The 7-speed PDK – fitted as standard in the Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo and available as an option in the Panamera S – has both a manual gearshift and an automatic mode and enables smooth gear changes with no interruption in the flow of power. Gears 1 to 6 have a sports ratio and top speed is reached in 6th gear. The 7th gear has a long ratio and reduces fuel consumption even further.
PDK is essentially two gearboxes in one and thus requires two clutches. This double clutch provides an alternating, non-positive connection between the two half gearboxes and the engine by means of two separate input shafts (input shaft 1 is nested inside the hollowed-out input shaft 2).
The flow of power from the engine is only ever transmitted through one half gearbox and one clutch at a time, while the next gear is preselected in the other half gearbox. During a gear change, therefore, a complete shift no longer takes place. Instead, one clutch simply opens and the other closes at the same time. Gear changes can therefore take place within a few hundredths of a second.
Clutch 1 controls the first half gearbox, which contains the odd gears (1, 3, 5 and 7). Clutch 2 controls the second, which contains the even gears (2, 4, 6 and R). The gear which is engaged is displayed on the instrument cluster.
PDK has distinct benefits. A high level of driving comfort and very rapid gearshifts, with no interruption in the flow of power, produces faster acceleration. Driving feels even sportier and more dynamic, and agility is increased. Depending on the gearshift programme (Sport button activated or deactivated), the gear change is optimised for comfort or for sporty driving.
Its high level of efficiency combined with the long-ratioed 7th gear helps to achieve reduced fuel consumption and emission figures even when compared with a standard manual gearbox.
In conjunction with the optional Sport Chrono Package Plus for the Panamera S and Panamera 4S, or the optional Sport Chrono Package Turbo, PDK is enhanced by a Launch Control function which offers a sportier acceleration and gearshift strategy in automatic mode and extremely smooth gear changes in manual mode.
PDK offers sportiness with efficiency and comfort. A new definition of driving in the premium class from Porsche.
Steering wheel and gear selector for Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK)
In conjunction with PDK, the three-spoke sports steering wheel in smooth-finish leather, which is fitted as standard, has two ergonomic switches for changing gear. One press forwards with the thumb and PDK shifts up. One pull backwards with the index finger and PDK shifts down. Either the right or left hand can be used.
Even if the gear selector is set to automatic, you can still use the switches to change gear manually at any time. In this way, even in automatic mode, you can achieve a short burst of speed for an overtaking manoeuvre. The system reverts to automatic mode if no manual inputs are detected for approximately eight seconds.
A multifunction steering wheel is available as an option.
Using the PDK gear selector, you can also change gear manually in a separate one-touch manual shift gate. The control concept mirrors the logic of the switches on the PDK steering wheel – press forwards to shift up, pull backwards to shift down.