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Total 911’s weekly wallpaper giveaway – 25 October

This week, we only have a trio of stunning photos to pick as your new desktop or smartphone background, but that doesn’t mean the choice is any easier. Simply enlarge the image (or images) you want before saving them as your new wallpaper. Enjoy:

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Lee’s latest opinion piece looked at the effect of Magnus Walker on Porsche. With this stunning collection of classic 911 Turbos, we have to admit, it can only be positive.

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This gallery of seven stunning images celebrated our awesome road trip to the south of France. Here’s one of our favourite shots…

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PDK or manual: Which would you choose for your Porsche 911 driving experience? We tested both in issue 113.

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Technology explained: PDK gearbox

Starting at the bellhousing end (far left), the PDK gearbox uses two concentrically mounted wet clutches connected to two separate input shafts. The 202mm outer clutch is attached to the solid inner shaft, with the 153mm inner clutch connected to the hollow outer shaft.

This effectively splits the gearbox in two, with the solid inner input shaft used to drive the odd-numbered ratios (centre) and the even-numbered gears connected to the outer shaft (far right).

When accelerating in first gear, the outer clutch is fully engaged, while the electro-hydraulically actuated selector forks preselect second gear in the other half of the gearbox.

Flow of forces in first gear.

When the ECU determines that it is time to shift, an electronic signal is sent to the clutch actuators, disengaging the outer clutch and engaging the inner unit. The same process happens under braking (for example, from fourth gear, where the gearbox would preselect third in readiness for the engagement of the outer clutch).

The ECU measures all of the car’s vital dynamics (including throttle and brake travel, acceleration and deceleration) in order to determine the next suitable gear to select.

In automatic mode, the mode selected (Normal, Sport, Sport Plus) determines how long the PDK gearbox holds onto each gear. A manual override allows the drivers to take control (via buttons or paddles) and determine the gear shifting.

Flow of forces in second gear.

PDK’s ability to shift in less than 100 milliseconds, coupled with the wet clutch system’s small degree of slip, means that normal driving changes are smooth and efficient, reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel efficiency as well as performance.

To read how the PDK gearbox fared against the Porsche 991’s traditional manual transmission, check out Total 911’s comprehensive road-and-track test from issue 113.

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Manual vs PDK: Porsche 991 C2S head-to-head

The pro manual viewpoint by Josh Barnett

Despite my relative youth, when it comes to driving I like to think I fall firmly into the ‘traditionalist’ category; a recent car purchase sees me driving around in something bereft of power steering, anti-locking brakes or any form of electronic driver control.

Therefore, as our day gets underway at Porsche GB’s headquarters in Reading, I’m happy for Lee to take the manual 991 Carrera C2S first, confident that I won’t need any further convincing of the analogue sports car’s charms.

The dual carriageway journey towards the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone vindicates my decision, as the Racing Yellow PDK variant proves unremarkable and I remain indifferent towards the concept, although the largely uneventful stretches of tarmac wouldn’t show the manual off to its best either.

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Arriving at the Porsche Experience Centre, I decide to start with the PDK 911; despite racing at Silverstone numerous times, I’ve never driven the one-kilometre PEC circuit before.

I tell Lee that it’s because the PDK car is already set up with my driving position but, the reality is that I’ve chosen it first because I want to get to grips with the tarmac before really enjoying myself in my preferred choice: the manual.

The pro PDK viewpoint by Lee Sibley

I’m not against manual transmission, and in all but a few scenarios I prefer the concept over an automatic or semi-automatic contemporary.

In fact, my own sports Coupe has a manual gearbox (in preference to the semi-auto option) with six forward gears, and I delight in the sensation of controlling how its 343bhp is transmitted to the rear wheels exclusively via my own driving intelligence.

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I’ve always found manual transmission on a Porsche 911 to be a key part of its sporting charisma through the generations, and I’ve revelled in the direct and positive throw between gears in the model’s five and then six-speed ‘boxes – something the 991’s seven-speed setup just can’t live up to.

Starting my test in the manual, its shortcomings are showcased as I negotiate the traffic-laden public roads across Oxfordshire en route to Silverstone. Forced by my environment to flit between gears quickly and often, it doesn’t take long before I find the process laborious and, on occasion, tricky.

Despite the relatively short throw, having gears one, three, five and seven up top, plus reverse, presents a headache, and in situ there are isolated occasions when on disengaging seventh, the shifter will slip at the gate into third instead of fifth, resulting in the car lurching uncomfortably forward.

To read Josh and Lee’s full reviews of both Porsche 991 gearbox choices, check out our comprehensive PDK vs Manual track-and-road test in Total 911 issue 113, available to order online or to download immediately.

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