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New 2014 Vantage V8 Woes

4038 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mmmmmm68
Hello. I took delivery of my new 2014 Vantage V8 Roadster today with the sport shift automatic transmission, and I have to say, it is very disappointing. I read review after review of how this transmission is terrible and almost laughable. The dealer I visited had only the standard manual transmission which was a blast to drive, but it was a coupe and I wanted the convertible.

So I basically had them buy a car from another dealership in Texas and ship it up where I am. But since the manual transmissions are very hard to come by on a Vantage, I settled on the sport shift automatic. Not driving the sport shift ahead of time was a HUGE mistake. I figured "how bad could it be" and the salesperson assured me it would be fine when driving it.

Long story short, I find it absolutely unbearable when in "automatic mode". And using the paddles instead, while a much better driving experience, just doesn't doesn't provide the same natural that a stick shift offers. Unless I figure out a way to tune this thing WITHOUT voiding the warranty, I will offer to sell it back to the dealer at a loss.

Any insight on what I might do, or how people with the same transmission have managed to live with it? We are only 25 miles in to driving it and my wife and I both absolutely hate it. :(
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Firstly, do not panic. Any automated manual gearbox is absolutely awful in pure automatic mode. I do not recommend driving in this mode, it is really for valet parking, or for someone temporarily driving the car who has no experience of automated manual gear shift. It will take a few days to become comfortable with shifting gears with sportshift, but it is worth it. In simplest terms you use the paddles to change gear just as you would use the gearstick, but you do not need to use the clutch pedal. You do not really need to downshift on slowing as the gearbox will do that for you, although you can flick the down paddle to drop gear for a faster overtake. You shift up just as you would in a manual. On startup shifting from first to second can be a bit lumpy if the gearbox is cold. It is a mindset, but remember you are driving the car not the computer as in a DCT or conventional automatic. It is really more manual than automatic, it is only clutch that is being controlled by the computer. Once you become comfortable you can have a great deal of fun with this type of gearbox, you really cannot be in the wrong gear as you can in a manual.

Also some people prefer to slightly lift on the gas pedal on changing gear, although IO have never been totally convinced regarding this.

I have owned and enjoyed many cars with this type of gear box, AstomMartin Sportshift, Maserati Cambiocorsa, Audi R8 RTronic, Lamborghini Egear. I will never have manual shift gain.
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I think you will have to bite the bullet and trade the car in for a manual version.

Like you, I find a lot of these SMG manual gearbox setups unbearable, and then you have to deal with the short clutch life (and the expense of replacement)these transmissions have.

give time

My understanding is the transmission on the Vantage is Italian ( Sardonically, I had a Maserati GT that had a ZF German because people complained so much about the previous Italian transmission in the Maserati Coupe).
I do understand that it is not smooth, unpredictable and jerky but this is part of the car personality.
The car is smart and will interact with you. As you drive more, the car will understand your habits and adapt to you.

Hope things get better for you, you will enjoy the car
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