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gear select

Tiptronic Gearbox vs. Automatic Transmissions

Your vehicle’s gearbox is what allows your car to move at various speeds. It works by sending power from a bridge between the engine and the drive wheels. The majority of vehicles are built with a manual gearbox so you have to change up and down the gears yourself depending on the speed you’re going. However, automatic gearboxes change gears with the movement of the vehicle, leaving the driver to focus on accelerating and braking.

Automatic transmissions have come along way since they were invented in 1921 and there are now a few variations of this type of gearbox, including the Tiptronic gearbox.

What is a Tiptronic Gearbox?

A Tiptronic gearbox is an automatic transmission that 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. It gives drivers the option to choose whether they want to drive automatic, or manually and is the first automatic transmission to offer this choice.

Developed by Porsche, the name ‘Tiptronic’ has been trademarked and was first used on the 1990 Porsche 911. However, since this, the manual shifting automatic transmission is now licensed for use by many other brands such as Audi, Lamborghini and Land Rover.

Is Tiptronic better than Auto?

The benefit of having a Tiptronic transmission system is that being able to switch to manual mode gives 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.

Many people also love the authentic feel that the Tiptronic transmission offers. The paddles being located behind the steering wheel it is a similar layout to many sports cars. Although the first system was originally produced by Porsche, later systems have adopted similar technology.

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 can point you in the right direction.