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Drive Modes, what do they do REALLY...?

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by manmoth, May 21, 2013.

  1. manmoth
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    manmoth Member

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    I couldn't find a thread dedicated to the Drive modes so figured it was time to start one,

    I want to understand exactly how they differ, specifically in an S-Tronic? It wasn't until today that I discovered the Efficiency mode did something clever when I take my foot of the accelerator, it drops it into neutral. makes me wonder what else I haven't realised.
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  2. cbope
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    cbope Member

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    Interesting, and good question. Is it documented in the manual? I'm still waiting for my English manual to be delivered.
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  3. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    Auto - seems to be the default setting. Medium weight steering and throttle response feels average
    Dynamic - Heavier steering, throttle response changes to all or nothing ;)
    Economic - Medium weight steering, throttle response dissapears. Seems to actually achieve worse MPG than the Auto mode (as it makes you want to drive it harder).
    Individual - you can set the steering and throttle response in the MMI.

    Mine stays in Auto for 90% of the time, but just occasionally I crank the B&O up, hit Dynamic and enjoy myself :)

    This is for manual cars, I can't comment on Auto / DSG as i've not tried it.
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  4. cbope
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    cbope Member

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    I have an S-tronic, and I believe in dynamic it selects sport mode rather than normal drive mode. In sport mode the shifts are much quicker both up and down, and shift points occur at a much higher rpm.

    I'll check this tomorrow on the way to work.
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  5. viperfire
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    viperfire Member

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    It's not called economic it's called Efficiency mate :)

    I drive around in efficiency most of the time. Plenty of throttle response still and i'm conscious of saving fuel.

    Dynamic is fun but drops your average journey mpg when you're in it. Saw a 13 reg black edition a1 today at the lights and pulled next to him, switched to dynamic and beat him off the lights. Diesels just don't hit off that quick do though even though it has more horsepower overall.
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  6. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    I am still blown away by how quick the 1.4 feels in Dynamic mode, only downside is it kills fuel consumption :racer:

    Alright Mr SmartyPants :beee:
    #6
  7. cbope
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    cbope Member

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    It's not bad at all in dynamic mode, but it will be better once I get a computer module for it. I'm coming off a Golf Mk6 with the 1.4 TSI 118kW/160hp/240nm twincharger, and I do miss the low end grunt from the supercharger. The computer module I'm looking at will pretty closely match that with 153hp/254nm.
    #7
  8. viperfire
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    viperfire Member

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    What comp module is that then?
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  9. cbope
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    cbope Member

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    It's a German-made module, but it's distributed by a Finnish company here, they go by the name J-Pro. I don't know who makes the module in Germany. A friend of mine recently bought one of their modules (not for an Audi) and he is really happy. It even improved the fuel economy when driving normally.

    Here is a link to the 8P module, I've been in contact with the company and they can also provide a similar module for the 8V: Audi A3 (8P) 1.4 TFSI 1390cm3 92kW (125HV) 200Nm TehoBox - J-Pro: Lisää tehoa pienempi kulutus - Tuotteet

    The text is Finnish but if scroll down to the bottom you can see the universal numbers... note the 8P module gives slightly different numbers than the 8V which I have confirmed with the distributor.
    #9
  10. s33nyboy12
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    s33nyboy12 Well-Known Member

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    Depends who s driving ! I'm willing to drop the clutch at 3k rpm lol :) ....... Improvised launch control let's say

    Sean
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  11. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    Well if you'd bought the diesel, you'd have been able to afford to drive in dynamic all day long and still get better mpg! :rock:
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  12. Chelmersteve
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    Chelmersteve Member

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    I can confirm that Dynamic mode with S-tronic puts the box into S mode.
    I also understand that Efficiency mode does more than just drop the box into neutral when you lift off. It does things to the climate control and adaptive cruise control if you have it.
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  13. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    I tried efficiency mode and standard cruise control last night. It reduces the acceleration significantly when trying to reach the set speed.
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  14. JudderMan
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    JudderMan Active Member

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    This bugs me. At idle the oil pressure drops and doesn't get squirted around enough which could lead to premature engine wear. I'm sure the boffins at Audi have thought about this but still, I'd rather coast in gear (say, downhill) as it uses no fuel and is better on mpg than running in neutral, and have some load on the engine - think weight transfer if you had to steer to avoid something or brake. Running in neutral is stupid in my opinion and these marketing knobs that think of this should be fired and let engineers configure the 'features'.
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  15. cbope
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    cbope Member

