Escape From Manhattan - 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Escape From Manhattan

April 19, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I'm still not sure if it was worth it. Jacobs and I got the shot, but it cost me a safe exit from Manhattan. Traffic getting off of that island, if you hadn't heard, is a bit of a nightmare, especially if you're heading north into the 'burbs of Connecticut.

That's right. I was going north. Instead of simply heading back to L.A., I was taking a bit of a detour. My Mom's birthday fell on day 2 of the 2013 New York International Auto Show and, well, it's only a 4-hour drive...

While I'm from New England, I live in L.A. now. I'm used to traffic. I get traffic. I'm okay with it. Plus, our 911 has the PDK. Easy-peasy, right?

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Maybe not.

The only time I've seen traffic this bad in L.A. was when President Obama came to town to beg for money from rich folk and decided it was in his best interest to shut down every road going east-west for, oh, the entire length of L.A. At least one time when that happened I got to see Marine One fly over my apartment.

Getting out of Manhattan was a nightmare, but did reveal one quirk about the Porsche: When it gets hot — like, 6 hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic hot — the PDK gets grabby.

I stopped off for coffee somewhere in Connecticut and, during normal decel-downshifting, the PDK didn't slip its clutches so much as it abruptly engaged them with little/no regard for smoothness. Think a novice driver trying to work a manual. Think someone with zero mechanical sympathy. Think clunkclunkclunk.

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I let the 911 cool down (there were no overheating indicators on the IP and everything seemed in order) while I refilled my energy tanks with a few cups of scalding McDonalds Joe and then hit the road again.

The brief route back to the highway showed that my patience was rewarded. Not only was I pleasantly caffeinated, but the PDK's behavior had returned to normal. Traffic had also returned to normal and from here it was a straight shot to Massachusetts' North Shore.

Okay, I may have made one quick stop.

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Mike Magrath Features Editor @ 6,916 miles


  • diondi diondi Posts:

    Yup, dual-clutch transmissions don't like stop and go very much. They tend to get herky jerky - the Porsche PDK and BMW M-DCT is already much improved over the 1st-gen system in my GTI, however.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    ahh, a Foxborough stop off 495. you guys love the photo ops! It's starting to sound like even PDK is no match for nasty traffic. And it wasn't even summer--I wonder how bad it would fry if you did this in worse weather?

  • evodad evodad Posts:

    shoulda got the manual :)

  • mfennell mfennell Posts:

    Is it jerky because it's hot (the friction properties changing) or does the car purposely engage the clutch more aggressively to reduce additional heat build up? And does the car even know the temperature? Ferraris with the F1 transmissions, at least the 355 and 360s *model* heat build-up. There's no sensor. AFAIK, they don't do anything except beep at you when they decide the clutch is getting hot.

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