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Old 06-07-2005, 01:53 PM   #1
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On Getting used to Tiptronic

It's a weird sensation, transitioning (appropriate word here, lol) from a manual to Porsche's Tiptronic. I've driven stick shifts for the past 25 years (VW GTI, Miata, 325i) but went for the Tip since the 2002 I recently found had everything I wanted on it.

My left leg still searches for something to do.

I've found that leaving it in automatic leaves something to be desired. It upshifts too quickly for me. I know it's supposed to learn my driving style and adapt but I think I've got a slow learner.

So I'm leaving the lever over to the left and enjoying the quasi-manual shifting, although - and it's not hesitating - I find myself hitting the paddles a bit early to allow for the shift to the next gear to actually take place. I do like the fact that it'll downshift automatically if I forget to do it.

Question: when I start off in second gear, sometimes it seems like there are two gears in second which shift automatically; the indicator light says I'm in second but it feels like there are two gears in there. Am I nuts?

(BTW, a guy in my office enjoys teasing me about getting a Porsche with an automatic transmission. Can I run him down and get off with "justifiable homicide?")

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Old 06-07-2005, 03:14 PM   #2
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I think you can run him down, and then claim it was a firmware glitch in the Tiptronic computer.
The second gear thing may be the Vario-cam changing mode at about 25-2700 rpm under part-throttle, causing a slight hesitation in the rpm gain.
I never really noticed it until someone on the forum pointed it out. It doesn't seem to happen it any other gear, nor does it happen on manual tranny cars. Apparently this is a known characteristic of the Tipper cars. Several people have contacted dealers about it, and gotten the same answer.
I don't think the Tip really learns much of anything about your driving style. It will respond to throttle position, braking, and the amount of cornering force being experienced, and will select one of the shift maps based on that. If you slow down, it forgets that you like to shift at higher rpm, and goes back to old-lady mode. Let's make that the "least agressive" shift mode.
The Tip in my '99 has 5 shift maps, and the newest '05s have about 250 I understand, but I don't know how many the '02s have. From what I understand, it is VERY difficult, and probably dangerous, to drive hard enough on the street to get the thing to hit the most agressive map.
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Old 06-07-2005, 03:56 PM   #3
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Two issues back, the tech guy in Panorama told us how to "reset" the Tip to the most aggressive mode. Sorry I tossed it out but someone on this board must have that article.

This guy was of the opinion that for most drivers, the Tip can make them a faster driver on the track than if they used the stick.

Hmmmm!
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Old 06-07-2005, 04:03 PM   #4
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I have been driving my first TIP for about two months now. I am a huge manual fan and have to say the Tip is a good compromise. I enjoy the button shigfting and don't find it slow and i also like being able to flip to auto when i am tired or lazy.

The habit i can't break is still having my right hand on the shifter (for no reason), it still feels natural, I wish porsche had stuck a click shifter on the stick too.

At the same time I got the boxster, my wife got a mini auto. It is completly different. The manual shifter is useless and the CVT transmission kinda does it's own thing. I can't figure out the throttle postions to make it up and down shift. Its great for cruising in comfort because the it seems to have unlimited speeds.


I am pleased the the porsche Tip and only miss my manual on those hard launches from the lights!
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Old 06-07-2005, 04:55 PM   #5
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Hey guys--I have an '04 S with tip that I bought new in February '05. I have to admit that I wish I had the manual, but the tip works fine in manual mode. It's worthless in automatic mode, unless your thumbs need a break or something. Have not noticed the second gear issue. One question I have is what happens if you accidentally downshift to 1st when you're on the move? Does the computer prevent you from doing so? Also, I find it difficult to shift from 1st to 2nd in the middle of a turn from a stop, because the shifters go to 6 and 12 o'clock when you turn the wheel.
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Old 06-07-2005, 05:08 PM   #6
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just for the record I want to say that paddle shifters and tip tronics are the work of Satan. They have killed motorsports (and compromise some of your Boxster's performance).
Although sometimes sitting in NYC traffic on the way home I wish I had it.
and I imagine tiptronics help eliminate shuffling the steering wheel.
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Old 06-07-2005, 07:57 PM   #7
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The paddles work fine for Michael Schumaker!

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Old 06-07-2005, 10:05 PM   #8
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not this year.
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:56 PM   #9
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automatic down shift on downhill

I've been using tip for all of 2 weeks now. One thing I noticed was that it doesn't automatically go to the highest gear on the down hill in auto mode. It is the first automatic that I've driven that does that & I thought it was a nice touch. Once my engine is broken in, I'll try to have it remember agressive shifting patterns.
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Old 06-08-2005, 01:34 AM   #10
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New to tip also

Hey guys, i thought i would give my initial impression of the tip. I just bought my boxster last wednesday (99 artic silver). I have been really impressed w/ the tiptronic. It gives me just enough control of rpm range to make me happy. I too have been itching to press clutch and manually shift lever. But honestly after 15yrs of driving i have tired of the manual trans, and can live w/out it. At least for awhile. Theres no doubt if i had been buying boxster as 2nd car i would have gotten the manual. I love the control. I would recomend the tip to anyone in a similar situation to me. But if you want to take full advantage of the power and control of a boxster you may feel a little cheated by the tiptronic. I'm willing to sacrifice the power so for me it worked well. Theres room for both on the road so i look forward to seeing any and all boxsters. I hope everyone can find the happiness in there choice as i have. No regrets here.
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Old 06-08-2005, 05:50 AM   #11
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Talking Tip for ladies ?

