In the Orchestral Strings and Appassionata Strings there are patches called "perf. legato slur" that are not explained anywhere in the manual. The sound like light portamento on high velocities.
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you are right on both counts! The slurred legatos have a less pronounced sliding effect than the portamentos, but are also a bit "sloppily" executed compared with the standard legatos. Alas, they are not included in the manuals because they were added as a kind of bonus at a later date ...
David Ender / VI Manuals