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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In light of the recent posts about a possible "upgrade" to a 2-clutch auto manual for future R8s...(from "Fastestlaps.com"): (note Fastest Laps typo: he MEANS "R"-Tronic in the quoted passage)

But R8 has appreciable disadvantage - S-tronic. This semi-automatic gearbox, as we saw on Driftbox diagram, needs approximately 0,3 second to change a gear. You feel it while driving - during the gearchange acceleration stops, and car is destabilized with powerful "kick" when clutch is re-engaged. Nor MB SLS neither 911 Turbo S with dual-clutch transmission have this negative side effect.

http://www.fastestlaps.com/articles/mercedes_sls_vs_997_turbo_s_vs_audi_r8_v10_at_smolensk_ring.html


Being a 6MT driver, I don't have a dog in this fight (and yes, I know my shifts are slower than either auto-manual!). But I ran across this comment on the "Fastest Laps" website (great source for settling tap room disputes, btw, if you're not aware of it!). I thought it interesting that the writers considered the R8 "disadvanteged" by it's R-Tronic vis-a-vis the MB SLS and the 997 Turbo S, though it WAS clearly faster than the P-wagen in the chicane (are we surprised!).

Just fwiw, and don't argue with me, since I drive an MT, I'm obviously a sideline sitter on this issue. But suspicions along these lines, based on the basic design difference AND a kind of "clunky" experience with R-Tronic at the [email protected] are what made me lean toward the MT when I ordered. And, I have to admit, personally I will always prefer to clutch for myself!
 

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Personally I like the momentary power disconnect - it adds a sporty character to the changes. Also, when we're talking about times to change gear, it's still always going to fare better than a stick manual and people seem perfectly fine with that so it all becomes a bit "top trumps" academic.
 

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The lack of the S-tronic transmission i.e. a seamless, efficient, dual clutch way of changing gear is a shocking omission for a worlds class leading sports car.

My wife is grateful that this is all that hold me back from an R8 order. (Well that and the +50% more expensive price tag for living in Switzerland).

The R-tronic gearbox I understand is the same as the manual with hydraulics shifting gears for you. Rather like the (now ancient) early Ferrari or BMW transmissions.

Now that S-tronic (aka DSG) is available for the TTRS (>300BHP) I can't see any technical excuse for Audi to pull their finger out and deliver the goods.

Does anybody know what the official launch date / Motor show reveal will be?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well the point of my post was not to debate the value of the auto clutch in general...no question they shift faster than any "foot clutch" system (though I do respectfully take issue with your assertion that an auto tranny will "always" know better when to change gears...surely you don't really believe that either!)...but to consider the issue of whether or not Audi, in the rumored "upgrade" coming next year, "should" (assuming they "would") go to a dual clutch system, a la nearly everyone else.

I posted this just to add a bit of documentation to a heretofore rather subjective topic. If the reason to have an auto clutch is to shift faster (for me, that would be the only reason to consider it), well then "more faster", it would seem to follow, would be better. And this Laptimes piece adds a tiny bit of hard evidence to the scales in favor of going to the dual clutch.

Not that, if they DO go to an "S-Tronic", I'll get a new car. As I implied, for myself, loss of the 6MT would seriously depreciate my driving experience of the R8. So for we MT "hard cases", the rumored dropping of the MT is a bigger issue than the possible advent of a dual clutch enhancement.

In short, not about which transmission for the buyer to choose...to each his own!...but rather about which AUDI should best choose for the new model. Not that we have an iota of influence on that question!
 

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I do respectfully take issue with your assertion that an auto tranny will "always" know better when to change gears
hang on a sec - you're putting word in my mouth there! I said it's "always going to fare better", by which I meant in terms of the speed and accuracy of the changes at speed.

If the reason to have an auto clutch is to shift faster (for me, that would be the only reason to consider it), well then "more faster", it would seem to follow, would be better.
there are more considerations than just speed - sportiness is a consideration too, as is weight and packaging. let's not forget that the new lambo isn't going dual clutch.

And this Laptimes piece adds a tiny bit of hard evidence to the scales in favor of going to the dual clutch.
what did you take as hard evidence?
 

