on your comments today, it’s obvious that he knew what he was doing.

    In answer to the question about saving $5K by sticking with the more fun manual, Friday afternoon’s test included about 15 minutes on the freeway, during which we advanced perhaps three miles (including several short but quick stretches). Since I use my 911 as a daily driver in the Bay Area, $5K seems like a bargain compared to knee surgery.

  • avatar
    Campisi

    why not just save $5000 and get a manual transmission which delivers pure driving joy?

    I’m a fan of left-foot braking myself, and if I’m buying a Porsche and want to forego the clutch pedal I doubt a “mere” five grand would sway me.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    I’m starting to worry about Porsche the same way I did with BMW six years ago. With the upcoming launch of the Panamera and now the worlds worst DSG in the base 911, this brand is losing focus.

  • avatar

    NoSubstitute – that’s a copout – I drove 1 hour each way (to go 12 miles) in DC traffic for 8 years, a manual transmission every single day.

    And once the traffic cleared I was glad every time that I could row the gears myself.

    This is of course what separates a purist and a pistonhead from a poseur.

    Campisi – One of the only legitimate reasons to go with the DSG. Although I hate left foot braking, I personally find it a challenge (or rather, a pain in the ass) to perfect my heel-toe as well, which the DSG does for you by rev matching.

  • avatar
    Campisi

    Although I hate left foot braking, I personally find it a challenge (or rather, a pain in the ass) to perfect my heel-toe as well, which the DSG does for you by rev matching.

    My Spider was designed for someone about half a foot shorter than me, so the only way I can fit is if I bend my right leg at such an angle that I can’t really move my right foot all that much. This, sadly, makes heel-and-toeing impossible. Strangely enough, I can almost heel-and-toe with the clutch pedal and the brake.

  • avatar
    NoSubstitute

    “NoSubstitute – that’s a copout – I drove 1 hour each way (to go 12 miles) in DC traffic for 8 years, a manual transmission every single day.

    And once the traffic cleared I was glad every time that I could row the gears myself.

    This is of course what separates a purist and a pistonhead from a poseur.”

    Well, I’ve been doing it now for 27 years, so I guess I’m ready to make the transition to poseur.


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