The infotainment system on a Porsche, especially a 911, is one of the last concerns we have. That big screen in the dash is hard to care about when there’s a lovely twin-turbocharged flat-six behind us and an open stretch of road ahead. But sports cars are multifaceted beasts these days, and anyways, why shouldn’t the 911 be as technologically capable as the Cayenne?
To that end, Porsche plants a 10.9-inch widescreen touch display in the dash. It’s integrated nicely, as Porsche hasn’t fallen victim to the tablet on the dash syndrome that so many others have adopted. Porsche calls its system “Porsche Communication Management,” or PCM for short. It’s not catchy like iDrive, Sync or Uconnect, but at least the name has been consistent over the years (and Porsche's love of acronyms). This version of Porsche's infotainment can be found in the 911, Cayenne, Macan and Panamera. The 718s are still running previous software and a smaller screen, while the Taycan has a different beast entirely. After swiping through the screens and tapping around, it’s immediately obvious that Porsche has some rather powerful hardware working in the background to make the system run fast and smooth. The screen reacts to your touch inputs with zero delay, mimicking that of a new smartphone or tablet. Making the screen fast and responsive seems to be half the battle these days, and Porsche has that covered.
As for the user interface, it’s unique to Porsche. Borrowing from Audi or some other member of the VW Group may seem like an obvious thing to do, but Porsche has put together a system that strongly differentiates itself from those. That’s totally fine with us, because Porsche’s software is excellent and easy to use. The navigation bar on the left makes finding the proper submenu easy, even if you have to scroll up and down sometimes to find what you want. The customizability of the main menu’s tiles is another nice feature we appreciate in an infotainment system, one coming to more and more vehicles these days, and Porsche's is even more customizable than most.
We go over it in the video above, but the Apple CarPlay system is a mixed bag. Porsche lets you do either wired or wireless CarPlay when you initially set it up, which is a choice we like to have. However, the interface itself is shrunk down smaller than is ideal, making navigating through the apps difficult while driving. The complete lack of Android Auto support may be the bigger problem, though. It wouldn’t stop me from buying a Porsche, but as an Android user, it’s extremely disappointing to find that feature lacking.
Porsche includes a couple more screens in addition to the infotainment display, though. They’re disguised as gauges in the instrument cluster, but in the 911, the two banks of gauges on either side of the tachometer are semi-customizable digital displays, too. It’s in there that you’ll be able to see neat information like the power distribution to the wheels, a G-meter, navigation map and other vehicle information. Porsche makes it easy to toggle through the options using a scroll wheel on the steering wheel itself. All the screens are high resolution and easy to read, just how we want it to be in a sports car.
For a more complete walkthrough and additional thoughts, check out our video review above using a 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 as the test subject.