Asked for an example of what he’d done in developing the latest Boxster, Frech mentioned broadening the differentiation of the car’s three performance settings, so when I hit the foothills, I switched from Normal to Sport. The suspension tightened pleasingly, and the shifts became quicker. Locating the shift buttons on the steering wheel took some getting used to, though, and I would have preferred Ferrari-type paddles, mounted behind the steering wheel and actuated by pulling toward the driver. Instead, Porsche uses less intuitive rocker switches on the steering-wheel spokes. “We studied this very carefully, but we wanted to retain the Tiptronic button philosophy,” Porsche stylist Mitja Borkert had told me. So far, the best I could say of that philosophy was that it’s doubtless better than G. W. F. Hegel’s. But then I switched to Sport Plus.
Holy cow, it was like parachuting into a faster car. The crisp, incredibly fast downshifts were better than any human could be expected to deliver. Several years ago, early paddleshifted cars used single-clutch transmissions that were programmed to shift like professional drivers, with rev-matched downshifts and smooth engagements, but Porsche’s PDK system seamlessly leaps from one gear to the next. I doubt that the most grizzled traditionalist among the old Targa Florio drivers would have passed it up, and if I were buying a Boxster, I’d spec PDK even if the cost meant forsaking every other option.
Source: Automobile Mag