You've got options, Part II: Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control

You've got options, Part II: Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control 0
Photo courtesy Porsche

Above: A 911’s front suspension with PDCC. A left turn loads the right suspension (up arrow) and unloads the left suspension (down arrow). PDCC sensors then signal the antiroll cylinders (small shock absorbers with rubber boots connected to each end of the antiroll bar) to react and apply force in the direction opposite the suspension load, keeping the 911 practically flat through the turn.

So you’ve chosen the Porsche you want to buy, but don’t know which performance-enhancing options to check. Complicating matters, many of the most popular and useful factory performance upgrades — ceramic composite brakes, electronic anti-roll bars, air suspension — cost thousands of dollars each. How do you know which options work for you?

Be prepared when you walk into the dealership for a test drive: Educate yourself. Knowing the functions of the various optional equipment is crucial to knowing what you need and what you want. If you have a clear understanding of your needs in a Porsche, you can specify the car that best fits your lifestyle — and stays within your budget. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of what we think are the five most valuable performance options for the money, their prices, and a description of how they work. Last week we covered Porsche Active Suspension Management. We’ll roll the rest out in coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC)

911 Carrera: N/A
911 Carrera S: $3,160
Boxster & Boxster S: N/A
Cayman & Cayman S: N/A
Cayenne models: $3,510 (+ $3,980 for required air suspension)
Panamera models: $5,000 (only offered in conjunction with PTV Plus)

PDCC, available on Cayenne and Panamera models as well as the 911 Carrera S, is an electronically operated anti-roll bar system that works with PASM to limit body roll pro-actively according to road condition and driving style. Imagine small, electronically controlled cylinders/shock absorbers in place of what used to be regular anti-roll bar end links. Porsches equipped with it will lean much less in corners, have better load transfer stability, and handle rough or uneven surfaces with more control.

We’ve tried 991-generation 911s with and without PDCC, which operates differently than in Cayenne and Panamera models. It enhances the 911’s handling capability, but the system also makes the car’s handling feel somewhat artificial, enough so that some drivers might prefer old-fashioned anti-roll bars. Choose carefully! You might take into consideration that a recent road test in a base Carrera devoid of almost any performance options (Excellence, December 2012) reminded author Pete Stout that “some of Porsche’s best cars are its most basic cars.”

Ah, compromise…

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