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Tiptronic Tips

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Tiptronic Tips



The 5-Speed Porsche Tiptronic has 2 modes: Drive (auto) and Manual. It is
possible to switch back and forth between these modes, even while driving, by
moving the selector right or left. On the right side of the instrument cluster,
beneath the coolant temperature gauge, is the indicator for the transmission. It
shows which gear you are in, and whether you are in Drive (D) or Manual (M)


In D mode, the transmission behaves like most automatic transmissions,
with a couple of unique features. First of all, when you place the transmission
in Drive, or when you slow to a stop, the Tip will normally start out in 2nd
gear. The advantages of this appear to be smoother acceleration in traffic or
stop & go driving, better gas mileage, and less chance for wheel spin on
slippery surfaces. If you prefer to start out in 1st gear, it is as simple as
pressing the downshift button on the steering wheel to select 1st gear. The gear
indicator will temporarily show you in M mode, until the car shifts on
its own into 2nd, and you will be back in D mode.

Many drivers are initially unaware that you can use the steering wheel switches
to both downshift or upshift at any time while you are in D mode. Anytime
that you use the buttons to shift, the Tip will stay in M mode for about
8 seconds, and then revert to D mode if you don’t do anything else. This
feature is useful if, for example, you want to downshift in advance of a turn,
or in preparation to pass another vehicle.

You can also
downshift by activating the kick-down function with the accelerator pedal as
well. This can be performed by a quick jab of the accelerator pedal (it is not
necessary to mash the pedal to the floor). In this way, you can use the
kick-down to downshift for the same reasons you might otherwise manually

You may note
that the Tiptronic rev-matches on downshifts, which lends to the sporty
character and driving experience.


When you move the gear selector to Manual, you will note that the instrument
panel indicator will also show you are in M mode. If you start the
engine, and then put it into Manual without moving prior, it will go into 1st
gear to start; after that however, like in D mode, it will go into 2nd
gear at a stop, unless you manually downshift into 1st.

M mode also functions differently depending on your PSM setting. If you
leave your PSM active, then under acceleration the M mode will hold in
the selected gear until the redline, but it will upshift automatically at the
redline. If you turn off the PSM, then the car will accelerate all the way to
the rev limiter if you let it. In M mode, the car will still
automatically downshift all the way to 2nd gear if you come to a near or
complete stop (or if the revs would fall below the idle range in higher gears).

A word about
the steering wheel selector buttons: it may appear that there are separate
upshift and downshift buttons on each side, but in reality, it is just a toggle
switch with a ridge in the center. The ergonomics of this design are such that,
you can leave your thumb in one position, e.g. over the + button to
upshift, and still downshift by pressing down on the dividing ridge of the
switch, without moving your thumb or hand position.


The Sport Chrono option on a Cayman affects the Tiptronic function as well. In
D mode, it alters the shift maps so that the car will hold revs higher
before upshifting, and it shortens the actual shift time. It will also downshift
sooner than with the SC off. In M mode, upshift suppression will occur
the same as if you turn off the PSM, so that the engine can be run all the way
to the rev limiter.


The following link is from a Boxster driver with his recommendations for driving
the Tiptronic on the track:

Porsche Tiptronic at Track Days


Cayman S
Tiptronic Info from 2006 Technik Service Manual


This FAQ was
written by


Last Revised: February 16, 2008
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