AO Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: London, England
Re: sportronic vs. manual
The Tiptronic & Steptronic are based on an automatic boxes, so closer to the Alfa Q-System, nothing like Selespeed.
Selespeed type systems can take a while to get used to, especially if you go to them thinking they are like a normal automatic.
Clarkson's rant started with the Aston Vanquish, in which he tried to perform a 3-point turn (actually a lot more that 3!) in a very small space. The Vanquish has a 1st gear that will take you to 60mph, the owner's manual even has a statement telling you to expect the smell of burning clutch while manoeuvring!! In comparison, the Selespeed has a very low 1st gear to ease the load on the clutch and make manoeuvring easier.
I tried a Lexus IS300 once which has an auto with an up/down override and buttons on the wheel too, it was truly terrible in manual mode... request an up-change while accelerating and nothing happened at all...!
The BMW SMG systems are based on manual boxes and operate in the same was as the Selespeed.
The DSG (VW/Audi/Bugatti), also manual based, but obviously very different. Not a new idea though, Porsche used it on the 956 & 962 LeMans cars back in the 80's and Audi used in on some Sport Quattro rally cars too.
Audi TT 3.2v6 DSG
xAlfa 156 Selespeed sp3 + Brembo conversion
Fiat Cinquecento 899cc
Last edited by David C; 25-05-07 at 20:01.