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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is the first year of the S transmission 2014? Is it worth the extra money to get the S-tronic over the R-tronic? I have just heard that the R doesn't do well around town... any one have experience with both? Have any thoughts?

Thanks in advance...
 

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You’ve got it backwards!

S tronic is the new transmission which made its debut in the 2014 model year.

R tronic was from 08-12
 

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R-Tronic pushes you in your seat a bit, but feels great when you really push the car. If I had the option though, I would pick dual clutch (S-Tronic) over R-Tronic.

R-Tronic isn't that bad though, I daily drive my R8.
 

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You will get opinions from each side here. I wanted an S-tronic and chose a car that had one. I drove an R-tronic briefly and was not used to it. I wasn't sure what to expect and I did not like it. I had the S-tronic in an S5 coupe in 2013, and loved it. It's personal choice, but the S-tronic is a quicker shifting, smoother transmission. If you found a car that you liked and it had an R-tronic, I wouldn't turn away from it, unless you were dead set on the S.
 

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In the last month, I tested both almost back-to-back and like the S-tronic more. It was my first foray into R8s and I went in objectively and without any expectations. On the first test drive, I found the R-tronic kinda jerky in Auto-mode under normal driving and even slightly sporty driving. Under sport, it was a little better. The car was very fast, and the transmission definitely got you going. The S-tronic was much smoother during normal driving, and when you mashed the gas pedal, it was even better. It also sounded different under heavy load and downshifts. It was also very fast, and the transmission was a thing of beauty.

After more research, I think the R-tronic would be a good option, but you will need to follow the wisdom of the crew here on how to truly enjoy it. In the end, I opted for the S-Tronic for a two main reasons: the downshift sound in sport mode was really intoxicating; the car had diamond stitched fulled leather.

You won't be disappointed whatever you do!

-td
 

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Hey Foxrus, I very recently went through the same exact process and ultimately test drove both options (thanks to some on here who advised this) to make a decision. I'll share my experience (albeit it's on-going), hopefully it helps you.

Let me preface this with a couple things, I'm just outside of Manhattan and will almost never be pushing it except for the occasional weekend drives out of NYC. I've read the R Tronic described as "clunky" in gear shifting, and that description is 100% accurate. You can definitely feel the lag and drop as you accelerate. Now for me given my needs, its probably not as annoying since it's not often I'll be hitting those speeds.

S Tronic is night and day how much smoother the gear shifting is. It is not noticeable at all. That being said, I ultimately decided I wanted the newer 14-15 models which I'm actively looking for primarily because I wanted something on the newer-side which really drove my decision making given my needs. Its worth test driving to see for yourself, I discovered I could live with R Tronic, but wanted the newness of something more recent.

Edit: One add which the dealer pointed out, and I think is true, when you're going fast on the R Tronic it definitely performs at its best.
 

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I have a R8 Spider V10 2013 and have the S tronic gearbox which I like very much. I lets you drive at ease if you like or agressive in the sport mode if you want. And it still has a manual function too.
 

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S tronic if auto is what you want. R tronic is an automated manual so you drive it more like a manual (ie lift the gas when changing gears, etc.)
 

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R-Tronic with TCU tune, smooth when required, aggresive when required.
 

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Test drive both, and you'll know which you prefer instantly. ;)
 

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You'll find some mixed opinions on this, but if you follow the auto journalists you'll see the same thing over and over again in their reviews - the R-Tronic was a bit too clunky for them, and the S-Tronic was praised and welcome when it arrived. The winner? I think they all would prefer the MT. :)

But here's the thing, it doesn't matter what anyone else says or likes - it matters what you'll enjoy to drive, so you really need to test them for yourself and compare.