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In general, the Auto plays a better tune. And the musical sound is just a little nicer and easier to play. I have even learned to throw rev sounds quite nicely. If engine management and sound control is your thing, like me, then the R-T is the perfect instrument. (Musically speaking) IMO :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
hang on a sec - you're putting word in my mouth there! I said it's "always going to fare better", by which I meant in terms of the speed and accuracy of the changes at speed.



there are more considerations than just speed - sportiness is a consideration too, as is weight and packaging. let's not forget that the new lambo isn't going dual clutch.



what did you take as hard evidence?
Well, I don't want to get into a President Clinton argument here ("depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."), but when you said:

"Also, when we're talking about times to change gear, it's still always going to fare better than a stick...".

That sounded like you were intending to say that an auto could pick shift points better than a human. I wouldn't quibble with that being true sometimes, but I was taking issue with the "always," with which I'm sure you concur....or you would never use your paddles. I am quite content to stand corrected and accept that you meant "faster and smoother," with which I make no stipulation.:cool:

But the whole point of my responding to your reply post was to clarify that I was NOT attempting to take up the (to me rather boring) argument between the manual and R-Tronic lovers, but to PUBLISH a finding I ran across on Laptimes.com that might be seen to make a point in favor of the dual-clutch (always engaged) tranny vs the single clutch box that truly shifts "just like we do" but a whole lot faster and smoother.

In some ways, the dual clutch box functions in a track situation a lot like the "pre-selector" gearbox of the pre WW-II ERA's. Driver selected the gear he was going to want next and when it came time to change, he just de-clutched/clutched and presto, he had shifted.

Of course a two clutch arrangement is going to carry some penalty in weight and size, but you could say exactly the same (in spades) for an all-wheel drive system. I can't say as I can see your "sportiness" point however: Other than the microseconds faster shifts, the presence of one or two clutches would seem to be pretty transparent to the user or onlooker. But "sportiness" is in the eyes of user and again I wouldn't quibble.

The post I put up, I thought, would make a 2 clutch system seem "more sporty" to the track afficianado, since the writer seemed to feel the evidence suggested the R8 was taking a hit for it's slower shifting. But I'm not one of those, which is why I'm happy to cruise the backroads with my manual.

I thought it was an interesting point that the Russians (but perhaps they're not reliable, you know...could be propaganda;) found, and confirmed with an accelerometer, that the R8 was taking somewhat of a penalty for it's slower shift times vs. it's two competitors with 2 clutch systems. "Hard" evidence is hard to come by when it comes to fast cars, which is why they keep staging those contests where they try to find out who's got the fastest one;)
 

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That sounded like you were intending to say that an auto could pick shift points better than a human.
I see what you mean - but I meant times in the sense of "time taken" not "the best points in time".

I can't say as I can see your "sportiness" point however: Other than the microseconds faster shifts, the presence of one or two clutches would seem to be pretty transparent to the user or onlooker.
the momentary disconnect of power adds a character that is absent by definition of a seamless transition - it makes it feel more mechanical and delimited, and to me that enhances the character. As you say, people have different opinions and preferences.

I thought it was an interesting point that the Russians (but perhaps they're not reliable, you know...could be propaganda found, and confirmed with an accelerometer, that the R8 was taking somewhat of a penalty for it's slower shift times vs. it's two competitors with 2 clutch systems.
It will be interesting to see how the new lambo aventador's ISR single clutch setup compares.
 

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Recieved a phone call from Italiano Concourso yesterday...Jay Leno arrived in the new Lambo Aventador ISR single clutch and was EXSTATIC with it.(but what else would you expect him to say?)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
the momentary disconnect of power adds a character that is absent by definition of a seamless transition - it makes it feel more mechanical and delimited, and to me that enhances the character. As you say, people have different opinions and preferences.
Ahh, Yes! SPORTY! The momentary disconnect of power! Mechanical and delimited!

