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R8 V10 cabriolet
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been fortunate enough to recently buy an auto R8 V10 cabriolet. I have owned a tiptronic Porsche 996 turbo for over 12 years and although I have read and heard so much about the manual R8's being "the ones" to have, my personal experiences with different autos over the years persuaded me to select an auto R8 over a manual version. Obviously, when choosing any R8 I would try different versions, the V8 v V10, manual v auto. Of course, it's all a personal choice but as a run-in trial I chose to take my newly acquired car from the UK, where I bought it, onto a ferry to Santander, Spain and drive it across the Pyrenees into the south of France. Am I missing something here? I simply can't understand how a manual might be a better option than the auto for this type of drive.
For the record, as all R8 owners might already expect, the trip was sensational, the car magnificent, my purchase truly justified, and the memories will last forever. But I need to ask, why is there this apparent preference towards manual boxes.
AJ-J
 

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2011 Gen1 V10 Gated
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27 Posts
Well, imho, it's the fact that you are more connected with the car, more in feel with the road, and the better skilled your inputs are, the more satisfying the drive.

Changing up AT the redline takes skill, blipping down for a perfect rev matched gear change even more, and ultimately, changing down whilst heel and toeing on the ragged edge even more!

But don't get me wrong, paddles are great too! I cannot comment on the R-tronic single clutch gearbox as I have never had the pleasure, but I do also own a S-tronic TT (now now boys!) and it is great fun to drive, especially on longer journeys. Obviously with the twin manual clutch, semi-automatic S-tronic cars, you can have lots of fun in "manual" mode too.

Horses for courses really, what ever floats your boat the most.

Oh, and did I mention the "click clack" of that metal gated gear lever....VERY ADDICTIVE!!
 

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R8 V10 cabriolet
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I hear what you are saying though I should have added that I would seldom keep my auto in straight auto mode, preferring to use a combination of paddles and gear stick changes. However if I was being cynical, I might comment that we should advise all the current Formula 1 drivers that they might be more "connected" to their cars if they reverted back to manual gearboxes.
 

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2008 R8 6-Speed Manual (Converted)
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583 Posts
What ever floats your boat. No one is saying “go manual or go bust” on here.

Getting a Gen 1 R8 these days doesn’t mean you’re getting the fastest car - You’re getting an experience.

For some that experience means rowing your own gears, getting challenged on every corner, working towards the perfect Rev Match, catching that perfect RPM smoothly syncing engine speed with wheel speed, enjoying that level of precision driving. That’s the experience I wanted.
 

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Oh boy.....
 

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I am a true lover of manual cars. There is something about rowing through the gears that gives more satisfaction than any other driving experience. Pushing the peddle and reaching for the next gear. The little thinking thst goes on in my little head choosing the next gear. I just enjoy it. I really prefer to drive manual in pretty much every situation besides 1) stop and go traffic on the highway and 2) anytime I'm driving a fast car and want to go as fast as I can.

I bought the r8 with the stronic and don't have an interest in the manual for this car. I have enough to think if keeping it on the road. But, a manual is just such a better experience in almost any situation I'm in. Going to the supermarket Ill take a slow manual car and drive it hard.

I let my 75 year old dad take one of my all wheel drive manual cars on a hunting trip last weekend and he called me with joy in his voice and told me it's the first time he has enjoyed driving in 20 years. It's just more fun to drive manual in most cases.
 

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In Europe we are used to drive manual cars all of our lives so this does not seem somethng special to most of us. I own a 6 speed manual 2000 Audi TT and a 2013 S-tronic V10 Spyder. Both cars are fun to drive. For me the manual mode in the S-tronic acts in the same manner as the manual gearbox in my TT the only difference being the use of paddles or the stick. And when I am lazy or in a traffic jam I am happy with the use of the auto mode of the S-tronic which makes this gearbox the perfect one for me.
 

