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Thread: The 6-speed S-tronic in the Quattro Model

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    The 6-speed S-tronic in the Quattro Model

    Hi all!

    Im soon getting my A3 Sportback Quattro S-tronic, and I have a question regarding the S-tronic box in it.

    The other A3 models get a 7 speed S-tronic box, while the Quattro gets a 6-speed one. Any one know why that is and what the difference is between them? Would you say its a less capable transmission system that unfortunately was a necessary compromise to make things fit together with the Haldex system, or is a a more capable transmission due to the higher degree of strain the gearbox has to withstand? And ultimately, how will I as a driver notice the difference?

    Thanks all!

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    snakehips's Avatar
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    There's quite a bit of blurb on Audi website and in this forum about dry clutch v wet clutch and torque handling but I am also interested to know if it makes a difference to the actual drivability. Does one less gear really mean 'inferior'?
    A3 SB S-Line TDi 184PS Quattro S-tronic. Shiraz Red, Tech Pack, Comfort Pack, B&O, Sunroof, LED lights, lots of other stuff.

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    The 7 speed is a dry clutch and can't handle much torque. The 6 speed is a multi plate wet clutch (like a motorbike) and can handle a lot of torque (more than the S3 can produce).

    I'd say the 6 speed box is the more advance one. I don't think its anything to do with quattro. Its more to do with output and transverse engines.
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    Interesting. So the absence of that 7th gear isnt something you would really notice? I have to study up on the differences between a dry and wet clutch before comprehending what questions I should be asking, but its a relief to know that Audi didnt just throw an older, less advanced transmission due to engineering challenges with the Haldex module.

  6. #5
    I'm now on my fourth A3 (8P) 2.0TDI and all have had the same 6-speed wet-clutch s-tronic. As far as I'm concerned it is by far the best gearbox I've ever had in a car. It's so smooth whether in automatic or tip-tronic mode. It is also regarded as slightly superior to the 7-speed dry clutch version. Personally I have never driven a 7-speed but my wife, who often drives my A3, had a test drive in a Polo with a 7-speed DSG and did not like it at all. She bought a manual A1 1.6TDI instead.
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    Thanks for the input.

    Probably a very basic question but what's the differenc between automatic and tiptronic mode?

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    AJB
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    Tiptronic is where you're selecting the gear you want yourself, either using the lever or the steering wheel paddles. Automatic is where the gearbox changes on its own based on accelerator pedal and road speed etc.
    Last edited by AJB; 8th November 2013 at 00:11.

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    AJB
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    The 6 speed DSG is older and supports quattro. It's not so much the haldex (which is at the back of the car) as that it supports having a prop shaft output going to the back. It also supports quite high engine torques (enough for most of their diesels). It has wet clutches (ie they run submerged in oil).

    The 7 speed is newer and, as I understand it, the design brief was to make a smaller, lighter, cheaper and more economical version which could be used in lower engine torque applications. It can't cope with the torque of most of the diesels and doesn't support quattro. It's got dry clutches (they don't run in oil). This saves a bit of fuel as you're not churning so much oil, but I get the impression that take off from stationary and changes can be slightly more jerky. I think there's slightly more of a delay pulling away too, maybe because the dry clutches would wear or heat up more if they're allowed to drag at all.

    The 6 speed needs gearbox oil changes every 40000 miles (because the clutches gradually break down the oil and pollute it with clutch particles). The 7 speed doesn't need routine oil changes.

    The 6 speed has been around a lot longer, so they've had time to find and fix some of the problems early units had.

    Overall there are advantages to both, so I wouldn't worry either way!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJB View Post
    The 6 speed DSG is older and supports quattro. It's not so much the haldex (which is at the back of the car) as that it supports having a prop shaft output going to the back. It also supports quite high engine torques (enough for most of their diesels). It has wet clutches (ie they run submerged in oil).

    The 7 speed is newer and, as I understand it, the design brief was to make a smaller, lighter, cheaper and more economical version which could be used in lower engine torque applications. It can't cope with the torque of most of the diesels and doesn't support quattro. It's got dry clutches (they don't run in oil). This saves a bit of fuel as you're not churning so much oil, but I get the impression that take off from stationary and changes can be slightly more jerky. I think there's slightly more of a delay pulling away too, maybe because the dry clutches would wear or heat up more if they're allowed to drag at all.

