Invented by Ferdinand Porsche in the early 1900’s, the sporty all-wheel drive has been a constant feature in the series-production models for the past three decades, delivering incredible handling and exhilarating performance. Originally pioneered in one of the first racing cars from Porsche, the 1947 Type 360/Cisitalia, the all-wheel drive system employed to harness the power of its supercharged twelve-cylinder engine laid the foundation for the future of Porsche road cars.
Fast forward almost three and a half decades later, the first hint of the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system was revealed in the legendary Dakar-winning 953 and 959, which utilized a center-differential lock and rear differential locks like the current PTM system does. It was subsequently introduced in the 1988 Carrera 4 which was the first production-series car which used ‘differential slip-controlled drive’.
Comprising an active all-wheel drive system with an electronically and map-controlled multi-plate clutch, automatic brake differential and anti-slip regulation, the PTM system is designed to adaptively distribute drive torque between the front and rear axles. The permanent monitoring of data such as the speed of each wheel, the longitudinal and lateral acceleration and steering angle, largely contributes to the quick responsiveness of the PTM to various driving conditions and scenarios, and consequently provides enhanced driving dynamics, improved driving safety, increased traction and overall sportier experience.
A benchmark of speed, compactness and intelligence
The technical basic function of Porsche Traction Management is the same across all model lines: As with a conventional rear-wheel drive, engine power is transmitted directly to the rear axle via the transmission. In principle, this means that every Porsche features the easy-to-control handling of a rear-wheel-drive. A second downforce on the transmission output is directed to a multi-plate clutch, which the front axle drive can engage on a fully variable basis. With this hang-on system, two features in particular truly demonstrate the expertise involved: the intelligent control algorithm and the responsiveness of the system.
Complementing systems for the driver’s benefit
With the PTM system working in tandem with all of the driving dynamics systems of a Porsche, sitting in the driver’s seat has never been more enjoyable. Power distribution is controlled to all four wheels with the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) alongside the anti-slip regulation (ASR) and automatic brake differential (ABD) functions. The optional Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus), which also communicates directly with the PTM control system, delivers a further increase in the all-wheel driving dynamics, depending on the model and equipment.
Constant refinement of their stability management systems give the heavier machines in the Porsche stable, like the Panamera, the same sort of otherworldly, ultra-capable performance, in every driving situation. Excellent acceleration power on long straights, through tight corners and on road surfaces with varying grip, Porsche's plusher people carriers have a level of real-world usability and speed that belies their heft; a trait which continues to set the marque apart from its rivals.
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