How Does the Porsche PDK Transmission Work?

Transmission Cross Section Close-Up

In the 1980s, Porsche was searching for more ways to gain an upper-hand on the competition while still meeting race regulations. Since their turbocharged engines were already being pushed to the brink, so there needed to be another drivetrain innovation. Their revolutionary innovation is the now-legendary Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission — or the “Porsche double-clutch transmission.” So, what is the PDK transmission and what makes it such a widely-appreciated innovation? Learn more with our service team at Porsche Stratham!

How the PDK Transmission Works

Contrary to what many believe, the 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe PDK is not an automatic transmission. Automatic transmissions use a torque converter and hydraulic pressure to initiate gear changes, while the PDK transmission uses human input with paddle shifters to trigger gear changes. It works much like two manual transmissions running together at once–one set controls the odd gears, and one set controls the even gears. 

Essentially, this famous Porsche transmission operates much like two manual gearboxes operating in sync in order to operate semi-automatically. The Porsche PDK transmission uses hydraulically-actuated wet clutch packs for lightning-fast gear changes. When you’re in an odd gear, the clutch packs engage the even gears, leaving them spinning freely. This state is identical as if they were set to neutral in a manual transmission, allowing them to be selected at nearly instantaneously. In fact, gear changes with the Porsche PDK are so quick, they are almost impossible to notice–lasting only a few milliseconds.

Porsche PDK vs. Manual

Compared to manual transmissions, the PDK shifts faster, allowing for faster acceleration and faster lap times. The PDK transmission was originally developed for racing, but it also offers many more advantages on Portsmouth streets as well. Since there’s no clutch, you can focus more on your drive. Whether that means relaxing on Manchester commutes or hitting corner apexes in Newburyport. And of course, it even offers an automatic mode for everyday drives. Further advantages include:

  • Quickest available acceleration
  • Fast gear changes with no powerband interruption
  • Lower fuel consumption
  • Enhanced comfort overall
  • Lighter weight

Which Porsche Vehicles Offer the PDK?

What Porsche models use the Porsche PDK transmission? Take a look at the models that use this incredible motorsports-derived transmission below:

Try Out the Porsche PDK Transmission Near Nashua! 

Are you still wondering, “what is a PDK transmission?” The dedicated experts at Porsche Stratham are always ready to help you learn more about Porsche specs, performance, and more. Contact us online if you have any questions for our team today.

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