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Old 10-13-2002, 11:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Evanston, Illinois
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but Audi offers Tiptronic, BMW offers Steptronic. Does Mercedes have a version of Tiptronic/Steptronic?

I also understand Audi, in addition to having Tiptronic has a device that operates on two spools and allows the car to drive without shifting? What's that all about? Why would anyone want such a device?

Furthermore, why would anyone buy a big A8L and opt for Tiptronic? In a luxury car it just seems weird.
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Old 10-14-2002, 01:29 AM
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I thought tiptronic is from Porsche, not Audi?
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Old 10-14-2002, 11:20 AM
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porsche originated the tiptronic but it's audi-vw-porsche anyway right? hyundai even has a licensed version of it. the new transmission on audi's are CVT's (for continously variable transmission). it allows you to run in the meatiest part of the powerband in full auto mode. the shift points are really presets on the CVT which has no fixed gears...
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Old 10-14-2002, 12:45 PM
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A CVT is a continuously variable transmission. They operate by having a steel belt (chain in the case of Audi) that travels under VERY high tension between two variable diameter pullies. Starting out, the "input" pully will start out at minimum diameter, and the "output" pulley will be at maximum diameter. As you accelerate, the input pully wil increase it's diameter, while the output side decreases diameter, keeping tension constant on the belt. The result is a gearless power transmission with no "steps" between ratios. With this arrangement, engine RPM can be constant (say 3,000 rpm for acclerating), while the transmission continuously "reratios" itself throughout the acceleration process. The result of this is manual transmission like fuel economy, with automatic convenience, in a package that is a simpler design that either one.

My Saturn VUE has a CVT in it. I wouln't consider a conventional automatic in another new car. I absolutely love it.

Snowmobiles use a mechanically acutated version of a CVT that has no lubrication at all, and a rubber drive belt - which of course must be replaced. Automotive CVT's are actuated with an electronic hydraulic system.
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Old 10-14-2002, 01:02 PM
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How about a manual continuously variable transmission The shifter would be a slider and YOU could have the engine at any speed anytime. For fast launches you would bring the engine to redline and slide the shifter as you accelerate. And down shifting would be a whole new experience
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