The art of heel-and-toeing, the act of eliciting a perfectly smooth downshift by simultaneously matching the engine speed with the transmission’s input shaft, has been mastered (or at the very least attempted) but any serious gearhead. However, the latest development to come out of Porsche deems this technique practically unnecessary.
For those automotive enthusiasts unfamiliar with the concept, the heel-and-toe method involves cars equipped with manual transmissions and its drivers who try to keep the vehicle weight from transitioning abruptly during a downshift. The driver pushes the clutch, shifts into the lower gear and pivots their heel to stab the throttle while applying pressure with his or her right foot to slow the brake.
Porsche’s latest all-wheel-drive 911 models (Carrera 4 and Carerra 4S models equipped with the Sport Chrono package) include computers smart enough to recognize when its driver wants to downshift, which automatically match the engine speed. But, if the driver still wants to incorporate some fancy footwork, he or she may do so by keeping the car in normal mode, as the option is only available when the “Sports Plus” mode is activated.
Nissan introduced a similar advancement in 2008 and dubbed it SynchroRev Match and added it to the 370Z.
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