The one performance technology that has been lacking from Porsche vehicles is a dual clutch, electronically controlled manual transmission. The wait is now over. Porsche was the first to develop this technology (about 25 years ago) but one of the last performance brands to implement it. Below is an excellent video explaining how it operates, but the benefit is instantaneous upshifts and downshifts with perfect engine speed matching. It will be available in the Model Year 2009 911 and 2010 Boxster/Cayman.
Some additional details:
- This is a 7-speed transmission. 7th gear being is an overdrive gear for fuel economy. Max speed is obtained in 6th gear.
- The accelerator pedal has a switch that detects when the foot pedal is floored. When this switch is depressed, the transmission immediately shifts to the lowest possible gear to achieve maximum acceleration.
- There is an upshift/downshift switch on both the left and right side of the steering wheel. Pushing the front side of the sliding switch forward with your thumb causes an upshift. Pushing it backwards (from the back of the steering wheel) with your index finger causes a downshift. (I believe I got those directions correct.)
- There is a manual mode that is engaged by moving the gear selector sideways. This causes full manual control with no automatic gear shifting.
- The automatic mode works so well that you don’t need to use manual mode, even when on the track.
- Even in fully automatic mode, the buttons on the steering wheel can be used to momentarily upshift and downshit to different gears.
- The Sports Chrono Option allows faster gear changes that enhance performance but are not quite as smooth. It also allows a launch mode to perfectly modulate the clutch for maximum acceleration with minimal wheel slip, producing the fastest 0-to-whatever speed possible.