The R-Tronic is a classic "first generation" automated manual using a single clutch. You need to drive it very much like you would a manual, and when you learn to do it correctly, it can be rewarding. The shifts will always be slower than a dual clutch, but you can make them smoother through a TCU tune and practice. The S-Tronic, on the other hand, is a classic "second generation" dual-clutch transmission. As such, it's very fast shifting and smooth. It'll actually drive more like an automatic (e.g. will creep off the line when you take your foot off the brake). The S-Tronic will also be considerably more compliant around town.

The downshift sounds with the S-Tronic noted above are essentially the result of the transmission being programmed to rev-match on downshifting (in sport mode). Yes, it's an intoxicating sound. :) You can accomplish the same thing by heel-and-toe shifting, of course, but that's a lot harder than flipping the left paddle.

Go drive a few and decide what you like best. Because the S-Tronic is only available in the 2014 and 2015 models (in the US) of Gen-1, you're also going to benefit from getting the facelift updates with it - headlights, taillights, grille, upgraded leather coverage, exhaust, interior trim, etc. So, it's probably worthwhile to consider the whole package as the transmissions are "tied" to the pre/post facelift decision, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for your help...

I Have already driven the R-Tronic and I didn't mind it. I am coming from a 630 RWHP Hennessey Z/28. Shipped it off to new zealand a couple months ago. I will be tracking this car about 4-5 times a year for fun. So maybe the R-Tronic will do just fine for me on the track and around town. I will have to find a S-Tronic to drive shortly. Summer comes quick in the South.
 

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Do you want a hamburger or filet mignon?

I drove 7 R-Tronic R8's and 4 S-Tronic R8's before purchasing my 2014 R8 V10 with the S-Tronic Transmission.

The R-Tronic taste good and will satisfy your desire but the S-Tronic just melts in your mouth and makes you want a second helping. More Please!

IMO the S-Tronic is the icing on the cake and it's very sweet. :cool:
 

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I had the hamburger for 5 years and marinated it with half a dozen Tcu tunes but was never quite satisfied with the taste.

I'm definitely a filet mignon guy. :D

The rev matching in Sport mode is icing on the cake!

Caviar is an acquired taste but its too fishy for me. :eek:


Do you want a hamburger or filet mignon?

I drove 7 R-Tronic R8's and 4 S-Tronic R8's before purchasing my 2014 R8 V10 with the S-Tronic Transmission.

The R-Tronic taste good and will satisfy your desire but the S-Tronic just melts in your mouth and makes you want a second helping. More Please!

IMO the S-Tronic is the icing on the cake and it's very sweet. :cool:
 

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I have an S-Tronic in my S4 as well. I have driven the R8 with the R-Tronic on the track but I haven't owned the R-Tronic. So I can't say whether it is problematic or not. But it's definitely clunky and not nearly as smooth as the S-Tronic. You can coordinate the gas pedal with the shifts to get things to be fairly smooth if you practice. Maybe that becomes second nature after you've owned the R8 for a while.
Anyway I'd say that the S-Tronic feels like a really great alternative to a manual.
 

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I have an 2011 V8 R-Tronic and really like it.....but it wasn’t love at first sight. Driving an R-Tronic well takes some practice but then is very rewarding. I definitely enjoy the extra level of engagement as opposed to dual clutch gearboxes which are too close to being an automatic in my mind. I drive mine in auto mode only to get it up to temperature, then switch to manual mode for the majority of my use unless I want to press, in which case I switch to sport. Having had lots of manuals and a number of dual clutch boxes, I like the R-Tronic by far the best because of its uniqueness. My 4.2 R-Tronic with ECU/TCU tune and Klein inconell exhaust is the perfect car for me when I want to go for a quick blast. Fast enough to get my HR up, easy enough to drive fast without scaring myself and sounds amazing above 4K rpm.

I wouldn’t just drive an R-Tronic an then an S-Tronic....and then decide as you’ll potentially miss out on the satisfaction of learning to drive the R-Tronic well. Try to get a long ride with someone who has each one and watch and ask questions about the experience. I’m sure the S-tronic is very good....they just dont take much effort to drive well....IMHO.

Good luck!
 
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