While Porsches are quick, and 0- 60 matters for bragging rights, Porsches were not engineered for the Stoplight Grand Prix.  911's have an inherent advantage by placing the weight (engine) over the drive wheels.  All-wheel drive is another benefit when laying down the power.  With the amount of bite these newer and wider tires have, you could easily spin the clutch before the tires break loose.

Shifting correctly is vital to the life of your clutch, syncros, gears, and in the extreme, your engine.  The most common mistake when shifting a Porsche is treating it like a dragster.  Those of us who grew up in the "Muscle Car Era" took great pride in slamming the next gear and smoking the tires.  The more commotion the better; it was all about the show.

Forget warranty claims against defective clutches, Porsche knows when it has a defective driver.  Leave the burnouts to the Mustangs and rice rockets.  Think maturity and sophistication when faced with that light turning green.

Shifting a Porsche should consist of two moves: the first to neutral and the second to the next gear.  Always try to match engine speed to wheel speed.  Faster times may be realized as you become more proficient at changing gears.  This includes accelerating, braking, and turning.  The smoother and less upsetting the move is the more speed the tires can control. 

Upshifts are smoother if engine speed is decreased by approximately 800 rpm.  Conversely, downshifting requires an increase in engine speed.

Heel-toe shifting sounds more difficult than it actually is.  Its name creates confusion because the act involves the ball of the foot on the brake pedal as the ankle rolls the outside of the foot onto the accelerator.  Practice will yield a blip to give the throttle the proper amount of juice to match the wheel speed on a downshift.  This occurs while the clutch is being pushed in and released.

A universal rule, maybe the eleventh commandment, is that husbands can't teach wives how to drive a stick and vise-versa.  Launching your Porsche from a dead stop is the most difficult part of driving a stick.  Every first timer lives in fear of killing the engine.  These first timers are so intent on getting the clutch released properly that they forget the obvious- push the accelerator down at the same time.  Automatics are launched by pushing the accelerator, sticks are no different.  A slow smooth release of the clutch pedal while accelerating should prove the trick.

For those who insist on the quickest times and/or enjoy the stop light grand prix, the new PDK will accomplish the task.  Sports Chrono in combination with PDK will afford the added benefit of launch control.  Simply select "Sport Plus", place your left foot on the brake, floor the accelerator, and lift off the brake. 

You should drive a Tiptronic or PDK if shifting should prove to be too much effort or too expensive.  Consider the type of driving you are doing and what percentage of the time you would prefer either transmission before buying.  Fortunately, you can?t make a bad choice; just make the one that seems to suit you.

Read more from the "Just Jack" article base
 Braking  Breaking in your new Porsche
 Dealing with the
 Driving Position
 Gasoline  Literal Translation
 Oil type and Weight
 Performance Driving 101
 Road Rash
 Radar Basics
 Tires  What separates you from impending doom
 Your worst nightmare has just come true
 Red Mist
 Fatigue Got to go right now!
 Dynamic Cornering Lights
 Literal Translation
 Next Generation 911/991, or Boxster Cayman/981


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