Hellcat automatic question

Discussion in 'Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat' started by quakejake, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. quakejake

    quakejake Active Hellcat Member

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    A newbie here.Does the auto in manual shift mode have a quick reaction time when using the paddles?
     
  2. Slowpoke387

    Slowpoke387 VIP Hellcat Member

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    Yep
     
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  3. Toolman_42

    Toolman_42 Gold Member

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    It will bang them out and light up the tires given the opportunity
     
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  4. jcsernik

    jcsernik Hellcat Member

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    I think in Track mode it is supposed to be 160ms shift time and features rev-match downshifts.
     
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  5. quakejake

    quakejake Active Hellcat Member

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    Thanks
     
  6. mdmoore23

    mdmoore23 Senior Hellcat Member

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    Fastest torque converter auto I've experienced by far. The A8 is awesome. I guess that's why so many automakers are using ZF 8 speeds.
     
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  7. SRT Fan

    SRT Fan Rookie

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    Yep… Instant response from the paddles and transmission.

    Of course, you’ll want to have the transmission set to “Sport” at least, if you plan to get on it.

    Here are some tips from one newbie to another. I’m still learning to get along with the automatic, myself. This is literally the first automatic car I have owned since I was 17 years old, so it has taken time to unlearn 40 years of habits. Hell, I don’t even know what to do with my left foot during spirited driving or just cruising – I have to continually remind myself of the dead pedal foot rest.


    Tip# 1: Go into the screen setup for the dash display. Make sure the Current Gear setting is “On” and set the Gear Display to “Single”. The gear display in not really big enough, but it is a necessary feature and the "Single" display is better.


    Tip #2: Go into the SRT Pages to setup the Default Mode or the (easily accessible) Custom Mode. Set the Transmission to “Sport” and the Traction Control to “Street”. That way it shifts hard and fast, sounding and moving like an exotic sports car banging thru the gears – but the car won’t erupt in a cloud of smoke and squirrel around like a filming of Fast and Furious. Sport Mode shuts off a lot of the traction control and the car will get quite a ways out of shape in a “yaw event” before the computer jumps in and limits torque or applies brakes. Believe me, this behavior will get your attention and can even be completely unintentional. Don’t ask me how I know.

    okokok… I was leaving a light (in Sport Mode), planning to just squirt past a soon to be shocked Mom in a Minivan – no intention to even spin the tires. The rear tires erupted in smoke and the road around the end of the airport wasn’t entirely straight which did not help the situation. Honestly, if the back tires are on fire, you are not moving forward as fast as possible, anyway. Sport and Track modes are best left for track days. Interestingly enough, Track mode is really for road course track days, and dials in more traction control than Sport mode – which is the one for big smoky burn-outs.

    Along those lines, if I learned anything at the Bondurant High Performance Driving School, the throttle and brakes are NOT “on/off switches”. Trying to mentally press the gas pedal with just your toes and then roll into the gas limits the antics this car is capable of… smooth is fast… Yes, it takes self-control and concentration… It is SO easy to get carried away in a Hellcat.

    For the life of me, I don’t know why so many people stay with a wild burnout or even give it more gas. LIFT and then try it again the next time with more control from you or the computer nannies.


    Tip #3: While you are in the SRT pages, go to the Race Options and turn on the Shift Light. Can’t hurt to have the indicator on when you are in manual mode and in the heat of battle. I moved the RPM down a bit to account for reaction time.


    Tip #4: Just slap the shifter into Drive to launch the car, especially while you are learning how to control this car. There is a lot of “stuff” going on when you unleash the beast – chances are you’ll short shift it manually due to the adrenalin or your self-preservation instincts. I guarantee that you will have a perma-grin for quite a while after a full throttle blast thru the gears. I usually pop it over into manual after the first two or three shifts, that way when you lift, it doesn’t slide up into ridiculously high gears and permits you to use engine braking right away, if needed.


    Tip #5: Keep your Left Hand the HELL AWAY from the Paddle Shifter, unless you are making a conscious decision to downshift. This is especially true while you are learning the car. Downshifting when you are fully intending to upshift, especially when you are accelerating, is the worst possible scenario. Don’t ask me how I know.


    Tip #6: When you discover the “AutoStick” manual shifting functionality, shifting by flicking the shifter back to upshift and forward to downshift, keep in mind that this may not necessarily be something that is entirely intuitive for you. This is the same problem as the left-hand paddle shifter. It is all too easy to downshift with the AutoStick when you meant to upshift. Don’t ask me how I know.

