[BiturboS4] re: transmissions (mrdezign@netscape.net)

Ian McCloghrie ian at codrus.com
Tue Dec 31 12:00:01 EST 2002

On Dec 31, 2002 "Erik J. Engstrom" wrote:
> You know, that I can believe. I would be CRUSHED if Getrag designed and
> built the gearbox in my car. It churns like butter, the throws are
> incredibly long. Considering I had both a "Getrag-5" and "Getrag-6" in new
> bimmers in the past two years, the entire mechanism feels distinctly
> different. The BMW clutch/gearbox is smooth, clicks and never has any
> delay - very direct and clean. In the S4, toe-heel is impossible without a
> neckbrace and divine intervention.

Heel-toe is made very difficult in the S4 by the drive-by-wire
throttle.  The throttle doesn't respond the same way that it does in a
car with a mechanical linkage, especially when the computer thinks
you're applying both brake and throttle at the same time.

It sounds to me like you're complaining more about the shift LINKAGE
than about the transmission itself.  On a traditional front
engine/rear drive car, the transmission is located such that the
shifter is directly connected to the transmission.  On the S4, the
engine is pushed very far forwards, such that the transmission box
(which includes front and center differentials) can have the two front
driveshafts coming straight out the sides and driving the front
wheels.  This means that there needs to be a linkage mechanism to
translate movement of the shifter to the transmission.

In any event, the S4's shift feel is pretty crummy.  I'd still take it
over a slushbox tiptronic ANY day of the week though.

For transmission shifting feel, there isn't much that beats a Miata.

'01 Nogaro Blue S4
'99 Mazda Miata FM2 Turbo

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