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Obviously there has been a lot of talk about the "notchiness" of the S5 manual gearbox, and the difficulty of going from 1st to 2nd smoothly. Like most everyone, I had issues with the jerkiness compared to my previous manual (Mazda3) but started to get the hang of it after a few days. Still, it definitely tended to be jumpy in the lower gears, which I attributed to sitting on a powerful V8 with lots of torque. I would often apologize to my passengers for occasionally lurching them forward while changing gears.

So tonight I'm driving up from Northern VA to Baltimore (50 miles maybe?) and just passed 400 miles total as I got into the city. Suddenly, the gearbox feels very different. It's no longer jerky and going from 1->2->3 is practically smooth as ice. I started off from a complete stop a dozen times and the jerkiness I had experienced was seemingly completely gone.

So I gotta ask everyone else who has gone through the break-in: have you noticed the same thing? Is this why everyone stops complaining after a while about the gearbox?

Or am I just crazy and imagining it? I can't imagine my technique changed at all to cause the car to smooth out so much. I'll do some more city driving tomorrow to confirm I haven't lost my marbles :)
 

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It does smooth out, which is normal during break-in. But you need to factor in that you also get used to driving the car and its gearbox.

You will also notice soon that do to the repeated heating/cooling of the engine and it s lubricant, that the car will also be stiffer early in the morning when cold for the first 5-10 miles, and when warm, the gearbox also feels smoother. This is very common with both high quality oils and with larger engines..... ( same on a 911 or a Ferrari with manual gearboxes).
 

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I've been studying this whole topic, as I don't notice any real 'notchiness'. SO I have tried driving differently to see why others complain of these things... I have discovered the following:

1 > 2 and 2 > 3 get 'notchy' that is, difficult to engage, requiring some force if the change is done too slowly. If the engine speed drops off too much, I think the synchromesh struggles to match the speed of th 'box to the engine quickly... this will be worse when cold.

When you 'TRY' to drive smoothly you tend to use lower revs and do the changes more slowly and this is when the 'box feels notchy and the changes less smooth... If you are 'enjoying yourself' ;) running the revs up higher and changing more quickly there's no problem.

I suggest therefore that you try the following when trying to impress your mum... run the revs up just a little higher (2-2.5k) and continue with swift movement of the 'stick' through the gates, no lingering in neutral.... although if Mum's in the car I take off in second and only use 2,4 and 6!

Without being patronising, I DO think it's a practice thing. I put a lightened flywheel in my old A6 and it came to life, but I had difficulty changing smoothly at first. The S5 feels similar and so it's a natural way for me to drive now. I'd much rather have this than a heavy old engine and gearbox with no 'life' and dull pick-up... which incidentally is where the S5 is absolutely AWSOME.. that pick-up. :D
 

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Having the same problem...I think it's me. I let my friend drive my S5(he has an acura TL) and he had no problem shifting smoothly right off. I was amazed. I'm coming out of a 2000 Passat V6(manual). I have about 600 miles on the odometer, now. Gives me more reason to be in my S5 to practice for that smooth shifting...:D
 

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...After further testing I discovered that when trying to drive slowly and smoothly (I mean mother-in law in the passenger seat slow ;) ) there's a tendancy to lift right off the throttle between changes and hence the engine speed drops right off and the 'box notchiness problem arrives. If you run the revs up a little bit by slow and careful throttle application in 1st, then this allows you to 'back off' the throttle instead of 'lift off' if you follow my meaning and the change to second is smooth... same with 2 > 3.

In summary... Don't short-shift too much and keep the revs up a little... A walk in the park! :)

I know there will be people reading this who think 'Why should I have to change my driving style?'

...Well, when you are lucky enough to own an S5, with a state-of-the-art light-weight revvy and responsive normally aspirated V8, then you also get the knock on effects... Of course, you could opt for a slower less responsive non-revvy diesel engine (by comparison) and then smooth driving at low speeds is easier to master, but something is missing... :D
 

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After having had a total of 4 days in the car and 500 miles i've noticed the the manual has smoothed out.

As for changing gears, its down to practice, I don't have any problems shifting smoothly now - well most of the time anyway.
 

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I am still going to have to wait a couple of months before I get to really fully try out the G-box. The feeling I got from driving the demos was that if was pretty smooth maybe needing a bit shorter travel and more side stiffness.

Can any of you tell me how it fairs during heel toe downshifts? And how about doublecluched downshifts? Did not get the opportunity try that in the demo.
 

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After having had a total of 4 days in the car and 500 miles i've noticed the the manual has smoothed out.

As for changing gears, its down to practice, I don't have any problems shifting smoothly now - well most of the time anyway.
Thank goodness, I was starting to worry I was the only one with an S5 that changes gear smoothly!:)

I was starting to feel like I was patronising people by saying it's down to technique.:eek:
 

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You're being totally patronising Ian and I thoroughly represent your remarks....;)

Must say though, after about 1200 miles, the 'box is definitely slicker and changes consequently smoother.

