You'd be excused it you got the name of Porsche's new Double Clutch technology wrong. Thankfully the folks at Porsche avoided this perplexity by giving it a neat acronym, the PDK. It all started with a man called Adolph Kégresse, who was considered a pioneer in the automotive industry. The PDK system was first developed by him for racing cars only. But over the subsequent decades was gradually introduced into the 911 models. Its success was so phenomenal that Porsche then decided to introduce it into most of its road legal cars.
Ask most auto enthusiasts about the choice of gear-box they would prefer and most would opt for a conventional manual. But with the introduction of the PDK system, you'd definitely see a few of those heads turn. The PDK is hands down the best dual clutch system in production today. Gear changes are smooth and swift and driving is an exhilarating experience. What makes the PDK better than the other systems is its responsiveness and even in slow speeds it allows the driver to swap between gears effortlessly. Changing between 'R' and 'D' is simple and feels silky smooth.
What's the advantage of having a PDK system
Once you get behind the wheel of a PDK driven car you will instantaneously notice the speed. Gear changes happen almost effortlessly with no loss of power between gear changes. Cars which come equipped with the PDK system have shown a 12-15% improvement in overall speed as compared to their manual counterparts. All this translate to faster lap timings and not to mentioned better fuel economy. And in today's day and age we all know how important that is.
How does the PDK system work
The PDK gearbox is a clever piece of engineering. It uses two clutches instead of the one found in most cars. The two clutch system operates alternately and sequentially i.e. one clutch operates on even numbered gears while the other operates the odd numbered gears. Essentially the next gear is preselected even before the driver selects the gear. This enables the car to move between gears quicker than 100ms. Moreover the PDKs sensor input system checks shifting at inopportune times, like when cornering on sharp turns. And unlike most single clutch cars the PKD uses two sets of lubrication for the clutch and the gearbox, making them independent of from another.
The ease of driving for many has been what they intuitively expect, in that sense the manual gear-box is still the better alternative. However that doesn't hold true thanks to the pinpoint accuracy and lightning fast responses of the PDK system. The PDK offers the Porsche drivers the best of both worlds.
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