However, there was still a problem which would turn into an advantage, noted Wüst. During each shifting process, the PDK gave the racing car a kick forwards. The system’s clutch control wasn’t entirely perfected yet, and the transition between gear ratios was accompanied by a hefty jerk. As a result, something that disturbed passengers' comfort in a series production car translated into a welcome increase in speed in motorsport.
“However, these jerks put great stress on the transmission and the entire driveshaft. On a few occasions, this excess torque sent everything flying around us, and I sat at home in the evenings and nearly gave up on the whole thing,” Wüst said.
They then reduced the inertia of the transmission and got back on track. Stuck tested the new development in the 962, the first racing car with PDK, and in 1986 tasted victory for the first time with Derek Bell in the 360km race at Monza. The two went on to win the 1986 World Sports Prototype Championship.
The PDK was also a success in rallying. The Audi Sport-Quattro S1 with PDK driven by Walter Röhrl took first place in the Semperit-Rallye at the end of 1985. However, success in racing didn’t lead to a breakthrough in series production. The time hadn’t come yet.
This only changed in the 2000s when Volkswagen boss Ferdinand Piëch, who had been informed about the PDK two decades earlier, took a greater interest in the PDK. Now-perfected, the dual clutch transmission was fitted in the 2003, V6-powered Volkswagen Golf R32 and named Dual Shift Gearbox (DSG), which continues to mesmerise with its finesse and the popular "vrrr phaa" exhaust sounds so fancied by modern hot Golf owners.
In 2008, Porsche introduced the PDK as an optional extra for the 911 series. One year later, PDK was offered as a variant for the Panamera.
“PDK is definitely a highlight of my 38 years at Porsche. There were many lovely projects, and this was one of the loveliest. When I see a car with PDK on the road today, I know a piece of me is inside that. And this is a wonderful development,” said Wüst.