Porsche - Sense of control

Sense of control

Superior ergonomics, outstanding grip, multiple variations, and a magic button. With the new steering wheel generation, Porsche drivers can experience the cockpit with a new sense of control.

The rim of the new GT sport steering wheel is covered in Bordeaux Red leather. The driver’s hands find their place with natural ease. His eyes trace the precise, hand-sewn crossover seam to the logo. The design of the new 911 steering wheel is the embodiment of sportiness and engineering prowess. Classic black dominates the center pad, while the decorative ring, cutouts, and screw panels stand out in Galvano Silver and harmonize perfectly with the paddles on models featuring the Porsche double-clutch transmission (PDK). The new Porsche steering wheel was clearly inspired by the 918 Spyder.

“Our goal was to offer as many individual variation options as possible,” says Markus Walters, Porsche’s Steering Wheel Development Specialist. “The modular design of the steering wheel now enables an impressive range of options for customization.” For the new 911 alone, there are 176 different variations. The range of choices begins with the diameter: for the first time since the Porsche 911 of the 997 model series, there is a choice of two sizes. The standard size is 375 millimeters, whereas the GT Sport version reduces the rim diameter to 360 millimeters. The result: an even more dynamic appearance and direct steering feel.

When it comes to the look and feel of the steering wheel, there is also plenty of choice. Smooth-finish leather is available in seven different colors, as well as black Alcantara for the GT sport steering wheel. And Carbon and Mahogany in the standard version. Moreover, all steering wheels can be equipped, on request, with a control for the infotainment system, the car computer, and other functions, as well as with steering wheel heating.

All models with the Sport Chrono package include an almost magical innovation located at the bottom right on the steering wheel hub. The new driving mode switch enables the choice of Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual modes. In combination with PDK, the driving mode switch includes an additional button. When pressed, the systems are preconditioned for a spontaneous power boost lasting up to 20 seconds. This function is intended for overtaking maneuvers—and was inspired by the Hot Lap button in the 918 Spyder. The button that primes all the systems is called the Sport Response Button. It prepares the engine and transmission for maximum responsiveness and closes the wastegate in the turbocharger, which enables it to build up boost pressure much more quickly. The engine responds more directly to throttle inputs and thus reaches its maximum power more quickly. At the same time, the PDK switches into a special shifting characteristic curve that pushes every gear to higher engine speeds.

Whether one prefers a purist steering wheel that breathes the spirit of the 356 or a high-tech command center that directs the entire Porsche orchestra with a few buttons, paddles, and switches: every driver holds their personal idea of perfection in their hands. Markus Walters compresses the new variety into a single sentence: “Where could this range of options be more important than on the steering wheel? After all, it is the most direct connection between the driver and the car.” And thus the key to a sublime sense of control.

Author Thorsten Elbrigmann
Illustration Rocket & Wink