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      05-04-2021, 02:20 AM   #1
johnduda56
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Overtaking while losing the least amount of time

Hi,

I'm not very proficient with shift paddles (certainly not enough to beat BMW's algorithms), so let's leave that aside for the time being.
What is the optimum setting or combination of settings that maximizes the acceleration in the 40-70mph range?
Some people recommend moving the stick shift to the left (M/S position), Sport+ mode, kickdown. Others suggested M/S and Sport (Sport+) are somewhat redundant.
What about M/S, Sport mode and both DTC & DSC off?
The manual isn't super helpful either...

Cheers!
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      05-04-2021, 02:54 AM   #2
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The exam question is very unclear here....

If you are looking at being best prepared for an acceleration (irrespective of what speed you are driving with or whether you are driving at all) - it is clearly in Sport+, Stick in Sport. (You cannot be in Sport and turn DSC off - this will bring you back to comfort).

If you are asking about what the best approach is if you are cruising normally and want/need to overtake as quickly as possible (assuming you don't drive in Sport+ and Sport shifting all the time), I'd say the best approach is just a kick-down. If you get used to it - shift left, kick-down. Switching over to Sport would cost too much time if you just want to GO.

I know BMW driver who would just downshift with the paddle and then accelerate, without kick-down... no change of modes or gearbox.... but I can't get used to that... seems to cost me more time than just to floor it.
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      05-04-2021, 03:29 AM   #3
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Thanks for the prompt reply, and sorry for the lack of clarity.
I guess I should have asked how to achieve the highest acceleration, period.
From what you said I gather it's sport+ mode, with stick in sport.
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      05-04-2021, 04:14 AM   #4
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Absolutely.
Some claim manual shifting is faster, but that's not my experience. You obviously need to be subconsciously aware of when to shift too to not make it counter-productive. Safest bet for me is letting the automatic do what it was designed to do.
I do drive in manual mode occasionally, a lot of fun on mountain roads, but there it is more about the control, not necessarily about accelerating right away, as fast as possible.
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      05-04-2021, 10:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh View Post
The exam question is very unclear here....

If you are looking at being best prepared for an acceleration (irrespective of what speed you are driving with or whether you are driving at all) - it is clearly in Sport+, Stick in Sport. (You cannot be in Sport and turn DSC off - this will bring you back to comfort).

If you are asking about what the best approach is if you are cruising normally and want/need to overtake as quickly as possible (assuming you don't drive in Sport+ and Sport shifting all the time), I'd say the best approach is just a kick-down. If you get used to it - shift left, kick-down. Switching over to Sport would cost too much time if you just want to GO.

I know BMW driver who would just downshift with the paddle and then accelerate, without kick-down... no change of modes or gearbox.... but I can't get used to that... seems to cost me more time than just to floor it.
I believe 'DSC off' actually reverts you to sport settings in regards to throttle response, VSS and suspension (if EDC/VSS equipped of course) but I could be wrong.
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      05-04-2021, 10:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnduda56 View Post
Hi,

I'm not very proficient with shift paddles (certainly not enough to beat BMW's algorithms), so let's leave that aside for the time being.
What is the optimum setting or combination of settings that maximizes the acceleration in the 40-70mph range?
Some people recommend moving the stick shift to the left (M/S position), Sport+ mode, kickdown. Others suggested M/S and Sport (Sport+) are somewhat redundant.
What about M/S, Sport mode and both DTC & DSC off?
The manual isn't super helpful either...

Cheers!
From my experience driving BMWs for a number of years now I would say the quickest way to achieve what youíre looking for is to pop the gear selector into the left position. That will instantly put the transmission into sport mode where it will downshift more quickly and hold the gears longer. Then after you accomplish your pass itís easy to pop the selector back to the right.
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      05-04-2021, 01:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njdangelo View Post
I believe 'DSC off' actually reverts you to sport settings in regards to throttle response, VSS and suspension (if EDC/VSS equipped of course) but I could be wrong.
That's the opposite, DSC off puts your throttle mapping back to comfort but retains sport suspension and other settings (as configured).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
From my experience driving BMWs for a number of years now I would say the quickest way to achieve what youíre looking for is to pop the gear selector into the left position. That will instantly put the transmission into sport mode where it will downshift more quickly and hold the gears longer. Then after you accomplish your pass itís easy to pop the selector back to the right.
This is somewhat true, but putting the shifter to the left in M/S doesn't automatically drop to the lowest gear. It will however give you faster shift speeds, should you need to change gears while overtaking.