Not to overly prolong this line of discourse, but I think you have hit on something very important here (quote above). I daresay those who are in love with their manual transmissions, with the very satisfying tactile and auditory "click" of the gate as the shift goes home, would say EXACTLY the same thing about why they prefer their MT. I get it!

As you would agree, "different strokes for different folks":cool:
 

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As you would agree, "different strokes for different folks"
not sure if you're being sarcastic (which is how it comes over to me) or not - but yes, that's exactly what I mean.
 

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Here's a bit of blurb about the aventadors isr single clutch transmission:

http://blog.caranddriver.com/techy-goodness-a-deeper-look-at-the-lamborghini-aventador’s-new-v12-and-isr-gearbox/

This is done while still using only one clutch. Weight, again, was a huge factor and a dual-clutch was deemed too heavy. As it is, Lamborghini says the new transmission represents a 26-pound weight savings. So how does it change gears? Despite the single clutch, the idea is similar to a dual-clutch. In a conventional manual transmission, gears are stacked on a shaft in order.
To facilitate smoother shifting and better wide-open throttle performance, the Aventador can reduce engine spark in the middle of the shift; this briefly reduces engine torque and allows the gear change to happen with a reduced load on the gears and synchros.
so I still question why people are obsessed with the dual clutch setup and why they consider it inevitable for the r8 given the r8 has inherited previous lambo tech - including the r-tronic transmission itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
not sure if you're being sarcastic (which is how it comes over to me) or not - but yes, that's exactly what I mean.
I do have to apologize. Having re-read that post, I can see how you might well take is as sarcasm. But honestly, it was really not intended as such. Rather, I was kind of amazed at your view of the R-Tronic and how it works for you, because, for me, and I suspect a number of others who love their R8 manuals, that is pretty much exactly how I would describe the reasons why I like the manual! It is indeed so easy to forget, when having one of these discussions, that all the physical cues of communication and tone of voice are missing, so the "mood" conveyed gets very muddied up, if it gets through at all!

So, NO!, no sarcasm intended in that but rather I was kind of experiencing an epiphany, if you will, of rather much of an agreement about what we like about our transmissions...even though they're different!

I've been away from the computer for awhile, and you've got 2 posts here, so I'm going to continue my thoughts about your second post....and that's about all I will have to say about the automated manuals!

Though, as I've said clearly above, I have no interest in any kind of automated transmission for my own sports car, I do appreciate the technology, and the elegant engineering. The really neat thing about the R_Tronic, as presently built, is that it is basically the same clutch and transmission as the manual, with some rather "economical" (from the engineering standpoint) hydraulic servos added to do the work that the drive otherwise does (plus processors and software of course!).

As I have also said, I really have no brief on either side of this issue of one or two clutches (though until you got it through to me otherwise, I thought speed of shifting was the only performance parameter to consider). I was only contributing an interesting finding that seemed to weigh on one side of the issue. IF, and I say this with reservations about the source...jokes about propaganda notwithstanding, the Laptimes article is correct, they seemed to find that the R8's shifts were taking up almost 300 miliseconds ("almost 0.3 seconds"), which you have to admit is a whole lot slower than your article about the new Lambo is touting. They MAY be incorrect, as I note in your article that they cite the current Lambo as shifting in 120 ms. But, in any event, this was an article suggesting an area of weakness in the R8 when up against a couple of its erstwhile competitors, and I thought it was of interest to post.

I certainly am NOT in the camp of rooting for a dual clutch box for the R8....since I won't buy one even if they offer it. And I am certainly not in league with those who are fixated on dual clutch boxes as being some kind of perpetually "better" solution than a single clutch box. Obviously, engineering never stands still. Though the Russian article I posted MIGHT be a sign that RIGHT NOW, between THOSE three cars, the dual clutch box is in the ascendency (again, of course, only insofar as shifting speed), it seems Lamborghini may push the single clutch solution back to the top by coming up with a mechanism that shifts LIKE a dual clutch box (which R-Tronic does not), while only requiring one clutch plate. I agree that it will be interesting to see how this goes and whether or not Audi will chose it for the R8 in the future.
 

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Things can get muddied when it comes to text discussions.

