If you’ve ever been driving a car that starts to aquaplane you’ll be very interested in Wet mode, a highly advanced new standard safety feature introduced together with the redesigned 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S and Carrera 4S at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, but even more suited to Vancouver’s “Wet Coast” weather.
Depending on the speed being driven, the type of tires connecting to the road, and other factors, aquaplaning, or hydroplaning can take place even when very little water has built up on a road’s surface. In fact, a performance car like the new 911, which is shod in ultra-wide 21-inch performance tires, can potentially lose some grip in just one millimetre of standing water.
Fortunately, Porsche’s new Wet Mode uses special acoustic sensors positioned within the front wheel arches to detect standing water by listening for spray released from the tires, and if the decibel level gets too strong the 911’s multi-information display will suggest you turn Wet mode on by pressing a switch on the new “button bar” on the centre console, or if equipped with the available Sport Chrono Package, via the rotating “DRIVE MODE” selector on the steering wheel, which can also be used to choose “Normal”, “Sport”, ‘Sport Plus’ and ‘Individual’ driving modes.
“Wet Mode was developed to provide the driver with consistent support in wet conditions,” said August Achleitner, a.k.a. “Mister 911” who led the development team for the new 911 and also took part in its launch just before his retirement. “It does not restrict the maximum power of the engine or limit the top speed, and should therefore also not be used as insurance for driving too fast in very wet conditions. Instead, it should be seen as an assistance system in the truest sense.”
Achleitner, who has worked for Porsche since 1983, earned his alternate title by being responsible for 911 model series development since 2001. Even more interesting, a more rudimentary version of Wet mode was initially developed back in the 1990s, yet never put into production, although now that driver assistive technologies have advanced so far, this old idea has taken on new life.
When implemented, Wet mode applies more sensitive preconditioned settings to all of the 911’s driver assistive systems, such as Porsche Stability Management (PSM), Porsche Traction Management (PTM), and the car’s active aerodynamics, ahead of combining their collective capability toward wet weather car management.
Specifically, the active variable rear spoiler extends to its performance position at just 90 km/h (sooner than in dry conditions), adding downforce to the rear tires, while frontal cooling air flaps open to increase downward pressure over the front wheels.
It should be noted that the engine always maintains full power, but Wet mode helps to deliver its thrust more evenly in order to minimize engine torque buildup, with the end result being maximum traction at each wheel. Also, the new eight-speed PDK transmission’s shift strategy and the electronically controlled rear differential’s locking ratios automatically adapt to a smoother, more linear power delivery too, while those piloting an all-wheel drive 4S model will have the benefit of additional torque transfer to the front axle for even more balanced distribution.
The new 911 provides “more confident handling” when using Wet mode in inclement conditions, says Porsche, while the automaker also states that Wet mode is ideal for maintaining control in snowy conditions. Needless to say, Sport mode and the PSM Off function cannot be activated in Wet mode.
Of course, driver assistive technology this effective would be a welcome addition to any new vehicle, but it’s especially important for a sports car as capable as the new 911 that, thanks to 443 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque behind the rear bulkhead, can sprint from zero to 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds when suited up in Carrera S form; 3.6 seconds when benefiting from the Carrera 4S model’s all-wheel drivetrain; or 3.5 and 3.4 seconds respectively when the Sport Chrono Package gets added; all before attaining top speeds of 308 and 306 km/h.
To find out more about the new 911 and its impressive Wet mode, contact Porsche Centre Vancouver by phone at (604) 736-7911, or visit us in our showroom at 688 Terminal Ave, Vancouver.
Also, check out the video below to see the new 911 and its Wet mode in action.
Learn how the Porsche Wet Mode works (1:43):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press
Photo credits: Porsche
Copyright: Canadian Auto Press Inc.
Date Posted: February 12, 2019