    A great mental image to keep in mind is Ken Block’s Gymkhana Seven video… “The Mustang that broke the Internet”. Granted it is not an automatic, but the mental picture of him pulling back on the shifter to move up thru the gears is unforgettable. Now, if our gear indicator could just be as big as the one in that wild Mustang.


    Tip #7: This is not really a tip - more of a warning. One bit of weirdness in this first thousand miles has been the intermittent, and shocking, tendency of the transmission to downshift into first gear HARD – just as I am pulling up to a light… or practically stopped, easing into a parking spot. Transmission in Sport and using Manual Shifting. The way the car jumps forward is the same sensation as running up on a concrete parking block!

    I called it into the SRT line – as a potential safety problem. However, trying to get the transmission to behave like this on purpose to more fully document the chain of events has not been possible recently – it just slides into first gear silently as expected. Could be the computer is still adjusting itself to my driving, hard to say. Anyhow… It is better to be aware of this possible behavior, rather than have a heart-stopping surprise.


    Hope this helps… :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
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  8. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf VIP Hellcat Member

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    Good briefing, thanks.

    In discussing your mode settings, you didn't mention what you had the Suspension mode set in with the other two. Street, I assume?

    Also, for getting through the initial break-in period, what settings for each mode would you recommend? Just set all of them to Street?
     
  9. MattG

    MattG Gold Member Hellcat Car Club

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    excellent post
    matt
     
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  10. SRT Fan

    SRT Fan Rookie

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    After some experimentation, I have just been going with "Street" on the suspension setting. If memory serves, the Default setup it was in during the break-in period was oddly enough Transmission in "Street" and Suspension in "Sport". The 500 miles went by fast, and I tried a lot of different settings while trying to baby the car. At 500 miles, I changed the oil and filter (old habit that makes me feel better), and then the fun began.

    The roads around here are bumpy enough that the "Street" setting is the most appropriate. The difference was really noticeable, so I started using it when my Better Half was in the car - and then I started using it myself when just cruising around. I have the Default setup set to "Street" across the board - mainly to make it as civilized as possible when a passenger is in the car. The Custom setup just has the transmission set to "Sport", the rest are "Street" - which seems to best combination for me.

    Interestingly enough, setting the suspension to "Street" was the feedback we got from the Bondurant instructors during the course. That track is bumpy enough that the "Street" setting helps keep the tires in contact with the pavement. Some tried the "Track" setting (since we were at the track!) but that whole setup seems to be for a large, smooth road track. So, it really works poorly on a bumpy track... and as you no doubt know, Track Mode makes a Hellcat ride like a one ton pickup truck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
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  11. pinetreecat

    pinetreecat Gold Member

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    1000% agree. 9700 miles on my A8, luv it!
     
  12. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf VIP Hellcat Member

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    Thanks for the follow-up.

    Like you, for the 500-mile break-in, or longer if it's me that needs a longer period to adjust, I'd planned all putting all modes in "Street" for the default setting.

    For the custom setting afterward, since 99.9% of the driving, whether high-speed or not, will be on the street/freeway/turnpike, not track or strip, I was thinking of: traction/street; transmission/sport; and suspension in either sport or street ... What do you think? Any suggestion on that?

    Also, on the paddles, I was going to set them to "off" for now, and just let the A8 decide when to shift up or down.

    Thanks! :cool:
     
  13. SRT Fan

    SRT Fan Rookie

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    That is basically where I ended up... I made some adjustments after the unintentional explosion of tire smoke experience described previously... and again once I had more time in the car. There is no need to run around in what is essentially Sport Mode all the time - since Sport Mode is always there, if so desired.

    I configured the Custom Mode the way I like the car - transmission in Sport and everything else in Street. A quick double-tap of the SRT button puts it Custom Mode... and that is not a hassle, since I tend to turn the gauges on anyway.

    Personally, I constantly use the manual mode and paddles - once at speed and in an appropriate gear... to hold it there, if nothing else... otherwise before you know it, the transmission is in eighth gear.

    Enjoy! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  14. Slowpoke387

    Slowpoke387 VIP Hellcat Member

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    The only complaint i have is that in M shifting it seems odd to push the shifter forward to downshift. Its backwards to me. Just seems like back would be naturally down. Maybe its just me or maybe they had to design it this way for a reason.
     
  15. mrcaio

    mrcaio Hellcat Member

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    Back in the old days we used to get that by installing a reverse manual valve body. It actually makes sense for racing. When you take off you get pulled back in your seat. You don't want that momentum of your body to accidently pull the shifter back and cause a downshift. Today's transmission controllers wouldn't allow a downshift that would over rev the engine, but still... I think that's where it comes from.
     

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