Is The New Porsche 911 The Best All-Weather Sports Car?

Sports Car

With it's all-new Wet Mode, there's a strong case that it is.

Thanks to its lightweight construction and wide tires, the Porsche 911 is prone to aquaplaning in the wet at high speeds. To help prevent this, Porsche has implemented a very clever new safety feature called "Wet Mode" in the all-new 2020 911 which is designed to increase driving stability in slippery conditions.

"Wet Mode was developed to provide the driver with consistent support in wet conditions. It does not restrict the maximum power of the engine or limit the top speed,” August Achleitner, head of the model series, explained. Porsche stresses the system shouldn’t "be used as insurance for driving too fast in very wet conditions,” and should instead "be seen as an assistance system in the truest sense.”

Porsche’s Wet Mode automatically detects a wet road and then warns the driver about the risk of aquaplaning. Acoustic sensors in the front wheel housing detect swirled-up spray water. If the system detects a wet road surface, the response behavior of the Porsche Stability Management and Porsche Traction Management systems is preconditioned. Both systems then intervene earlier and more sensitively than before. A warning is also shown next to the rev counter recommending the driver to switch to Wet Mode.

When Wet Mode is activated, the PSM, PTM, adaptive aerodynamics, optional Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and drive responsiveness are all adapted to increase stability. From 55 mph, the variable rear spoiler is extended to performance position, the cooling air flaps open, the accelerator pedal characteristic is flatter, and the PSM Off function or Sport mode can no longer be activated.

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The torque build-up of the engine is also smoother, and the eight-speed PDK transmission also gets automatically adapted accordingly. On the 911 Carrera 4S all-wheel-drive model, more drive power is transferred to the front axle than in normal mode and the electronically controlled rear differential lock gets reduced locking ratios for the wet conditions.

Porsche says Wet Mode "offers more confident handling, while the precisely matched interventions are particularly effective in the event of sudden changes in direction, spontaneous power requests or on changing road surfaces with different coefficients of friction.” As well as water-logged roads, the Wet Mode can also increase driving stability on snow-covered roads with reduced grip.

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