There are five distinct functions derived from this new knob and button set-up. We go through them one by one, below.
If you've read our 991.2 Carrera review, you already know we think it's awfully good. In fact, if the 991.1 was your favorite type of ice cream, the 991.2 is your favorite ice cream with sprinkles and hot-fudge; everything that made the first generation 991 great is back, PLUS a myriad of new features improve on an already excellent formula.
Porsche's New Sports Chrono
If you've ordered your 991.2 with the Sport Chrono package, you can't help but notice, in addition to the bulge on the dash that houses the chrono clock, there's a new dial on the steering wheel. We recently drove a 911 equipped with the new Sport Chrono and can confirm it's pretty astounding. If you haven't ordered yours yet, you'll want to make sure this option box is ticked on your order sheet. Here's how each setting on the dial will affect your driving experience and what happens when you push that little black button in the middle.
1. Normal Mode
Designated by an "O" on the dial, I can only imagine to signify "ordinär", the German word for Ordinary or Normal, this setting is the most comfortable driving mode. All Carreras now come standard with PASM, so this mode takes advantage of that, providing you with a softer and more comfortable ride. Similarly, the Normal mode will close the valves in the exhaust (if Sport Exhaust is equipped), quieting things down a bit. Throttle response is a bit muted, shift points are taken earlier, and the auto start/stop stays active. If you're interested in driving comfortably to work and back without waking up the neighbors and getting a stiff back, this is likely the mode you'll use on most days.
2. Sport Mode
Sport is really your intermediate mode. This is the halfway point between Normal and hog wild. The PASM chassis tuning settings are stiffened, the throttle response is sharpened, the shift points are raised, the dynamic engine mounts change to absorb the engine's polar motion, and the exhaust flaps open (if so equipped). This mode is for when you want to get a little more lively with your driving experience, but haven't quite made it to your favorite road. This mode is fun and enjoyable, but in a slightly muted way. Personally I'm an all-or-nothing driver, and if this were my car, I'd never drive it in Sport mode, simply because Sport+ exists.
3. Sport+ Mode
Sport+ is Sport mode with everything turned up just a little bit more. I like everything to be a little bit more. The jump from Sport to Sport+ is almost as big as the jump from Normal to Sport, and that makes everything better. Obviously the exhaust can't get any more 'open', but the shift points are extended even further, and the throttle mapping changes yet again. The 911 just feels more taught and responsive in Sport+, and given my druthers I'd drive it this way all the time.
4. Individual Mode
Where the other modes have been relatively simple to explain, and set in their ways, Individual mode is a bit different. It provides precise control over shift points, throttle response, chassis settings, exhaust settings, etc. You can even decide whether the spoiler deploys or remains down.
While it's not hard to set-up the Individual mode, there are a few steps involved. Once completed, you can switch to Individual mode for a driving experience as unique as you are. We'll detail the steps to setting it up properly in another post.
5. The Sport Response Button
The little button in the middle of the mode switch is the Porsche Sport Response Button (PSRB), and it makes you a driving God for 20 seconds. All it takes is a little press of the button. Porsche doesn't really get into the technical 'how' of the button, but they have said that when you press the button, the drivetrain is set up for maximum acceleration for a time period of 20 seconds. When you press the Sport Response button, the PDK gearbox will automatically select the right gear for accelerating, and the turbochargers are allowed to overboost. Porsche makes no claims on horespower or torque increases during the overboost period, but the car certainly feels faster in the 'seat-of-the-pants' sense. We had a chance to test the button out when passing slower traffic, and it works wonders. Kick down a few gears, boost the power, and you're instantly past what was formerly a rolling roadblock.
If you are one of the lucky ones to get a new Carrera or Carrera S, be absolutely sure you tick the box for the Sport Chrono package, as it now comes with some really cool extras in the form of this little knob and button in the lower right quadrant of your steering wheel.