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      01-13-2010, 11:14 AM   #1
MINI135i
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DCT: Is competitive autocross even viable with this tranny?

I drove a 2009 DCT M3 the other day. I was impressed. Definitely see some track related benefits. However, want to know who has autocrossed with the DCT? What are your impressions?

Thanks.
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      01-13-2010, 11:23 AM   #2
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In theory, I think DCT would give a huge advantage over the 6MT in autox if the DCT functions as intended, but in reality, if there are still issues with downshifting, then no. Being a 6MT owner, I've given up on following the saga of DCT software upgrades, so I don't know if all the bugs have been worked out, but I'm sure DCT owners will chime in here.
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      01-13-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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DCT should be faster than 6mt in autoX since it usually involves as many (if not more) gear changes than on an open track.
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      01-13-2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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I'll be the contrarian here. I don't think it'll make much if any difference. Given the 8K+ redline, you're gonna be in 2nd gear shortly after the start and on the entire course on 99% of the auto-x courses I've seen. In other words, rarely are you going to make more than 1 shift. My Lotus Elise is the same on such courses.

It's the weight that hurts this car in auto-x, and DCT isn't going to help much. A 135 will be much more competitive in auto-x.
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      01-13-2010, 12:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal red View Post
DCT should be faster than 6mt in autoX since it usually involves as many (if not more) gear changes than on an open track.
DCT owner / occassional auto-xer here!

I have ran my car a few times at different auto-x tracks and I think the highest gear I even reached ever was 3rd down a couple straightaways, for the most part I was running around in second and down to first ocassionally when comming out of heavy turns. The car was wound up pretty high (5-8k rpm range) the whole .9 mile lap, but thats where most of the power lies.

I ran in "M" mode with shift setting S5 and both MDM and DSC off and had slightly faste lap times with the MDM mode on. In auto-x you are turning so fast and frequently that using the paddle shifters becomes impossible as they are attached to the steering wheel and rotate aroudn when you turn so I ended up driving it in manual mode with the shift selector mode. I loved it but then again I love the DCT trans. I have ran a few different manual 6 speed cars at the tracks ( audi rs4, WRX STi) and would have to say I like the DCT better. In my run group at my last auto-x practise day I came in 2nd out of the 20 cars in my group. Not bad considering I was running against a few tricked miatas, a lotus exige, F430 (dude couldnt drive for shit), and a couple vettes.

It all comes down to what you are comfortable with or better yet, what you practise to be comfortable with. I am fairly new to Auto-x (3 years) but I can see how practise and knowing your car helps just as in any game.

Hope that helps a bit!

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      01-13-2010, 12:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foosh View Post
I'll be the contrarian here. I don't think it'll make much if any difference. Given the 8K+ redline, you're gonna be in 2nd gear shortly after the start and on the entire course on 99% of the auto-x courses I've seen. In other words, rarely are you going to make more than 1 shift. My Lotus Elise is the same on such courses.

It's the weight that hurts this car in auto-x, and DCT isn't going to help much. A 135 will be much more competitive in auto-x.
I agree, it wont make much difference. Driving ability is more of a factor than your trans. I can definately feel the weight of this car when I throw it around those auto-x hair pins.
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      01-13-2010, 12:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input.

As you can tell I drive the 135i 6MT, but in 2010 they will be releasing the new version of the 135i with a DCT and the N55 engine. Then, the following year, the M version of the 1 series coupled with DCT also.

It got me thinking that if the DCT was up to the task, one could drive the DCT equipped 135i like a go cart or F1 car, one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake the whole course while autocrossing. I left foot brake even with the manual set up in certain scenarios, but the DCT would make it even easier.

Like mentioned most time is spent in 2nd gear, but those big 180 degree turn arounds often call for downshifting into 1st on the fly (brake, clutch in, shift to 1st, heel-toe, release clutch) then craming back into 2nd as you accelerate out of the turn. This is the part where I wonder if DCT can be successful since you could be on the brake, shift, and accelerate more seamlessly? The down shift problem with the DCT might raise it's ugly head in this situation though? Being on the accelerator earlier would be ultimate the goal here. Any specific experiences with this scenario?

Last edited by MINI135i; 01-13-2010 at 01:34 PM..
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      01-13-2010, 03:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOCAL View Post
DCT owner / occassional auto-xer here!

I have ran my car a few times at different auto-x tracks and I think the highest gear I even reached ever was 3rd down a couple straightaways, for the most part I was running around in second and down to first ocassionally when comming out of heavy turns. The car was wound up pretty high (5-8k rpm range) the whole .9 mile lap, but thats where most of the power lies.

I ran in "M" mode with shift setting S5 and both MDM and DSC off and had slightly faste lap times with the MDM mode on. In auto-x you are turning so fast and frequently that using the paddle shifters becomes impossible as they are attached to the steering wheel and rotate aroudn when you turn so I ended up driving it in manual mode with the shift selector mode. I loved it but then again I love the DCT trans. I have ran a few different manual 6 speed cars at the tracks ( audi rs4, WRX STi) and would have to say I like the DCT better. In my run group at my last auto-x practise day I came in 2nd out of the 20 cars in my group. Not bad considering I was running against a few tricked miatas, a lotus exige, F430 (dude couldnt drive for shit), and a couple vettes.

It all comes down to what you are comfortable with or better yet, what you practise to be comfortable with. I am fairly new to Auto-x (3 years) but I can see how practise and knowing your car helps just as in any game.

Hope that helps a bit!

LOL... Not surprised about the Ferrari guys. Still havent come across any good Ferrari drivers.

Overall best drivers are BMW and Porsche.
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