It's always pleasing to learn that something you'd do regardless—eat dark chocolate, drink red wine, have sex—is good for you. Another beneficial activity? A swift trip through the twisties.
Yup, it's true. Or can be—as far as MPGs are concerned.
Because as we all know, having to slow down and speed up again is less fuel efficient than steady cruising. So the less you have to brake for a given corner, the less speed you have to recoup after the bend. And to that end, Porsche wants to help drivers ace every entry and exit.
You know, for efficiency.
The automaker's new active cruise system—currently testing on public roads in the Fatherland—is called InnoDrive, and Stuttgart's engineers hope to have it in the hands of customers by 2020. Basically, instead of just insuring drivers don't crash into something directly in front of the vehicle, InnoDrive uses factors like the radius of a corner and grade of pavement to determine the proper proportion of throttle and brake needed to take the turn with the least loss of momentum.
Steering input is still required from the driver, so it's not like the trick tech will turn a Panamera into an autonomous, road-going rollercoaster. But with the ability to hold a line at between 0.50 and 0.70 g, it should make for a spirited sprint along the backroads. After testing an early version of InnoDrive, Car and Driver called it "the most entertaining cruise control ever conceived."
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The payoff? According to Porsche, fuel efficiency could see gains as much as 10 percent, and overall travel time could decrease by two percent.
Given the outright hostility some in the enthusiast community have toward the idea of self-driving cars, it's interesting to see how the functionality promised by systems like InnoDrive will be received. With that in mind, how slippery a slope is such active cruise? Will we ever see a world where a customer can hop into their 911, head to their local track, hit the "Walter Röhrl" setting and hang on for dear life?
Surely, purists would protest. But they also protested at the idea of a Porsche SUV—and we all know how that turned out.