However, that's never been my real issue - pulling away through the gears smoothly is an art that I (yes, even I Ian!) mastered after a couple of days. My beef was and remains with the erratic throttle behaviour witnessed in stop-start traffic. Revs supplied don't seem to match throttle input and surge then drop, confounding clutch action and making progress in traffic quite stressful (and pretty noisy as the revs rise and fall - 'Hey, look at me! I've got a new S5 V8 and listen to that engine!..). God knows what it will be like with the new exhaust....!
 

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You're being totally patronising Ian and I thoroughly represent your remarks....;)

Must say though, after about 1200 miles, the 'box is definitely slicker and changes consequently smoother.

However, that's never been my real issue - pulling away through the gears smoothly is an art that I (yes, even I Ian!) mastered after a couple of days. My beef was and remains with the erratic throttle behaviour witnessed in stop-start traffic. Revs supplied don't seem to match throttle input and surge then drop, confounding clutch action and making progress in traffic quite stressful (and pretty noisy as the revs rise and fall - 'Hey, look at me! I've got a new S5 V8 and listen to that engine!..). God knows what it will be like with the new exhaust....!
:D
I agree - it does seem you need to run the revs quite high in order to be in that zone where the throttle response is predicatble and can be balanced with the clutch without the engine suddenly bogging. It's not something I noticed at first because of the light-weight flywheel in my old car meant I had to do the same thing... but in my experimenting I had found what you describe whilst trying to keep the revs low and it was tricky getting it right and smooth. I actually found it easier to pull away gently with no throttle! I agree the noise of the Engine does turn heads...

...but sod it! you do have a V8 and you do want everyone else around you to appreciate it!:D

As for our new exhausts... you will sound like a right boy-racer! ;)
 

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first gear

If you need it, be gentle; say goodbye as soon as possible, maybe linger in second, and listen to third all the way to 85.
 

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If you need it, be gentle; say goodbye as soon as possible, maybe linger in second, and listen to third all the way to 85.
its really funny you mention riding 3rd gear to 85. on my first test drive that was the thing that struck me the most. the salesperson in the car with me had to alert me that i was cruising merrily past 80mph. when i realized it was still in 3rd gear i got giddy because the power delivery was so smooth, and effortless that i hadnt noticed it one bit. that was the first thing i told my buddies about the car.

can't wait to get my s5 in 3 weeks!
 

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Smoothing out

I got in my S5 last night in a public garage after I had left it there for four days...don't ask, it wasn't supposed to happen, but it did. So, it was 15 degrees in New York last night, and the temps had dropped nearly forty degrees during the day. The car was a little sluggish but it warmed up quickly, and I found, even after driving a rental SUV in Florida for four days, that the shift mechanism was quite easy, and I wasn't throwing my passenger around. It's been getting easier the longer I drive it (now 1400 miles), and I suspect that part of it is the gearbox but most of it is just me getting used to it.

Also, for anyone who wants to get a dose of the exhaust sound, I had to put the rear seats down to fit the luggage in the back (two golf travel bags and two suitcases). You definitely get more of the sound in the passenger compartment that way:)
 

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I got in my S5 last night in a public garage after I had left it there for four days...don't ask, it wasn't supposed to happen, but it did. So, it was 15 degrees in New York last night, and the temps had dropped nearly forty degrees during the day. The car was a little sluggish but it warmed up quickly, and I found, even after driving a rental SUV in Florida for four days, that the shift mechanism was quite easy, and I wasn't throwing my passenger around. It's been getting easier the longer I drive it (now 1400 miles), and I suspect that part of it is the gearbox but most of it is just me getting used to it.

Also, for anyone who wants to get a dose of the exhaust sound, I had to put the rear seats down to fit the luggage in the back (two golf travel bags and two suitcases). You definitely get more of the sound in the passenger compartment that way:)
I know what you mean. I had to put mine down to load some knocked down boxes. There is a lot more sound that way.
 

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You're being totally patronising Ian and I thoroughly represent your remarks....;)

Must say though, after about 1200 miles, the 'box is definitely slicker and changes consequently smoother.

However, that's never been my real issue - pulling away through the gears smoothly is an art that I (yes, even I Ian!) mastered after a couple of days. My beef was and remains with the erratic throttle behaviour witnessed in stop-start traffic. Revs supplied don't seem to match throttle input and surge then drop, confounding clutch action and making progress in traffic quite stressful (and pretty noisy as the revs rise and fall - 'Hey, look at me! I've got a new S5 V8 and listen to that engine!..). God knows what it will be like with the new exhaust....!
I thought with the stall protection driving in stop start traffic would be easier, no need to use the gas until the car is in gear. Just let out the clutch, and the system will apply the gas. Isn't this how the system works? (I am probably just naive since i don't get my S5 for 2 weeks)
 
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