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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe PDK is not your standard automatic transmission, contrary to what some may believe. The PDK transmission was originally developed for racing, while automatic transmissions use a torque converter for gear changes, PDK transmissions can use human input with paddle shifters to trigger gear changes. It works much like two manual transmissions in tandem–one set for odd gears, and one set for even. This means they are always ready to be selected at a moment’s notice. In fact, gear changes with the Porsche PDK are so quick, they are nearly imperceptible–just a few milliseconds, to be exact. The PDK transmission for racing is extremely super fast, but it also offers many more advantages as well. There’s no clutch to engage, making it easier to use during day-to-day drives, and it even offers an automatic mode. Ever tried driving a high-powered performance car around town and winced at the weight of the pedal every time you’ve tried to deploy the clutch? Again, PDK eliminates this, making high-powered 911s and 718 Cayman GT4 RS such as the Turbo, Turbo S and GT3 useable day-to-day. You’ll have to give that left thigh a workout elsewhere. Believe it or not, you can still have fun with PDK, you can still enjoy ‘manual’ mode, using the shifter like a sequential ‘box, pulling it ‘to’ for change ups and ‘away’ for lightning-quick change downs. The driver can control shifts via buttons or paddles on the steering wheel or with the shift lever. There is also a fully automatic mode, with the normal shift setting oriented towards smooth shifting. Sport or Sport Plus modes completely transform the shift strategy, providing firm and lightning-fast shifts at far more precise intervals than most mortals can muster. Perhaps, most importantly, and what most will agree with, it’s a more engaging transmission to drive all around.
 

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A point often missed is that with dual clutch transmissions it is possible to 'wear' the clutch(es). In traffic or creeping uphill holding the car on the throttle it is similar to 'riding' a clutch in a manual gearbox. A torque converter gearbox uses a fluid coupling and does not wear in the same way. If creeping in traffic with a dual clutch gearbox you should really stop, leave a bit of a gap then accelerate to a stop again. I'm not advocating lurching along like a leadfooted loon, there are a number of videos on YouTube by advanced driving instructors that mention this. (Reg Local being my favourite).
 

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....There’s no clutch to engage, making it easier to use during day-to-day drives, and it even offers an automatic mode. ....Believe it or not, you can still have fun with PDK, you can still enjoy ‘manual’ mode, using the shifter like a sequential ‘box, pulling it ‘to’ for change ups and ‘away’ for lightning-quick change downs.
That's how I've always looked at it, and why I chose the PDK. The automatic mode and quicker shifting are icing on the cake for me.
Perhaps, most importantly, and what most will agree with, it’s a more engaging transmission to drive all around.
I'm sure you'll get a lot of disagreement on this one. :)
 

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Yeah, I'll respectfully disagree on the engagement question. :)

I've had PDK in other cars, and I have other companies' dual-clutch (and single-clutch) automated transmissions. They are not engaging in the same way, but they are of course extremely fast. On the GT4RS, for example, I'm a little disappointed that it isn't available with manual, but at that level as a track weapon I would agree PDK makes a lot of sense.

To me the tradeoff is giving up some engagement and involvement in return for performance and convenience advantages. The performance advantages are of course substantial!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's how I've always looked at it, and why I chose the PDK. The automatic mode and quicker shifting are icing on the cake for me.

I'm sure you'll get a lot of disagreement on this one. :)
It’s not a title to incite a flame war and I'm sure as you have mentioned I will get disagreements, then I don’t know what is. However, from a completely objective standpoint it’s hard to argue about PDK. The PDK transmission offers a quicker and more direct gear change than you could have in a traditional automatic or manual transmission. PDK shifts faster than other types of transmissions, includes a launch control feature and, even better, doesn't need clutch replacements ever.
 

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Rubbish. I had a PDK in my 981 and while absolutely a marvel of engineering, it doesn't even register on the engagement scale compared to a manual.
If the only metric is speed, get a Tesla.

Oh, and the PDK doesn't use a torque converter but it is an automatic transmission. If it walks like a duck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I'll respectfully disagree on the engagement question. :)

I've had PDK in other cars, and I have other companies' dual-clutch (and single-clutch) automated transmissions. They are not engaging in the same way, but they are of course extremely fast. On the GT4RS, for example, I'm a little disappointed that it isn't available with manual, but at that level as a track weapon I would agree PDK makes a lot of sense.

To me the tradeoff is giving up some engagement and involvement in return for performance and convenience advantages. The performance advantages are of course substantial!
With my PDK I use the manual mode most of the time unless I’m in heavy traffic. I’m using the shifter like a sequential box pulling it towards me for change ups and away for lightning-quick change downs. To me that’s engaging with my 718 Cayman. The new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Is a 493-HP, 9000-RPM Monster with PDK.
 