Back to OP's question, the fastest thing is just go WOT and press the kickdown. By design this will drop to the lowest gear, and of course WOT provides maximum engine power. Sport/sport+ irrelevant at this time. M/S will only provide faster shifting.
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      05-04-2021, 01:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
From my experience driving BMWs for a number of years now I would say the quickest way to achieve what you’re looking for is to pop the gear selector into the left position. That will instantly put the transmission into sport mode where it will downshift more quickly and hold the gears longer. Then after you accomplish your pass it’s easy to pop the selector back to the right.
The only remaining question is whether also selecting "Sport+" brings about additional acceleration, or not. Based on Skyhigh's feedback and some of the things I've read that is the case, though I wasn't 100% sure.
Now of course that might not be practical when timing is key, but let's say you notice the slow moving vehicle up ahead and prep yourself by selecting sport+ first, then right before overtaking move the stick to the left and flooring it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thejeremyman9 View Post
Back to OP's question, the fastest thing is just go WOT and press the kickdown. By design this will drop to the lowest gear, and of course WOT provides maximum engine power. Sport/sport+ irrelevant at this time. M/S will only provide faster shifting.
but kicking the shifter to the left and being in sport+ doesnt equate with faster shifting AND higher shift RPMs?

Last edited by johnduda56; 05-04-2021 at 02:10 PM..
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      05-04-2021, 02:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnduda56 View Post
The only remaining question is whether also selecting "Sport+" brings about additional acceleration, or not. Based on Skyhigh's feedback and some of the things I've read that is the case, though I wasn't 100% sure.
Now of course that might not be practical when timing is key, but let's say you notice the slow moving vehicle up ahead and prep yourself by selecting sport+ first, then right before overtaking move the stick to the left and flooring it.



but kicking the shifter to the left and being in sport+ doesnt equate with faster shifting AND higher shift RPMs?
There's no question there. WOT is WOT and delivers maximum engine power. The only thing going into sport/+ will do is change throttle mapping and WGDC such that you will open the throttle to 100% and command 100% WGDC with less accelerator pedal input. But the engine will produce the same X hp at WOT irrespective of mode. So sport/+ will only change the partial throttle and/or transient response.

To the 2nd question - no. The car will shift at its maximum RPM when the kickdown is depressed irrespective of drive mode. Going into sport/+ and/or shifter in M/S does not raise the maximum shift RPM at WOT, it only changes the shiftpoints in less than WOT situations.

Simply put:

1. Kickdown selects lowest possible gear.

2. WOT commands maximum engine power and highest shift RPM.
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      05-04-2021, 02:35 PM   #10
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Sport/Sport+ does not give you any extra power. Vice versa - Comfort does not suppress any power. If you do kick-down / WOT - it is the same in either mode.

However shifting in Sport/Sport+ (whilst the stick is in S) is more aggressive than in comfort, where some extra acceleration may/will come from.
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      05-04-2021, 04:50 PM   #11
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You are talking about fractions of a second here. If you are getting by the skin of your teeth during an overtake because you shifted manually instead of letting the auto do it, then you probably shouldn't be overtaking and should pick a bigger window. Also, if the DSC is stopping you from accelerating faster, then you shouldn't be doing it while shifting the car side to side during an overtaking move.

Best thing to do is simply downshift manually into the appropriate gear and make the move. You will save a split second of the auto downshifting for you. As skyhigh said, the modes don't give extra power, it's just throttle mapping etc. WOT is WOT no matter what unless you are losing traction. I only turn DSC off when I am on the track, there is probably NO reason in street driving to turn it off to "gain speed", that's ridiculous. Getting faster with DSC off comes with a level of experience that would never require you to ask how to make the car faster while overtaking.
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      05-04-2021, 05:12 PM   #12
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For practical and fast overtaking, I'm in the "flick the shifter to M/S and kickdown" camp. Modes don't matter.

