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W212 E63, Dark Ash, Distronic plus
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone explain the difference between the Manual
shift and the "optimal" gear selection.

Tapping to the left shlould result in a "manual style"
downshift (presumably by one gear).
Tap-and-hold to the left for one second, should result in the "optimal" gear being selected presumably
"optimal" for the throttle position). The implication
being that tapping to the left will not result in the
"optimal" gear but rather just one gear down
regardless of throttle position.

In fact, what really happens is that both tapping and tapping-and-holding results in the same result:
7Gtronic dowshifting to a gear dependent on throttle position (presuamably "optimal")

So again, WHAT IS the diffenrence?


Your text here
 

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2005 CLK 500
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8 Posts
Difference is tapping to downshift is just that, one gear at a time. Holding to the left will get you the best gear for passing and such. It may downshift only one gear or it could do two or three. Like you said it is dependant on speed, throttle position etc.
Hope that helps.
 

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W212 E63, Dark Ash, Distronic plus
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Optimal" vs. "manual style" gear selection

OK, thanks. So why don't you try this tomorrow:
At 60 mph you should be in 7th gear (~1750 rpm), then
stomp on the gas (half way down) and tap the gearshift
to the left.
See if it will downshift by just one gear or 3 to 4.....
I would sure welcome your impressions..
PS you'll know you are starting this experiment in 7th
gear by tapping without stepping on the gas...it will
go to 6th only...
 

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2005 RENNtech SL600
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195 Posts
RE: Optimal" vs. "manual style" gear selection

I either don't understand your question or your doing something wrong. Did you say to go 60mph or so in 7th gear and then stomp on the gas and then shift? In that order? If so, then this is where you are going wrong. You must shift and hold first, let the car select the optimal gear and then, and only then, do you stomp on the gas. If you stomp on the gas first then the car will automatically find the "kick" down, or optimal gear and your manual shifting will be ignored since the car is already in an acceptable gear range. The car may however allow just one down shift under these conditions if your "gas stomping" wasn't sustained long enough to achieve the maximum optimal range. So go try this a few times, I'm sure you'll enjoy it much more than the frustation your experiencing now. I would guess that you have never owned a manual transmission before since any one who has would know that you don't stomp on the gas first and shift second. You must shift, then stomp. Good luck!!
 

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61 Posts
it just goes to show how few sl owners here use the manual shifting. just a few replies to this post.

btw, when driving a real manual you stomp on the gas and then lift off when changing into gear, and then back on the gas after.
 

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W212 E63, Dark Ash, Distronic plus
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
RE: Optimal" vs. "manual style" gear selection

mark11 - 4/18/2005 10:59 AM
You must shift and hold first, let the car select the optimal gear and then, and only then, do you stomp on the gas.
/QUOTE]

Thanks for your suggestion. I am a seasoned manual driver, with some track experience. Agree that in a real manual one selects the gear first, then applies power> In an automatic MB, in city driving, the most common reason for shifting is an absence of throttle response. This in fact is where it becomes most annoying for me: Step on the power: get no response (fast enough that is), then tap the shifter: get "overdownshift", overrev., (6000 rpm) just in the middle of an intersection.
In my 2003 SL (also R230) tapping to the left (after the legendary crappy MB throttle response), produced a nice one gear downshift which I could better by tapping again if I so desired. Not so with the new concept, now in every MB car exept with the 5.5 Liter AMG engines.

Since there is no fix for this, and I like the car otherwise and dont want to sell it, I'll have to learn
to live with it...and your suggestion will help...Thanks
 

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W212 E63, Dark Ash, Distronic plus
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks HFC,
I have a poll going on how many SL drivers shift, on
this and the other forum.
It seems that of those who respond...most shift
sometimes....
 

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2005 RENNtech SL600
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195 Posts
RE: Optimal" vs. "manual style" gear selection

Again, I'm not sure I understand you but I'll attempt to respond to your post anyway. I do in fact use the manual stick quite often. I also have the formula one shifters on the wheel and also, since I have the RENNtech upgrades, have the "full" manual mode as well. I guess you could say, I am quite experienced at the various shifting options available and how each one works. I use all of them at various times throughout my travels depending on the moment. For instatnce, if I am blowing the doors off some Corvette or Viper or something like that, I use the formula one shifters in full manual so that I have both hands on the wheel at all times but have total control over the shifting process. If I'm just looking for a quick zip to pass somebody, I'll simply shift-hold-accelerate, in that order but very quickly. It takes a little practice to master the timing so that the shift and hold appears to happen at the same time as the acceleration, but once you do master this, it is impressive. You will chuckle with satisfaction the first time you do it correctly because you'll just blast into a higher speed like someone just added a nitrous boost. But it takes practice so don't give up, get into it and your car will be that much more enjoyable to you. As for the rest of you who barely use the manual mode...your missing out on some real driving fun! Good luck!
 

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SLK55 AMG
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152 Posts
I couldn't live without the manual shift but I guess by the sound of it I use it differently. When driving along country roads or where I know I want to make a quick pass. I am ready for it and tap left through the gears without holding it as it changes really fast anyway. Then just floor it, it will hold the revs and just auto cahnge when it red lines.
The best is country roads. I have a 10 minute BLAST on the way home and only get to 5th gear twice. I know the corners, the best is a hairpin and the only one when I tap down to 1st then come out onto a straight. Boy the slight slide sideways on full throttle is just a thrill every time. 4,000 RPM is the sweet spot and manual mode lets you hold at ANY revs til the Red Line. the 1st Auto I have ever known this on.
I really think its the best of both worlds.
 
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