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Tiptronic Gearbox vs. Automatic Transmissions

While manual gearboxes still dominate vehicle sales in the UK, automatic transmissions are regarded as the future of the automotive industry. In fact, since 2007 the UK has seen a 70% increase in automatic sales and a steady decline in manual gearboxes popularity. As the name suggests, the main difference lies in whether or not you prefer to manually change gears depending on the speed you want to achieve or focus on accelerating and braking while the vehicle does the job itself.

But what if you don’t want to give one up for the other? What if you could have a manumatic gearbox? We are happy to let you know that you can. Automatic transmissions have come a long way since they were first introduced in 1921 and there are now a few variations, including the Tiptronic gearbox which is considered to be manumatic.

What is a Tiptronic Gearbox?

You may be wondering how this sort of automatic transmission works, well, it allows you to override the automated system and use paddles that are located behind the steering wheel to manually change gears, without the use of a clutch pedal. This way it gives drivers the option to choose whether they want to drive automatic, or manually.

This is the first automatic transmission to offer this enticing choice and it was developed by Porsche and was first used on the 1990 Porsche 911. The name ‘Tiptronic’ was trademarked by Porshe, however, the manual shifting automatic transmission has since been licensed for use by many other brands such as Audi, Lamborghini and Land Rover.

automatic transmissions

Is Tiptronic better than Auto?

The benefit of having a Tiptronic transmission system is being able to switch to manual mode, giving you more control when needed. For example, when needing to go up or down a steep hill, you can manually change gear to allow for a smoother, safer drive.

Most drivers also report loving the authentic feel that the Tiptronic transmission offers. The paddles being located behind the steering wheel gives it a similar layout to many sports cars.

When driving in manual, the Tiptronic system can turn itself back on if drivers fail to use manual shifting for a certain amount of time. Once this happens the Tiptronic software will begin automatically controlling the gears once again. The driver must then manually turn on the manual shifting if they wish to switch back to this mode.

So, which type of transmission should you choose? This all depends on your budget, the make and model of car, and the type of performance that you are looking for.


As auto transmissions experts, The Mechanical Workshop team has a passion for automatic gearboxes so, if you need us to point you in the most suitable direction for you don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0116 2863896. We stock a wide range of reconditioned gearboxes from a range of leading manufacturers at very competitive prices.