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View Full Version : Emission, how's the VS Paddle Shifter working?


Raffi
04-08-2003, 10:18 PM
Are you hooked on it yet? I know I really liked it on my 5 minute test drive... :bigpimp: Post some pics, dude! :D

Emission
04-08-2003, 10:22 PM
Funny, I was just in the garage taking pictures! Give me about 30 min to post the write-up...

Emission
04-08-2003, 10:57 PM
Last night, Vincent and I showed up at Raffi's house to install the Paddle Shifter on my wife's X5 3.0 Steptronic. The process took a mere 1.5 hours (and it could have been shorter had we not talked so much).

I am not a big fan of slushboxes. In fact, the first slushbox I bought in recent memory was my Passat with the Tiptronic. It is a 5-auto, much like the Steptronic 5-auto in the X5.

In the Step's defense, it is much better than the Tip. Shifts are faster, smoother, and seem to be better matched to my driving.

Simplicity ends when you want to manually shift these two. Funny, when you "shift" into manual mode in each car, the systems are EXACTLY reversed! One car requires the lever to go "left", the other manual mode is "right". "Push to upshift" is "pull to upshift" on the other - and vice versa... awrg! Something had to make more sense than this... and then came the Paddle Shift retrofit!

The Paddle Shift steering wheel is the substantial "M" wheel found on the M3 (and the 5-series sport package). It is meaty, and feels great in the hands. On the back of the wheel are two paddles. One has a "+", the other has a "-". These, as simple as can be, shift the transmission up and down. The paddles leave plenty of room for fingers (my first concern).

The Paddle Shift is very simple to use. Pull the lever into "sport/manual mode" and the shift indicator "S" illuminates. At that point, the car is still fully automatic. Touch the "-" button and the Step instantly downshifts a gear, and launches you into "manual mode". From that point, gear changes are all done with the paddles. Slight pulls up and down on the paddles take a 10th-of-a-second with the reaction of the transmission nearly instantaneously (for some reason shifts occur much faster than they do with the console mounted lever). It is fun, and a no brainer. There is no guessing if you pull or push. Your hands never leave the wheel.

In the 3.0 X5, the truck (OK... SAV) feels a bit lighter on the chassis when you can manually shift it with the paddles. It goes from "hmmm" to "hey"!

The best way to use the system is to put the X5 into "sport/manual" mode and have the system on standby. When you need instant power, don't "kick-down" the transmission with the gas pedal (that takes too long) - merely pull on the "-" and the truck drops a gear and scoots!

This mod really puts some life into the X5.

Many thanks to Vincent - a really clean and professional install. I'll be at Bimmerfest if you want to check out the car in person...

(Sorry the pic is a bit out of focus. I shot in in my garage at very low light.)

Sean
04-08-2003, 11:47 PM
Sounds like a great X5 mod. :thumbup:

Mr Paddle.Shift
04-09-2003, 01:57 PM
Mike, thanks for the review. Glad you like it. :thumbup:

The HACK
04-09-2003, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Sean
Sounds like a great X5 mod. :thumbup:

Especially for 4.4i/4.6i folks when it only comes with a SLUSHIE. :thumbup: