Man Handling Tiptronic for performance - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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Man Handling Tiptronic for performance

I find that the Tiptronic (or whatever it is called by MB) tranny is sometimes a bit sluggish in responding to what I want. I guess that is why I always drove a manual. I don't necessarily want to stomp on the gas to downshift when a quick shift will get me into the rev range that I want. On an incline and rev's in the mid to low 20's, a flick to downshift will get me into a lower gear and accelerate without giving any more gas. I suppose that is the idea.

But every once in a while, I find myself flicking down and hitting a gear way too high because I flicked while giving some gas at the wrong time - not actually knowing what gear the tranny is in or ALREADY going into.

It just isn't the same as a manual. I wish there was an indication of what gear I was REALLY in.

For example, when entering a corner hard, I may want to downshift so that I can accelerate out of it, but sometimes I am already in a lower gear and down shifting will put me in the high end of the rev range. I know.. you can look at the tac and know when this is necessary, but when driving hard into a corner, I can't really look at the rather small guage. On a stick - you "KNOW" from your speed and the current gear where you are and where you want to be. A row of lights (1,2,3,4 etc) for the current gear would probably be enough for me to see how of the corner of my eye while manhandling the car at speed in a corner. This isn't an AMG ith a big tach in the center. Maybe I'll learn to better peak at the tiny tach in the right corner. Thank god I have a nice big clock instead.

I've always driven smaller sports cars like Alpha's etc that don't have monster engines and required thoughtful shifting to handle well so maybe this is just old habits shining through. If I had a supercharged 375HP engine it would pretty much not matter, but whats the fun in that? You can almost about burn rubber in any gear at any speed - LOL..

On the CLK320, I kind of have to manage the gearbox because it doesn't have a monster engine (OK, maybe a bit underpowered). Do other people find that?

So I am wondering how other people handle their Tiptronic tranny? How aggressively do you use it? Does aggressive stirring of the Tiptronic tax the tranny or is it really intended for this kind of use.

How aggressively do people handle their Tiptronic?

(I posted this in the CLK-209 forum as well)

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 09:59 AM
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I am manual fan myself, but in stop & go traffic automatic is hard to beat.
The triptionic in our ML55 has the gear shift indicator below tachometer. It is not showing the actual gear the car is on, but the highest you set to go.
I admit the standard automatic on my E320 gave me some frost on my back, when I changed the line on the freeway in front of the car doing about 20 MPH faster and the transmission took long couple of seconds "to make its mind" and downshift before the car accelerated.
Can't have everything.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Yes the Tiptronic will show the highest you are set to go, but not what you are ACTUALLY in and even then ONLY when you go down from "D"

BTW.. On my CLK320'05 I found that the TipTronic was very responsive to shift commands, but not to load on the throttle unless I stomped on it.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 02:45 PM
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Just for a while dan212 try chilling out. Try the grand tourer style of driving. Take it easy. You've loads of power and one of the finest auto boxes in the world. Ease into the corners, glide round, accelerate out. Cool relaxed, easy effortless performance. It's not a race. Enjoy. The brakes will last longer and the tires and probably you as well.

Tests have shown auto drivers have far less stress and lower heartbeat while driving. Doing big miles every year I suddenly found the grand Tourer style of driving. It really can be as enjoyable as the other push every inch style -after a while. Worth a try. And it suits the car. Mercs are above all else refined long range cruisers. A car to cross a continent in.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 02:45 PM
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Just for a while dan212 try chilling out. Try the grand tourer style of driving. Take it easy. You've loads of power and one of the finest auto boxes in the world. Ease into the corners, glide round, accelerate out. Cool relaxed, easy effortless performance. It's not a race. Enjoy. The brakes will last longer and the tires and probably you as well.

Tests have shown auto drivers have far less stress and lower heartbeat while driving. Doing big miles every year I suddenly found the grand Tourer style of driving. It really can be as enjoyable as the other push every inch style -after a while. Worth a try. And it suits the car. Mercs are above all else refined long range cruisers. A car to cross a continent in.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 03:36 PM
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You might as well get a C230 6-Speed manual. The TipTronic is naturally slower than letting the auto shift itself, especially in a non-AMG vehicle.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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hawk20 & asianml - Of course both of you are right - LOL.. If I wanted to bash the car around, I wound have gotten a porche. I am 53 years old and drive highways differently than country roads thats all. Still, I am an engineer and trying to understand how the Tiptronic is really designed to be used as well as how people use it. It isn't a regular automatic. (In fact, I think Porche introduced the concept originally years ago).

Just leaving it in "D" isn't what it is for. So how do people find best use for it?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 08:31 PM
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My guess is most people stick it in D and leave it. They choose C for leisurely and smooth and S if want more brisk driving. But gearbox is so good at adjusting to your style. If pressing on it adjusts to that.

Others, use it for overtaking. Change down before the gap comes and blast through. I do that a lot. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong butb I think the handbook says if push briefly it changes down 1 gear. If push and hold it chooses gear for optimum performance. Nowadays in UK so much traffic I only use it for overtaking. Just a quick tip to drop a gear and hit the throttle and off we go!

I have always thought the whole purpose of a Merc is to provide effortless, quiet refined, comfortable, safe, quick journey making. And arrive fresh. But most of my life I've done 30 to 40k miles a year so these things are important to me.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by dan212
Just leaving it in "D" isn't what it is for. So how do people find best use for it?
I am leaving it on "D" unless I use it for braking. At freeway speeds it downshift to the 3-rd faster, than standard auto. At least that's what I experienced on those few hundred miles I did so far.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2006, 07:32 PM
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Dan, I'm with you 100%; loving manuals and wondering how to get more from TipTronic. For now, I've given up on my E320 TipTronic, letting the D do what it wants to give me the smoothest ride possible.

But I sometimes drive it just like my other daily driver, a manual. 4-3-2 for engine braking approaching a 90 degree turn, then stay in 2nd with high revs to feel "locked in" during the turn, instead of being pulled outward with low revs in 4th. Stay in 3 or 4 when merging onto a highway because I may need high-rev quick power to manuver. And lock into 1st in a parking deck so it won't shift every 3 seconds.

I haven't used TipTronic for "race" modes just yet. Off the light, I let D effortlessly glide up to 6k rpm and shift, 6k rpm and shift, over and over. And for "battling traffic" (can you tell I'm in NJ), TipTronic is nowhere near as stealthy as a smooth two-gear double-clutch downshift seconds before that "hole" opens up, giving you 2k rpm more power without anyone noticing. If you tip down two gears fast enough, will it shift through both or skip down two? Shifting through both would be a disaster.

Yes, do keep it in D and enjoy the handling and smooth transmission, but don't forget your manual roots!

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