I’ll be flying to Atlanta early tomorrow morning to drive a Porsche fitted with the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer’s new Doppelkupplung double-clutch gearbox (you can try pronouncing that or just say PDK). While I have no idea which Porsche model I’ll be driving (no it’s not the Panamera), Porsche says that the PDK dual-clutch helped the 2009 911 Carrera S return a Nurburgring lap time of 7:50, which compares fairly well to a 2009 911 Carrera S fitted a manual transmission that returned 7:58. So that already has me excited.
Porsche also says that its PDK dual-clutch is 60 percent faster than the Tiptronic S automatic. Better fuel-economy is another area where Porsche’s PDK shines. Without PDK, the Carrera gets a combined fuel-economy of 21.3 mpg in U.S. standards – with PDK, the 2009 Carrera gets 24 mpg.
Porsche apparently sells more manual cars in the United States than it does anywhere else – so we’re guessing pushing the PDK transmission is a pretty big gamble for the Stuttgart automaker. Either way, we’ll find out tomorrow.
You can follow my journey to the Porsche PDK event all day tomorrow and Monday via Twitter updates. I’ll be posting notes, pictures and if time allows, I’ll pull out my laptop and give you a quick update. I will land in Atlanta around 10 am (Easter Time) tomorrow morning and will start driving to Birmingham, AL at 12 pm. On Monday, I will be testing the PDK at Barber Motorsports track. You can ask me all the questions you want via Twitter or post them in the comments section on this article. Follow me at http://twitter.com/egmcartech.
UPDATE: Check out all the updates on our Twitter. My ride of choice for the 4-hour drive from Atlanta to Birmingham was the 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4. It’s been a crazy day and now I’m headed to a meeting with some Porsche PDK engineers. Will provide more live updates from the Barber Motorsports track tomorrow.
PS: Porsche even gave me a free 2010 Panamera!
– By: Omar Rana