Porsche’s active anti-roll system adds control at the limit, but is best left on the options list

What is it?

While it’s certainly a nice problem to have, knowing which options boxes to tick when ordering your new Porsche 911 certainly doesn’t get any easier. And with some of those options directly affecting the way your car will ride and handle, it’s important to know what you want.

The big question with the advent of the latest ‘991’ 911 is, “Do you want Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, sir?” On a car that is also offered with dynamic engine mounts, variable-assistance power steering, adaptive damping and sports suspension, the £2185 PDCC option – available only on the 3.8-litre Carrera S – throws active anti-roll bars into the mix. Their stiffness is computer controlled according to lateral body movement, and they’re supposed to allow more precise handling and steering during hard cornering, while offering a more comfortable and absorbent ride when the car is tracking straight.

What's it like?

On the basis of our testing, however, a PDCC-equipped 911 doesn’t distinguish itself from a standard one quite so clearly. During mixed road driving, the improvement in roll control was hard to detect – mostly because of the excellent control of the standard car – and over choppy surfaces there seemed to be little improvement in ride compliance relative to the baseline set-up of the Carrera S we group tested a few months ago. You’d certainly need a non-PDCC car, the right road and a particularly sensitive backside for a back-to-back comparison and to appreciate the net gain.

On the track, things are slightly different. PDCC does improve high-speed directional stability and outright lateral body control a little, but also seems to have a slight adverse affect on the fluid, predictable limit handling of the 991.

Should I buy one?

All things considered, we prefer the more natural progression of the car’s handling without the system, but those looking for the last word in track composure may well have different priorities.

Porsche 911 Carrera S PDK PDCC

Price: £85,814; 0-62mph: 4.3sec; Top speed: 187mph; Economy: 32.5mpg (combined); CO2: 205g/km; Kerb weight: 1415kg; Engine: 6cyls horizontally opposed, 3800cc, petrol; Power: 395bhp at 7400rpm; Torque: 325lb ft at 5600rpm; Gearbox: 7-spd dual-clutch auto

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

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andyclark946 14 January 2013

Porsche 911

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sable007 2 November 2012


I tested three cars in the same day last December. The McLaren which was rejected, sorry Ron, I really wanted to like it but looks, gearbox and interior design just didn't do it for me.

Next up was the 458 which was stunning but losing 1,000 Euros a week in depreciation was worrying me a bit as was the noise on motorway cruising but I was close to doing a deal when my local Porsche dealer gave me a set of keys to the new 991 and said "Try this"

Stunning, amazing, incredible, words fail me, I cannot do this marvel of the finest engineering justice. There is no better car for every day use, super quiet when you want it to be and a screaming Le Mans racer when you want some fun.

I bought it on the spot and have been trying to sell my DBS ever since to no avail. I beg any of you who have not driven the 991 to do what ever is necessary and try one for yourself, you will not regret it.

Sure one doesn't get the looks of the flashier cars but really, it is the finest, the most exciting, the best drivers car available today......in the real world and that is the important bit, in the real world.

If one is just doing track days every day then some of it's rivals do become interesting, of course they do but in the real world, nothing touches it. I have done 17,000kms these past ten months in the 991......try doing that in a 458 and then attempt to sell it!

Oh and by the way, I don't have the PDCC nor do I miss it. It does save a second or two per lap round the Nurburgring.....er so what ?  You cannot drive at these speeds on public roads anymore anyway.

david RS 16 April 2012

Re: Porsche 911 Carrera S PDCC

Efficient, but perhaps a bit artificial.

The real problem is the maintenance of the system in the future: the cost, the running.

These systems (semi-active suspension, robotised transmission) are interesting for the first hand customers. But these systems bring generally many problems in the future and extra costs to maintain it.

In the other hand, it goes away a bit from the 911's spirit.

For Porsche, the 1st goal is of course the first hand customers.