    The 6 speed needs gearbox oil changes every 40000 miles (because the clutches gradually break down the oil and pollute it with clutch particles). The 7 speed doesn't need routine oil changes.

    The 6 speed has been around a lot longer, so they've had time to find and fix some of the problems early units had.

    Overall there are advantages to both, so I wouldn't worry either way!
    I love these forums - I learn so much. Thanks AJB for the clear and concise explanation!

  11. #10
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    I have the 7-speed DSG and am really pleased with it. I remember back at the start of the year there was a lot of talk about how the 7-speed box / TFSI combos were 'really jerky' based on the comments of a (very) small number of people that had driven them and was a bit worried then. Fortunately, they were talking b*ll*cks - it is really smooth and has been complimented as such by a number of people. If you hop in to any new car, it does take a while to really 'get in tune' with how best to drive it for comfort / performance, or maybe Audi have tuned the characteristics in the software since then, who knows.

    Zygote - I don't think you would miss 7th gear if you've never had it in the first place. In Efficiency mode the car will often be in 7th gear at about 37mph (!) so presume it gets up there as soon as possible for reasons of economy.

    Cheers

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    snakehips's Avatar
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    Would the 6-speed actually be the same unit that I have in my MkV DSG Golf GTi? That unit is brilliant.
    A3 SB S-Line TDi 184PS Quattro S-tronic. Shiraz Red, Tech Pack, Comfort Pack, B&O, Sunroof, LED lights, lots of other stuff.

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    AJB
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakehips View Post
    Would the 6-speed actually be the same unit that I have in my MkV DSG Golf GTi? That unit is brilliant.
    Yes, I believe it's the same unit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snakehips View Post
    Would the 6-speed actually be the same unit that I have in my MkV DSG Golf GTi? That unit is brilliant.
    That's good. I obviously test drove my car but it was hard to recognise if it was the same box because it was mated to such a different engine.
    A3 SB S-Line TDi 184PS Quattro S-tronic. Shiraz Red, Tech Pack, Comfort Pack, B&O, Sunroof, LED lights, lots of other stuff.

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    Anybody intent on remapping their pride and joy to the nth degree would be well advised to start with a 6 speed wet s-tronic.
    A3 2.0TDI Sportback S Line 184 Quattro S-Tronic, Mar. 2014 Glacier white. Electric seats, sunroof, se suspension, heated folding mirrors, Reversing camera, Nappa leather, TPMS, Hold assist, Xenon plus adaptive lights with variable active range control, lane assist, Interior light pack, Technology pack, Comfort pack with ACC, park assist & parking system plus

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    how much torque can the 6 speed support ?

    I see 480 nm remaps on the net, can the 6speed DSG really take it ?
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    my A6 3.0tdi is a 7 speed but might be a different version

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    AJB
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenny_boon View Post
    my A6 3.0tdi is a 7 speed but might be a different version
    Yes, the longitudinal engined Audis (A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q5 - don't know about Q7) use a different 7 speed wet clutch gearbox in most of their quattro versions. This gearbox has 2 oil circuits so it's wet clutch but, unlike the 6 speed, the clutches and the gears don't share oil. It can cope with lots of torque. But for really, really high torque (the bi-turbo diesel A6 I think) beyond the limits of that 7 speed they use a conventional torque converter auto instead of a dual-clutch.

    For completeness there is also yet another 7 speed DSG/S-tronic used in very high torque transverse engine installs like the RS3. I don't know much about that one's internals, but I'd assume it's wet clutch.

    But the vast majority of transverse installs will be either the 7 speed dry clutch or the 6 speed wet clutch I talked about in my earlier post. The 7 speed is used for FWD with torque upto 250Nm. The 6 speed used for quattro and/or torque over 250Nm.

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    The TT-RS S-tronic uses an updated version of the 7 speed DSG gearbox in it which can handle a lot of torque. I had expected the S3 to get this gearbox but Audi have chose to pass it up and go with the older 6 speed for some reason, maybe cost...
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    My Q3 177BHP TDI quattro had a 7 speed DSG gearbox, i think the torque on this engine is very similar to that of the S3. Is this gearbox different as well?
    S3 Sportback Solid Red, S-Tronic, Techno, Comfort, Privacy, Interior Lights, Alcantara/Leather, Advanced Key, Aluminium Roof Rails.

 

 

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