The fourth Porsche model series, the fourdoor Panamera, will be available in European Porsche dealers’ showrooms as from September 2009. Its PDK dual clutch transmission effectively translates engine power into propulsion. The PDK is also used in the all-wheel drive variants. An innovation in the Porsche Panamera is that the dual clutch transmission also features a start/stop function. Active roll stabilizers, variable dampers, and steering technology also support the broad spread between sportiness and comfort of the Gran Turismo.
The Porsche Panamera features sporty driving characteristics, a powerful engine, and the comfort of a luxury car. In the driveline, this combination is supported perfectly by a dual clutch transmission. Apart from the acceleration, with the vehicle being very responsive, it contributes the comfortable shifts of an automatic transmission and the shifting dynamics of an automated manual transmission. After all, the dual clutch transmission consists of two sub-transmissions, and the next gear is always preselected already, so there is no torque interrupt when shifting with the dual clutch module. A vehicle with the dual clutch transmission not only accelerates faster than a vehicle with a manual transmission - but it also consumes less fuel.
A modular kit system enables this transmission to be used with various engines and different drivelines. This means that, with only minor deviations, the dual clutch transmission can also be applied for all-wheel-drive versions: An integrated all-wheel distributor system is attached to the basic transmission; it transfers the propulsive power to an engine-mounted front-axle drive unit via an intermediate shaft. At the same time, a hang-on clutch ensures the active, smooth and variable distribution of propulsive power to the front and rear axles as needed.
The dual clutch transmission in the Panamera is equipped with a start/stop function, which also has a positive effect on average fuel consumption. The extended functionalities of the hydraulic transmission control and the transmission electronics makes the vehicle ready for starting off right after the stop - without any annoying delays.
Moreover, the Panamera is equipped with the electronic damping system CDC (Continuous Damping Control), which is called PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) at Porsche. Since it smoothly and variably adapts the damping force to the respective driving situation, it considerably increases both driving/ riding comfort and dynamics. This is complemented by the ARS (Active Roll Stabilization system) – or PDCC (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control) - which significantly reduces vehicle body roll in corners. The result: even more agile turn-in, higher lateral acceleration as well as improved traction when cornering.
The rack-and-pinion steering system by ZF Lenksysteme, a 50:50 joint venture of Robert Bosch GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG, is perfectly suited for this multifunctional vehicle design approach. A precise valve system controls the steering forces depending on the speed: When driving slowly, e.g. when manoeuvring or parking, the easy-to-handle steering system seems very comfortable. When the speed increases, the Servotronic becomes firmer and has a more responsive feel.