A quick snick into ‘D’ from the new PDK gear selector, and off you go.
There’s the usual fluffy pick-up you get with all dual-clutches from a standstill, but once on the move, the PDK changes like any other dualie – a seamless translation from one gear to the next.
The detail is broadly similar to the hardware we’ve got used to seeing in VW and Audi product; one clutch takes care of 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and reverse, while another smaller unit tackles 2nd, 4th and 6th. You think that sounds complicated? You should read the programming booklet – this gearbox is a technological monster that tries very hard to be a gearbox fetishist’s dream.
That programming directly affects the driving experience too. One of the ways Porsche has increased fuel efficiency in the PDK-equipped cars is to programme the software in ‘D’ to always go for the highest possible gear in any given situation – hence you can find yourself tooling around town at remarkably slow speed in 5th gear at 1,500rpm.
Actually it just goes to show how flexible the engine really is, and how often any car would be more than capable of pulling higher gearing and unloading the engine – but it still makes you feel like you might stall when you look down and see a high number on the dash display and an unlikely low number on the speedo.
Of course, when you need to kick down, the PDK senses throttle position and can drop to second gear in roughly a third of a second, providing the kind of response you’d expect from a Porsche.