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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok its getting closer to my build date and im gonna have to make the big decision....manual or r-tronic!

ive spoken to many people about this and have noticed a trend; it seems that people who drove the r-tronic in germany when audi first unveiled the car have negative opinions of it, while people who have driven production versions seem to love it.

my theory is that audi has tweaked the r-tronic since its initial reception was somewhat poor and that production vehicles have this improved system.

confirm? deny? am i just imagining this trend?

any insight would be greatly appreciated...this is the last decision i have to make and its the toughest! thanks!
 

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I imagine people who've never driven a sequential manual to any great degree will not like it too much if they've not got time to get used to it - it took me a good few weeks before I started to like bmw's smg and now I wouldn't want a car without a sequential manual box.
 

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I drove both the R-tronic and the manual for a full day in Vegas last September. The manual was alot more fun than the R-tronic. The manual is quite easier to drive than the manual on my 911 4S Cab.

The R-tronic just felt like I was going for a "ride" rather than feeling like I was "driving" the car. I also didn't love the paddle shifters. Just my opinion..... I get my manual R8 the end of December.
 

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The R-tronic just felt like I was going for a "ride" rather than feeling like I was "driving" the car.
I've never really understood that, but I guess it depends where and how you drive. For me, the lack of control over the clutch is offset by the added control of having both hands on the wheel at all times which is a real bonus on roads as twisty as we have here in wales. I also find that I change gear more often than I would with a traditional manual which means I'm always in the exact gear I want to be in.

At least we have a choice though - theres no right or wrong as long as we're happy with our choices.
 

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There is no right and wrong - they are both great options. If you are used to sequential paddle shifters the audi is the best semi-auto I have driven and that includes all the Maserati Ferrari AMartin and Porsche Tip. If you prefer manual this is a lovely gearbox. My advice would be to get your dealer to loan you a R Tronic for a few hours rather than a quick hour and get used to it and see what you think. At the end of the day its personal and you dont buy it someone else's recommendation. Its a great choice to have to make though!!:) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks guys...i already drove the manual and it was nice and slick. as far as getting the dealer to let me drive an r-tronic around...its a nice thought if there were any to drive! i dunno about you guys but im in canada and R8's are rare...dealers only have sold-to-order cars that come in, get buffed, and fly out the door to happy customers.

basically my feeling was this; ive been driving manuals for a decade. i live in the city. im getting tired of the shifting and always said my next ride would have the paddles/auto if possible.

then i heard all the bad stuff about rtronic and got a bit scared of the gearbox.

i drove the manual and while i loved it i feel that the click-clack might get a bit old (this will be my everyday car), and i also noticed that the engine winds down very quickly so that if you dont engage the gear fast you essentially lurch forward as the engine must catch up with the gear. basically it doesnt make for relaxing drive...i felt like i had to be constantly 'on top of' the shift, slotting it into gear rapidly before the engine winded down. a ton of fun, yes, but for an everyday vehicle might not be the best setup...
 

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I have the R-Tronic and like it, my only complaint is the sluggish shift 1st to 2nd - although I wonder whether I am really revving the engine enough?

My thoughts are: pay no attention to comments to people who have only tried R-Tronic or indeed any sequential manual once (sorry) - it takes at least a week to become comfortable as it is a different paradigm. You must also understand that it is NOT an auto box, you still have to change the gears as you would in a manual, the only exception is that the computer will auto-downshift which means you are always in the correct gear coming out of a corner. I like this feature as I am not the greatest at changing gear. Personally I like the shift lever rather than the paddles, mainly because the paddles turn with the wheel and I prefer the Ferrari/Maserati/Lamborghini fixed paddles. Changing with the stick lever feels very like a manual as long as you remember to push in the correct direction.

Try and get your dealer to lend you a car for a few days, it really is the best way to decide. R-Tronic is streets ahead of previous generation sequential manual gearboxes - it is that good.

Also ignore journalists as they have a very inflated opinion of their own driving skills and are too lazy or short of time to give sequential manual gearboxes a decent trial.
 

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I know what you mean about remembering which direction to push the shift lever with the R-Tronic. Intuitively, as in the SMG or any semi-auto racing gearbox in open-wheeled racers, you pull down for upshifts since this is the natural quicker action, and push up for downshifts.
For reasons that I can' figure out, this action is reversed in the R8. I can understand if this was a family car and the manufacturer designed it like this to help new semi-auto gearbox users: "Pushing up means upshift...etc". But given Audi's racing heritage and this being and R8, it makes no sense. Anyone?

Also, has anyone heard anything further about the future of the DSG double-clutch gearbox in the R8. Last I heard Audi was concerned it wouldn't be up to the higher torque and hp. The DSG is such neat technology that it needs to be in the R8, would certainly eliminate any shift lags.
 

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my decision was simple, my wife can't drive manual. R-tronics it is for me or no R8! So, which one will you take?
 

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I have had my R-Tronic for 2 weeks.
Very similar comments to rmclachan in regards to a lag between first and second gears when in automatic (putting it in Sport mode while still being automatic improves it a bit)...
Besides that, it is great...i have found my self shifting manually quite a bit, but it is certainly nice to be able to put it into Auto when in traffic or when i make a phone call.

Rmclachan also hit the nail on the head in regards to the paddles...i dont use them nearly as much as the shift lever for the very same reason (when turning the wheel, paddles seem awkward since they move with the steering wheel)

Bottom Line: i think R-Tronic is the best of both worlds. If i was only going to be driving it for joy rides on the weekends, i would consider the manual seriously, but still not sure where i would end up. since it sounds like u will be in traffic/commuting with it, R-Tronic is the way to go imho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well im still on the fence...im definitely leaning towards r-tronic though...im gonna see if my dealership will let me drive an r-tronic as ive heard they have a few at company HQ which isnt so far from me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
the more i hear from people whove had r-tronics delivered the more im leaning towards it...supposed to be a fabulous system once you get a feel for it...
 

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if it is anything like the smg system I had on the M3 u will love it, it makes even the worst of drivers look like a pro and the sounds it made on down shifts while rev maching is fenominal :D, I remember whenever I was out in the M3 it felt like I was in an arcade game I never wanted to get out of the car.......I wish my R8 gives me the same feeling......man april seems soooo far away :p
 

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after another week into my R-Tronic R8, i find myself using two different modes:

1) Automatic with SPORT ON
2) Manual using the shift lever

I continue to not be too fond of the lags between gears which are quite apparent in Automatic when SPORT is turned OFF. Not sure if the gaps are any different when in SPORT, but in any event the gaps are less apparent (could be simply because the engine revs higher before shifting and hence less gear changes).

I am not sure if you can have SPORT be the default setting (it seems like i need to manually turn it on each time I start the vehicle). Will go RTFM tonight...
 
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