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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am really amazed with my (the) new A8 transmission I have a 2015 R/T 5.7. I am somewhat qualified to make these statements as I have owned and do own many cars, some with manual transmission and some with Autos. I have a 09 Viper ,as example with a Manual transmission and an Auto C6 Corvette among current cars. I even have owned new auto Mustang GTs and a manual GT500 recently so my perspective is pretty broad. Qualifier: I have not recently driven a 2008-2014 auto challenger so those trannies may also behave like the 2015 but with 3 less gears, I just cant remember. So here are a some of my opinions on this unique, almost hybrid transmission in the 2015 Challenger. So for current owners, and those who are considering a A8 here is my list of what I absolutely love about the new A8. At this point I have not found a downside to the A8 so don't look for those comments below. So if your torn between the 2 choices on a new buy, don't be afraid to purchase a 2015 Challenger with an auto 8 speed transmission, here's why:
1) I forget I am driving a automatic. It feels and behaves almost like a manual transmission in many ways. It even down shifts smoothly, raises RPMs and brakes the car when I let off the gas. This saves brake wear and brake dust clean off and I love the engine sounds and feels in touch as much during slow down as accelerating. note: I have never driven a auto that actually down shifts and raises RPMs as if down shifting a manual. Love this feature 100 percent.
2) Manual mode on the floor is perfect. The manual mode is the best engineered system I have used. I would never crave additional paddle shifters on my R/T. The handle is also engineered dang near perfect and is hard to let go of for comfort and great engineering and ergos,
3) Down shifting in manual mode. The manual mode down shifts by itself when slowing if I don't shift down myself. I choose if I want to and it seems instinctive if I ignore the manual down shifts.( other transmissions just go into glide or coast mode) or the ratio of downshifts is so closely matched to the rpm it seems like coast mode.
4) In touch. I still feel very much in touch with the engine even though its a automatic. Its just a solid connection to the entire drive train and not a mushy washing machine feel like many other automatics. Yep the Auto Vette is fine during a tromp down but on slowdown ya know its an auto. I have read a few complaints about downshifting of the A8 driving them nuts but I appreciate it to the max.
5) Responsive and solid feeling always. The reason people buy manuals is to feel connected to the engine and I like that also, but this transmission is an amazing compromise that keeps you connected but one that I can go into lazy mode with without feeling like I am driving a slushy auto. But twitch the accelerator and it is fast to respond with no jerky clunking or delay, its just raw torque, and right now. Even coupled with the smaller 5.7 Hemi this combo rocks.
I can only believe it gets better with a larger engine and the A8.
6) Smooth and fast. It shifts smooth and fast on WOT and when doing spirited driving or slow lazy starts. And most know the A8 is a bit faster at the strip/LOL


I congratulate Dodge on building an amazing car and a auto transmission that is a vast improvement over your competition and one that is as close to a manual as it ever has in automotive history.:thumbsup:


Be great to hear other member thoughts and comments on what you also appreciate about the A8 on their R/T Challenger or other models and engine size combos. and years other than the 2015
Shift on... Goodbar
 

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That was great to hear as I just sold my rt 6 speed and decided to buy the 2015 srt with A8. I have also had a 89 5.0 mustang Manual, still own a 2000 cobra with 500whp that's Manual and really love to go fast lol. But I like to get right into it sometimes. The Auto is great for when you tired out after a day of work and hit what looks like an endless wall of traffic. Reving up through a downshift sounds awesome. I hate using breaks more than necessary and think that would really help keep some of that motor connection. I am planning a track car as well and eventually need to beat a 650whp charger that my buddy owns so the faster the shifting the better I guess. I sometimes still think I could be faster than A8 lol not really. I think the auto will make Sunday driving more of a cruise experience. Until i get to the track that is.

That was quite helpful as I was nervous to change but it sounds like they added what I would need, to not miss the Manual version
 

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I agree 100% with your assessment of the A8 Goodbar. I have the transmission in both my 2014 Ram and 2015 Challenger and love them. The Ram A8 is smoother and more seamless than the one in the Challenger. I think the transmission in the Challenger is programmed to be more "sporty" and responsive than those in the trucks. I too have owned many cars and trucks (80+ and counting). The A8 is the best auto I have ever driven.
 

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FWIW guys .... use your brakes ...... engine braking is hard on a car and brakes are cheaper than a motor ... just saying
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
FWIW guys .... use your brakes ...... engine braking is hard on a car and brakes are cheaper than a motor ... just saying

Agreed for hard engine braking, however the engine braking in the A8 is mild enough and computer controlled to be just right depending on if one chooses to let off the throttle and or use the brakes. It really acts like a manual with a very attentive driver. Subtle but in touch.
To avoid the A8 engine braking one just has to apply the brakes a bit after letting off the throttle then the rpms don't seem to engage or is way less noticeable. It seems to know. When using a manual part of the pleasure is choosing the exact gear matched to just the right RPM during a decal. I'm not talking slamming it in second or third gear at 70 stuff, but just gentle but in touch rpm raises.
Also with the A8 in manual mode it shows what gear it is in on the dash during acceleration and auto decal. In case anyone was wondering.
 

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I have owned several cars with sequential manuals, BMW SMG (single clutch), Porsche PDK (dual clutch) and Ferrari F1 (single clutch).

All of those trannies are considered pretty bad ass but they still don't beat the driving experience of a stick IMO. My current challenger has the A5 slush box. I can't wait to get my 392 Shaker with the 6 speed.