For me, the KEY factor in this action, is breaking the driver/condition influenced adaptations, due to the 'lead up' to the overtake. Flicking the shifter to M/S sorts that immediately, in prep for the kickdown.

This has applied 'for me' using 5/6/8-speed ZF boxes with adaptive transmission management over almost 20-years.

An example, I regularly drive some twisty roads and know the overtaking opportunities. I may be following a car with no chance to overtake, so the car adapts to the slower drive, whatever mode it is in. As I come up to the last bend, with a straight ahead, I flick the shifter to M/S. That breaks the adaptions, drops a gear as sport programming is selected... road clear... floor it, flick back to D when manoeuvre/speed is achieved. Petrol or diesel, all work the same. As long as you have tire grip, I know no faster way to prepare and overtake.
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      05-05-2021, 09:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
For practical and fast overtaking, I'm in the "flick the shifter to M/S and kickdown" camp. Modes don't matter.

For me, the KEY factor in this action, is breaking the driver/condition influenced adaptations, due to the 'lead up' to the overtake. Flicking the shifter to M/S sorts that immediately, in prep for the kickdown.

This has applied 'for me' using 5/6/8-speed ZF boxes with adaptive transmission management over almost 20-years.

An example, I regularly drive some twisty roads and know the overtaking opportunities. I may be following a car with no chance to overtake, so the car adapts to the slower drive, whatever mode it is in. As I come up to the last bend, with a straight ahead, I flick the shifter to M/S. That breaks the adaptions, drops a gear as sport programming is selected... road clear... floor it, flick back to D when manoeuvre/speed is achieved. Petrol or diesel, all work the same. As long as you have tire grip, I know no faster way to prepare and overtake.
^ This. Also has the advantage of the fact that reaching for the shifter is intuitive for drivers who are also used to manual transmissions.
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      05-05-2021, 02:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaming440i View Post
^ This. Also has the advantage of the fact that reaching for the shifter is intuitive for drivers who are also used to manual transmissions.
Good point, a touch of manual control. It's an action from which you know exactly what is going to happen.
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      05-05-2021, 03:42 PM   #15
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I have my car tuned (and transmission flashed) so my experience may be a little bit different,
but if I am not in sport transmission, I find switching to sport transmission always immediately downshifts. So in my experience, if you need immediate acceleration, simply bumping the shifter to the left instantly causes a downshift and will also dramatically increase how quickly another downshift comes in if the car thinks you need it.

To fully answer your question, if I was preparing to overtake super quickly, I'd be in Sport mode with the gear selector already in sport transmission and I'd probably just get on the gas and let it shift itself. If you aren't already in that set up and need immediate power, just bumping the selector into sport right before you gun it will get the same result. Only benefit of Sport mode would be a quicker throttle response and shift when you first get on the gas.
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      05-05-2021, 05:14 PM   #16
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You can also "prep" the car by pulling and holding the left paddle. It should drop the car to the lowest gear for your speed (where the kick-down would take you), so when you are ready to pass, you just need to floor it.

Splitting hairs on how much that saves you though, but using that you're not shifting gears + pulling out at the same time which would increase stability.
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      05-06-2021, 08:19 AM   #17
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Thank you all for the hints!

Tried a couple of things yesterday and my feeling is that modes DO make a difference.
Specifically, knocking the shifter to the left and immediately flooring it still feels a tad lazier in eco pro & comfort than it does in sport and sport+.
Might be related to the throttle response or might simply be placebo, not sure.
We might be splitting hairs here, but I don't have rally driver experience and reaction times and if I can spend half a second less in the wrong lane, by all means!
Might give it a try with the paddles too...

Last edited by johnduda56; 05-06-2021 at 08:28 AM..
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      05-06-2021, 09:01 AM   #18
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The transmission shifts faster in Sport / Sport+ .... so that could be an explanation.
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