IN WHAT might be described as a historical first, Porsche is giving something away for free.
It’s called the Porsche Track Precision app, and you’ll be able to download it for nix, even if you don’t have a Porsche.
While previous versions would only work when attached via wifi to Porsche’s GT cars, an updated - and truly awesome - version of the app will be launched in March that works with all two-door Porsches.
Described as “your personal trainer for the race track”, Porsche Track Precision is initiated through the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) interface. It’s loaded with more than 200 tracks and will, once you stick your phone to the windscreen, record your lap and provide you with a video that shows a data overlay of the way you drove it.
Delve deeper into the app when you’re back in the pits, however, and you can unlock an incredible amount of data about how hard you hit the brakes, what percentage of throttle you were using and much more.
Basically, it provides the kind of telemetry trace that race engineers use to analyse a driver’s performance on track. The kind of software that normally costs a small fortune.
Interestingly, the beta version we were shown features a tab called “On the limit”, which tells you what percentage of the lap you were pushing the tyres, and thus the whole car, to the maximum. The app’s developers are not sure this tab will make it to market because it might just encourage people to go beyond their limits.
As you can see from the video above of Porsche ambassador Mark Webber lapping the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, where the new Porsche 911 was launched last week, it’s pretty damn impressive for something that’s free.
The downside, of course, is that you have to own a two-door Porsche to make it work. There is, however, a section called “Preparation” that even mortals on normal wages can enjoy.
It features all kinds of advice and information on track driving, from oversteer to trail-braking, and can be accessed by anyone who owns a smart phone.
Considering how much Porsche tends to charge for optional extras, the Track Precision app is an uncharacteristic moment of German generosity.