Tiptronic
Condemned to the 1st Circle of Hell

Definition:

tiptronic (Custom).jpgAuto enthusiasts would be familiar with this buzzword, popularized in the 1990’s when consumer cars first featured semi-automatic transmissions.

A Tiptronic transmission can operate just as the common type of automatic transmission, but it also allows the driver to override the automatic mode by moving the shift lever into a second (Tiptronic) shift gate equipped with two spring-loaded positions: “upshift” and “downshift”. Once in this gate, the driver takes over most of the shifting decisions ordinarily performed by the transmission’s computer, permitting, for example, the delaying of an downshift for increased acceleration or to increase the braking effect of the engine. On some cars, the upshift and downshift operations can also be commanded by pushbuttons or rocker switches installed on the steering wheel with an optional display in the instrument panel indicating the current gear selection. -Wikipedia

This type of transmission takes its roots from Formula 1 cars, in which the driver doesn’t use a clutch, but can control gear selection via buttons. Tiptronic transmissions basically give the driver the performance of a manual transmission when needed, but the comfort of an automatic during casual driving situations. This stemmed from the idea that cars with automatic transmission are boring because they can never equal the performance of manual cars when it comes to acceleration and proper matching of power with speed in high performance situations.

Tiptronic transmissions have been used heavily in marketing, especially for cars that cater to young, upscale individuals (mostly male) who are into autosports. For those into comfort and fuel efficiency, there’s always the continuous variable transmission or CVT! Yes, it’s boring, but that’s another buzzword!

  1. 1
    Buzzerboy Says:

    Getting tips is one thing but having them point to a definition of being electronic is dumb. Well, in this world of shortcuts and combining words to mean something, who can blame people from being misled and given new words that aren’t even in the dictionary?

    Ideally, we would all want a universal and relative set of words that we really understand. But the times today are different. We invent words such as tiptronic for marketing and recognition. It’s too bad we just cannot find proper ways to justify them or give them proper meaning.