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With my PDK I use the manual mode most of the time unless I’m in heavy traffic. I’m using the shifter like a sequential box pulling it towards me for change ups and away for lightning-quick change downs. To me that’s engaging with my 718 Cayman. The new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Is a 493-HP, 9000-RPM Monster with PDK.
I also used the manual mode pretty much exclusively with mine and while the car was extremely engaging, the shifting aspect wasn't particularly so.

The Turbo S is a 640 HP bigger monster with PDK. The 991 GT2 RS was a 700 HP even bigger monster, also with PDK. So what?
 

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Wolfe, you do realize, don't you, that you spent a lot of words telling us stuff we already knew? As for whether it is or isn't an "automatic transmission", @gatorfast said it right. It is a transmission and it shifts automatically, selects which gear automatically, etc. It may be a different technology from your traditional automatic but that's okay. The flat boxer-style engine isn't the same technology as an inline or V engine but it still serves the same purpose.
 

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Nissan, at some point, had flappy paddles on their CVT and programmed in artificial shift points. Didn't make it engaging.

As others have said, at the end of the day it's an automatic transmission. Almost all OEMs have a dual clutch system of some sort and right or wrong, everyone views them as auto.

I do enjoy getting a PDK loaner but after a few goes at the paddles, it's back into auto and I just drive. Doesn't do much for me as the full perceived control and engagement isn't there.
 

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Nissan, at some point, had flappy paddles on their CVT and programmed in artificial shift points. Didn't make it engaging.

As others have said, at the end of the day it's an automatic transmission. Almost all OEMs have a dual clutch system of some sort and right or wrong, everyone views them as auto.

I do enjoy getting a PDK loaner but after a few goes at the paddles, it's back into auto and I just drive. Doesn't do much for me as the full perceived control and engagement isn't there.
And some people like to ride horses - that will give you "engagement". I used to like to ride motorcycles. Now I will take the heated/air conditioned comfort of four wheels and automatic transmission.
 

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The human engagement of a manual transmission comes from the clutch action. That said… here’s my personal opinion that applies only to me.

A manual transmission you ACTUALLY shift yourself; you are physically connected to a device that changes gears and are responsible for modulating its connection, with your foot, to a vehicle that may or may not be in motion. This is a huge, and non-trivial, responsibility. It can be screwed up very badly. Every shift is like shooting a basketball or putting a golf ball; each one can be good, bad, average or “nothing but net”. Doing it right is immensely satisfying over and over and over, probably for the rest of your life, and I’m getting old.

With any type of non-manual you are simply asking the computer, “Oh please will you shift for me now. I have no clutch or physical connection to my transmission and am helpless to force anything to happen myself.” The computer may agree with you, either sooner or later, or it may not, depending on what some engineer decided will happen when you ask nicely like that, with the paddle that is. You can’t screw anything up because you’re not really the decision maker, someone else is. So every shot goes in the hole! You never miss a basket, even from half court; each putt falls in no matter how crazy the shot. It’s fun for a while. It’s great on a track where there are other challenges, but on a country road drive at semi-legal speeds, or on the way to get groceries, well…

One is not better than the other — shifting versus asking someone else to shift — they’re just really different.
 

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Very interesting analogy. I think I got tired of PDK a little when it felt like I was just going up to line, standing next to Stephen Curry, and saying “ok, Stephen, sink one… Now!”

It‘s a different experience. Of course he is very much better at actually making the shot than I could ever be.
 

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Waiting for my Cayman S with PDK to arrive. I'm coming out of an Audi S5 with their dual clutch offering and that transmission convinced me. On track the Audi tranny in sport mode was faster and more aggressive than I was when I had it manual. Faster around the track, too. If the PDK is as good as the Audi (many say it's better), I can't wait.
 

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My manual is always in the correct gear.

I like to tell the car what to do instead of the car telling me.

Do fully agree that for racing the PDK would be the correct choice. For street, no thank you. If I wanted an automatic I would have bought a Buick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Waiting for my Cayman S with PDK to arrive. I'm coming out of an Audi S5 with their dual clutch offering and that transmission convinced me. On track the Audi tranny in sport mode was faster and more aggressive than I was when I had it manual. Faster around the track, too. If the PDK is as good as the Audi (many say it's better), I can't wait.
PDK is a good choice you can still operated in manual if you desire and you have full control in how your Porsche drives. Some of us have never driven a Porsche with PDK and not completely understanding the full function of PDK on track and street driving. You can do both auto and manual without the clutch. 🤗
 

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PDK is a good choice you can still operated in manual if you desire and you have full control in how your Porsche drives. Some of us have never driven a Porsche with PDK and not completely understanding the full function of PDK on track and street driving. You can do both auto and manual without the clutch. 🤗
You do realize that every single automated manual and every dual clutch from every company can do that, right?
 
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