I love that we have a choice with the r8 for transmission - regular manual or automated manual. We all have different likes, dislikes and preferences, so being able to get a car that closely matches our own wants is great. I don't like the idea of any persons own desires being forced on everyone else.

I do question the real world effects of those shift time differences though - when I'm giving the r-tronic the beans, it shifts as fast as I could ever want and over any kind of distance the shift times/power losses become truly miniscule percentages of the run. Real world is what matters to me rather than bragging rights or paper arguments.

The other factor with the r-tronic is that the time for a gear change to complete varies with the rpm, so the average shift time can be affected quite a lot by the course - but the effects on the overall time of completing the course might not be affected as much as the longer shift times at lower rpm's suggest.

The comment about dual clutch obsession wasn't a comment about you or your posts, but there seem to be a raft of posts lately where people are acting like a "dual clutch" transmission is mandatory for the r8 to be a serious contender. It feels like a mantra that has been repeated often enough in the world of those who don't actually own or drive an r8 for it to be accepted wisdom now by that sector.

The r-tronic isn't perfect by any means - at slow speeds the single clutch setup certainly doesn't shine - but at speed I really like it. I've not had a dual clutch car, but I know what the feel of non-delimited shifts are like from previous slushbox autos (the a5 in particular). Not talking about the time taken to from a manual input to shift completed - just the linear nature of non-delimited shifts.

As you note, the ISR is leaps ahead of the r-tronic, but it is still single clutch - so the people that keep pointing to dual clutch as the *only* way to make the r8 a great car may well find themselves having a weaker "top trumps" card to play when comparing notes with their buddies even though the actual transmission may well deliver better overall.

At the end of the day, I like driving with paddle shift so that's the route I'd take whether it be r-tronic, dual clutch or a fancy single clutch setup. If r-tronic is the baseline, then it's all gravy for me.
 

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I have owned an E60 M5 with the SMG III tranny, and recently a '09 Nissan GT-R with it's version of a DSG gearbox; (the GR6 as it's called). Modern DSG's are fantastic gearboxes; incredibly smooth and almost as 'good' in this regard to a true torque converter auto; enhance efficiency; are easy to drive/get used to, etc. HOWEVER, I love single clutch transmissions like the SMG III and R-Tronic. Sure it's not as smooth as a DSG around town; sure it's not as efficient economy wise; sure it's 'harder' for the inexperienced to drive it confidently, BUT no current DSG gearbox gives you that almighty great whack in the back when you change gear in 'Sport' mode at over 8,000 rpm. In this car; (and the M5 with the SMG III), when you're in a hurry and change gear, you d-mn well know you've called for and enacted a gear change. It's not as smooth as molasses, and that's one of the many things I love about it.

For the 6-MT lover, you need to hope that single clutch automated manual transmissions remain in your future if the manufacturers phase out 'true' manuals, since it is the closest in feel to the beloved 6-MT. The only thing you'll miss is the pain in your left leg!! lol

Bish
 

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In this car; (and the M5 with the SMG III), when you're in a hurry and change gear, you d-mn well know you've called for and enacted a gear change. It's not as smooth as molasses, and that's one of the many things I love about it.
that's what it is for me I think - it's a kind of physical feedback. I pull the paddle and I feel the car doing what I asked the moment I asked it to do it. It's like a physical step in proceedings rather than just a parameter change. A change in engine note alone isn't the same experience.
 

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Modern DSG's are fantastic gearboxes; incredibly smooth and almost as 'good' in this regard to a true torque converter auto; enhance efficiency; are easy to drive/get used to, etc. HOWEVER, I love single clutch transmissions like the SMG III and R-Tronic. Sure it's not as smooth as a DSG around town; sure it's not as efficient economy wise; sure it's 'harder' for the inexperienced to drive it confidently, BUT no current DSG gearbox gives you that almighty great whack in the back when you change gear in 'Sport' mode at over 8,000 rpm. In this car; (and the M5 with the SMG III), when you're in a hurry and change gear, you d-mn well know you've called for and enacted a gear change. It's not as smooth as molasses, and that's one of the many things I love about it.

Couldn't have said it better.
 
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