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All R8s are manual… they just haven’t met TriniTT yet :)

in all seriousness, I would love to have a manual but they are so rare in Singapore - the number I was given was only 4 Gen 1 V8 manuals brought in (I know of 1, and the owner won’t part with it, as hard as I have tried).
 

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2010 V10 Manual For Sale
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To me the manual adds to the experience of driving and allows you to be more connected to the car since you must conciously think about being in the correct gear at the correct moment. You can sense and feel what the car is doing with a hand on the shift lever that an auto just cannot offer. My M3 and Miata shift faster than the R8 but the gated system adds to the whole expereince and sense of driving which is why I bought the R8 and not to attempt to look cool or show off. Never been to a car meet with this in 5 years since we want to enjoy the driving expereince and not show it off.
 

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14 R8 V8
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Buy / drive whatever you like.
Just don't call it "gated" when it's a 3 pedal car.
;)
Yes, I know the shifter is gated, (I've has 2 cars with gated shifters) but have never referred to the car as gated and would not.
Some people do.
 

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To each his own on this - there's no right or wrong answer, just preference at the end of the day.

I enjoy a manual, but in the R8, I chose to order the S-Tronic DCT. It's an amazing gearbox - incredible how fast it shifts. There's no better way to feel like you're in a racecar than to come fast into a corner, hard on the brakes, and fire off 2 or 3 rapid downshifts as you're decelerating... the exhaust barking in rapid-succession, the tach flying up with each one as it rev-matches... it'll make the hair on your neck stand up. The gear change happens before you can lift your finger off the paddle, and the gearbox really squeezes the most out of this engine.

The manual is also very unique in this car giving you a gated experience, click-clack with each shift. Driving one is always going to feel special, and there's enjoyment in mastering the skills necessary to do it well. While the R-Tronic single-clutch automated manual is going to give you perhaps one of the more raw experiences - like most earlier such units, it's going to kick you in the pants on gear changes, and it, too, comes with a set of skills needed to master smooth changes.

What's most important is that you buy what's enjoyable to YOU. There's merit in all of the choices, as they each bring something different to the table.
 

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For clarification, in case anyone looking to buy an R8 reads this thread, an R-Tronic is nothing like a Tiptronic. They are two completely different transmissions.

One is an automated manual transmission and one is an automatic transmission.
 

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S-Tronic is comparable to PDK
R-Tronic is comparable to Tiptronic

if going with flappy paddles, there's zero appeal to an R-Tronic car
The Tiptronic is a full automatic torque-converter transmission - NOTHING like the R-Tronic, which is a MANUAL gearbox that happens to be robotically controlled. You could better compare it to BMW's SMG I or Maserati/Ferrari's Cambio Corsa. The vaunted PDK and Audi's DSG or S-tronic are quite nearly the same electro-mechanically, with model-to model tuning variations...
 

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Agreed, they are not the same.

Driving characteristics...

And BMW's SMG tranny is a great example.
Those reviews are glowing....

Sent from my SM-G991W using Tapatalk
I think most of the complaints about R-Tronic come down to a few things:

1. People expected it to drive like a torque-converter automatic... just press your right foot and go. But, as pointed out, it's a manual gearbox that just happens to have a hydraulically actuated robotic clutch. So, driving it more like a manual (especially as it relates to use of the throttle on gear changes) fixes much of this.

2. People didn't like the slow-driving experience where it felt more clunky. Driving it in manual mode, along with treating it like a manual would fix most of this. But, lastly, there were later TCU tunes that also smoothed things out.
 

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2017 R8 V10+ Tango Red
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204 Posts
After experiencing the dual clutch in my V10+ I wouldn’t be interested in changing it for a manual even if I had the option. Giving up the speed of the transmission, launch control, perfectly rev matched downshifts and accompanying sounds would be too much of a price for a third pedal. The later iterations of the R8 V10 simply became too fast to fully enjoy with a manual transmission.

What I will say is I wish the gear selector lever in the Gen 2 was more ‘stick like’ as it is in the Gen1. The selector is one of very few faults in the Gen 2 interior.
 
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