Porsche has always been known for its outstanding transmission units. This is no different with the Porsche Tiptronic, the predecessor of the Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK). The Tiptronic, which can also be operated automatically or manually as needed, is a good combination of both worlds.
The development of the Porsche Tiptronic transmission was based on the Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) used in 1984 in the Porsche 962 racing car. For the first time in 1990, Porsche used the term ‘Tiptronic’ for the four-speed automatic transmission available with the Porsche 964 Carrera 2. Previously, there was the semi-automatic “Sportomatic” from 1968 to 1980. In 2008, the street version of the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission replaced the Tiptronic in most of the sports car models.
☞ Although the brand name ‘Tiptronic’ belongs to Porsche, it has also been used by Volkswagen and Audi.
With the version Tiptronic S, which was first used in the 1995 model of the Porsche 993, shift paddles werde added to the steering wheel. The function of the manual shifting was thereby transferred from the shift knob additionally to the steering wheel, which was not usual at the time. After the introduction of the PDK, the Tiptronic S was mainly used on the Porsche Cayenne.
Among sporty Porsche drivers, for whom driving pleasure plays an important role, Tiptronic is not very popular. It does not meet the requirements of many enthusiasts with its switching times and the switching behavior. In contrast to the PDK transmission, which is pretty successful with its excellent shifting times, many buyers prefer the traditional manual transmission instead of the Tiptronic. Nevertheless it’s a good transmission, and on this point one should not forget that Porsche purists are generally skeptical of any kind of vehicle component with the terrible additional designation ‘Automatic’.