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    Coasting in neutral with the engine at idle will not increase engine wear. Remember, there is no load on the engine during this time, so lower oil pressure will have basically zero impact (unless there is no oil pressure, of course). If anything, it will actually reduce wear compared to engine braking, which can actually put quite a lot of stress on engine parts, similar to full throttle acceleration. I speak with experience as an ex-mechanic and hot rodder who has built and tuned many different high performance engines and vehicles over the last 25+ years, including my own street/strip drag-racing, first-year Mustang.
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  16. JudderMan
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    JudderMan Active Member

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    Fairy nuff that makes sense about oil pressure. Always keen to hear stuff like this. I still standby the weight transfer/handling notion while in neutral.
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  17. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Personally I still think the best Drive Select system available is the Mk 1 Brain.
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  18. MouseGB
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    MouseGB Member

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    I drove around in a new demo car for 6 days in Comfort mode and got 46mpg over the 700 miles I added to the original 60 :sm4:
    #18
  19. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    There's a stop at the end of the accelerator travel where you have to push a little harder to make it go right down to the floor.

    This does nothing in Dynamic mode but, in Efficiency, there's a marked step in power when you push it past this stop. It's obviously designed so that the "first" end of travel doesn't give you full power for economy reasons but you can stamp on it to get full engine power if you need it badly.

    As for Efficiency putting the box into neutral on S-Tronics, I find this bizarre. A modern engine will, when in gear and slowing under engine braking, use no fuel at all as the momentum of the car will keep the engine turning without injecting any fuel at all. If the engine is allowed to idle then it'll have to use some fuel just to keep running.
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  20. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    When I was taught to drive I was always told that 'coasting' was dangerous and that you should always have engine power available. No sure how the s-tronic mode works but it's not something I would want to use even if it does save a few mpg. As Vertigo1 says a moderm engine will, when in gear and slowing under braking, uses no fuel as a overun fuel cut-off comes into play.

    The A3 Owner's Manual ( a copy of which I have borrowed for a few days from my dealer) actual gives a warning that if you are approaching an obstruction when coasting mode is switched on, please remember that the vehicle will not slow down as quickly as usual when you take your foot off the accelerator - Risk of an accident!

    It also gives another warning that the vehicle can pick up speed if you are driving down a slope in coasting mode - Risk of accident!
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  21. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    So they provide a mode of operation which uses more fuel and heightens the risk of an accident. Insane if you ask me.
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  22. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Quite! If I do order a new A3 it will be with SE trim which does not have Drive Select as standard and I will certainly not be adding it to my list of options.
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  23. cbope
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    cbope Member

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    That's only one mode, just leave it in dynamic or auto then you won't have an issue.
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  24. cbope
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    cbope Member

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    When in efficiency mode and the s-tronic goes into neutral while coasting, if you very lightly touch the brake pedal, the gear will re-engage and you get engine braking. It seems to stay this way until you use the gas pedal again. Just like with start/stop, once you learn a few tricks, you can take back some control if you don't like what the car is doing automatically.
    #24
  25. manmoth
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    manmoth Member

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    Wow, I had no idea me post would prompt such a varied responce, some really Useful info guys, thanks,

    seeing everyone is far more up to speed (excuse the pun) than me, does anyone know why when I leave my car in dynamic which puts the s-Tronic in sports mode, the next time I start the car the gearbox is no longer in sports mode but the drive mode is still dynamic, I have to select another drive mode and then select back to dynamic?
    #25
  26. viperfire
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    viperfire Member

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    I noticed in efficiency that i couldn't go past 93mph for some reason (on the German autobahn of course ,:)). Switched to auto and it went past
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  27. cbope
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    cbope Member

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    Hmm... I think I may have seen this before, but to be honest I didn't really think about it. I'll confirm it in the morning on the way to work.
    #27
  28. cbope
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    cbope Member

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    Maybe that's related to vertigo1's post, you weren't engaging the second "full" throttle position? I dunno...
    #28
  29. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Equates to around 150kph which is a suspiciously round number - perhaps they've added a limiter for efficiency mode.
    #29

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