S TRONIC SECRETS
More on the R8's new DSG and why even Audi insiders reckoned the old robo-manual R tronic was a weak spot
The new box is described as a 'three-shaft layout'. The two clutches are positioned one behind the other and serve two independent sub-transmissions with gears shifted directly as the clutches open and close.
This layout means that you can 'overleap' the intervening gears and go direct from, say, seventh to second without having to shift in sequence.
The numerical advantages are plain to see elsewhere on the spec sheet, too. With seventh effectively an overdrive gear, there are gains in both economy and emissions: according to Audi, the S tronic is 21g/km cleaner, 1.3mpg more efficient, 0.3 seconds faster from 0-100km/h and £2,410 cheaper as an option - £2,900 versus £5,310 - when compared to the R tronic it replaces. In an arena governed by increasingly diminishing returns, those figures aren't to be sniffed at.
So from a performance perspective, it is the model to go for. It will also be the one to go for from a residuals point of view. Audi predicts that 75 per cent of R8 customers globally will go S tronic with the revised range. Interestingly, in the UK, a market traditionally associated with a strong demand for manuals, that figure is expected to be 82 per cent. A marked change to the existing split: a quick scan on Autotrader reveals 93 manual cars for sale and 53 R tronics ... a ratio broadly repeated in the PistonHeads classifieds.
For some people a double-clutch transmission will never replace the pleasure of pushing pedals and pulling levers as an integral part of the physical process of driving. For those that demand a two-pedal set up, it's good to know that the choice doesn't have to mean a compromise.