It’s rare that Porsche’s PDK transmission meets much criticism, but dropping it into the hardcore track-oriented 911 GT3 might be a place to start. That is, until you learn that the system was improved for the new application.
Lightning-quick shifts are nothing new for the dual-clutch gearbox, but Porsche introduced specific improvements to the system before putting it in the GT3 and dropping its traditional manual.
Perhaps the most interesting feature is that drivers will be able to pull on both shift paddles at the same time to put the car in a “paddle neutral” state, opening both clutches and disconnecting the engine and powertrain.
Pulling both paddles while turning on ahttp://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/wp-admin/post.php?post=191275&action=edit wet road will help neutralize the car to correct understeer. In this same scenario braking would just increase understeer, while lifting off the throttle (especially abruptly) could put the car (a tail-happy 911 in particular) into a spin.
Releasing the paddles delivers a jolt which can consciously destabilize the rear wheels in a similar fashion to operating the clutch on a manual gearbox. This is more commonly known as a clutch-kick, helping to bring the rear end around.
Essentially by giving the driver the ability to engage neutral quickly, Porsche is maintaining much of the control available in a conventional manual gearbox.
The GT3-PDK uses lighter gear wheels and drops two kilograms (about 4.4 lbs). More importantly, it also uses shorter gear ratios than any previous version. In 2008, the 911 Carrera became the first road car to come with Porsche’s dual-clutch system, and at the time it could reach top speed in sixth gear — seventh was reserved for highway cruising to save fuel.
That isn’t true for the GT3’s transmission. Instead, Porsche uses closer gear ratios to increase propulsion potential, which means a more aggressive final drive and using seventh gear to reach the car’s top speed.
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GALLERY: 2014 Porsche GT3
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