I'm allways amused when I see some comments on tiptronic.
In my case it's true that I bought the tip because this was the condition for my lady to drive the Boxter ( and men when she does heads are turning, I can assure you ).

Now, it's true that on the paper the tip is slower than the manual gear, but the numbers are coming from Porsche and I suppose that they have some professionnal pilots in order to make the best time possible.
So, as they are professionnals, they're used to get the upmost of a manual gear, on the other hand with the tip they just smash down the gas pedal and that's it !
Now for us, the "average" drivers ( my case anyway), I'm not convinced that we can get the max of a manual gear ( clutch, change gear, release clutch), on the other hand with the trip, as the professionnal pilots, we just smash down the pedal....

I believe there is a lot of macho attitude in the people saying tip is not for sportsfan...

One thing I really appreciate with the tip is flexibility, my wife is not afraid to start on hill when there is another car 20 cm behind her and I can play with the tip in M or D depending upon my mood; for instance one thing I appreciate more and more is what they call "dynamic deceleration".

Regarding the question about going from 2 to 1: there is absolutely no danger as if the RPMs would be too much the tip will refuse to go from 2 to 1; it's the same for any gear change, the same as when you reach let's say 7.000 RPM in 3 it will go automatically to 4.
Basically you can do nothing wrong with the tip in D or M.
Another advantage in favor of the tip ?
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Old 06-08-2005, 07:20 AM   #12
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the peformance difference isn't due to the driver. There is a slight loss of power in between shifts with a tip.
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Old 06-08-2005, 12:43 PM   #13
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I don't believe there is any way to manually control which shift map is being used, nor is there any way to tell which one of them is being used.
If I remember the Panorama article, it was an interview with a Porsche/US test driver and driving instructor. He explained an undocumented procedure for causing the Tip to skip gears during a downshift sequence. In other words to jump from 5th directly to 3rd, instead of going 5-4-3.
Basically, you jam on the brakes before the corner and SHARPLY jab the accelerator to the floorboard and release. I have tried it, and sure enough, it will jump down to whatever gear is appropriate, as determined by the computer.
Outside of racing or auto-x, I can't think of any really good reason to do this, or to do it enough to get good at it, but it does work.
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Old 06-08-2005, 02:29 PM   #14
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That is the article I was referring to.
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Old 06-08-2005, 07:47 PM   #15
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C'mon, having a manual in a sports car has nothing with being macho. But trying to justify an automatic against a manual is pretty amusing.

First of all, Schumacher's F1 tranny is a manual transmission with hydraulically actuated clutch and shift rods. The Tiptronic has neither of these. The Tip is a torque converter automatic transmission, just like every other automatic transmission. Ferrari, BMW (not Steptronic), Aston Martin and Toyota (MR2... )offer a true sequential manual. The 2 have as much in common as Rosanne Barr and Catherine Zeta. I know you've got cars to sell, Bruce. But please...

Sequential shifters will blip the throttle and do a perfect rev matched downshift. Regular automatics can't. With sequential, you can hold a gear thru the corners (same as a manual). With an automatic, you hope it doesn't upshift on you during a corner (or worse, kick down a gear and upset the car's balance). Sequentials can shift as fast as 50 milliseconds. Regular autos can't.

Sure a novice can be faster with an automatic on a track. But why stop there? Let's program the Navigation to control the steering wheel too. Surely the computer would be able to run a more consistant line and be faster. Take away all the things that make driving fun and what's the point? If you can't work a manual, well...start learning.

Any car that I'd buy for mundane transportation would be an automatic. So I have nothing against autos. But for my fun cars they'll always be manual.

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Last edited by Lux; 06-08-2005 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 06-09-2005, 06:30 AM   #16
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I drive both all the time. I like them both for different reasons.

In my experience, most drivers (men especially) think they are better at manual shifting than they really are. I have guys who come and test drive my Porsches who are HORRIBLE with a stick.

It is those guys who think they are the best drivers around.

It is sad really.

Anyway, it is THOSE guys who really should buy a TIP and forget that they are racers. Man, if you can't work a stick by this time (most of these guys have been driving for many years), it is time to just admit it and get a TIP.


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Old 06-09-2005, 10:37 AM   #17
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I seem to remember this same discussion (auto vs manual) from about a year ago, Lux. In the intervening period I don't think anybody has changed their mind, so what's the point for either side to think the other a bunch of dopes for their opinion?
If you like to shift, shift. If you don't, that's the reason Porsche offers the Tip in the first place.
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Old 06-09-2005, 11:14 AM   #18
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The closest I would come to get in an automatic is the Sequential on a Ferrari.

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Old 06-09-2005, 12:59 PM   #19
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I admit the to me the TIP is a compromise (wife thing again) but I am not unhappy with it and find it has some advantages when i just want to cruise and be lazy.

Again, it is a compromise, but not a bad one at all.
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Old 06-09-2005, 07:13 PM   #20
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Yeah, this discussion comes up every now and again. Same with Base vs S. Aren't we about due for one of those?

Again, I'm not trying to bash automatics. And yes, most people can't drive manuals for ********************. Hell, most people can't drive period!


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