Sounds like the A8 is a nice piece though and I commend Dodge/Chrysler on that.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 
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I'm struggling with that decision right now. I have a 392 6 speed and love it but have considered the a8 because I think the technology has finally come up enough that autos r going to be worth it in a sports/muscle car. Also I hope to get the chance to be a part of building that transmission in the future.
 

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I knew is tranny was special last month when I drove our new GC with a V-6 and it felt like a small V8. Not my point, this weekend I drove my Hellcat its first 500 miles. I would never think about a manual if this thing is available.......

Can shift smooth or fast, can shift at up to 160 milliseconds in track mode HARD, or can be mellowed down with ECO mode to cruise in town where the shifts are hardly perceptible.

The OP nailed it, I was completely blown away the fist time that thing downshifted. Never ever imagined it could feel or sound that good. It does not load up the engine too much. Notice the engine rarely gets above 2k on the downshifts, these stout motors are so tight it decelerates with a minimal amount of downshift. Most of the day when we entered small towns breaking it in, I would blip the throttle exactly like I do my Harley before downshifting one gear...this thing reads my mind! It downshifts with a little throttle blip!

It simply sounds like a formula 1 race car and what do they use?...... An auto with paddle shifters.

And the final note....my neighbor who currently has a ZR1 came to drive it around, he was blown away, wanted one (seriously wanted a Hellcat) and did not even begin to suggest we should line em up soon. He drive away quietly and could not be happier himself that Dodge is leading all of us into some exiting times with these state of the art automatic transmissions.
 
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A8 Goodness

We have A8 on my wifes GC with a V6 and what impresses me the most is that it is always in the right gear. No having to punch the accelerator to get the tranny to "kick down", it's just in the right gear all the time. I can't wait to get this thing on my new Challenger.
 

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I knew is tranny was special last month when I drove our new GC with a V-6 and it felt like a small V8. Not my point, this weekend I drove my Hellcat its first 500 miles. I would never think about a manual if this thing is available.......

Can shift smooth or fast, can shift at up to 160 milliseconds in track mode HARD, or can be mellowed down with ECO mode to cruise in town where the shifts are hardly perceptible.

The OP nailed it, I was completely blown away the fist time that thing downshifted. Never ever imagined it could feel or sound that good. It does not load up the engine too much. Notice the engine rarely gets above 2k on the downshifts, these stout motors are so tight it decelerates with a minimal amount of downshift. Most of the day when we entered small towns breaking it in, I would blip the throttle exactly like I do my Harley before downshifting one gear...this thing reads my mind! It downshifts with a little throttle blip!

It simply sounds like a formula 1 race car and what do they use?...... An auto with paddle shifters.

And the final note....my neighbor who currently has a ZR1 came to drive it around, he was blown away, wanted one (seriously wanted a Hellcat) and did not even begin to suggest we should line em up soon. He drive away quietly and could not be happier himself that Dodge is leading all of us into some exiting times with these state of the art automatic transmissions.
So it's here!!! Congrats David, here's to many happy miles ahead :)
 

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FWIW guys .... use your brakes ...... engine braking is hard on a car and brakes are cheaper than a motor ... just saying

You'll NEVER appreciably increase engine wear by using engine braking. NEVER. here's my reasoning:

1) The actual "braking" effect doesn't come from friction, it comes from a closed throttle and sucking/compressing/exhausting air through a closed throttle. The "wear" is on the air molecules, not the engine parts. This is why diesels (no throttle plate) don't have much "natural" engine braking and have to be supplemented with compression-release brakes ("Jake Brakes.")

2) The forces involved are TINY compared to when the engine is producing power. Seriously- the negative pressure on top of the piston on the intake stroke is what produces most of the engine braking. That is going to be just a tiny fraction of the positive pressure that appears on top of each piston when the spark plug fires at wide-open thrott.e

3) Because of #2 , the engine bearings hardly even notice engine braking. On top of that, the little bit of added force on the bearings that does come from engine-braking is on the opposite side of each bearing as the combustion forces. Its on the same side of the bearing that experiences the intertial force of pulling the piston down at high RPM, so the bearing itself is up to the task.

4) Back to big diesels that DO use Jake brakes- when compression braking, they generate many times the braking force that a gasoline engine generates, and they cost a huge amount of money- yet the trucking industry gladly uses jake brakes instead of air brakes all the time. The wear on the engine is essentially zero, but the wear on the brakes is costly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I knew is tranny was special last month when I drove our new GC with a V-6 and it felt like a small V8. Not my point, this weekend I drove my Hellcat its first 500 miles. I would never think about a manual if this thing is available.......

Can shift smooth or fast, can shift at up to 160 milliseconds in track mode HARD, or can be mellowed down with ECO mode to cruise in town where the shifts are hardly perceptible.

The OP nailed it, I was completely blown away the fist time that thing downshifted. Never ever imagined it could feel or sound that good. It does not load up the engine too much. Notice the engine rarely gets above 2k on the downshifts, these stout motors are so tight it decelerates with a minimal amount of downshift. Most of the day when we entered small towns breaking it in, I would blip the throttle exactly like I do my Harley before downshifting one gear...this thing reads my mind! It downshifts with a little throttle blip!

It simply sounds like a formula 1 race car and what do they use?...... An auto with paddle shifters.

And the final note....my neighbor who currently has a ZR1 came to drive it around, he was blown away, wanted one (seriously wanted a Hellcat) and did not even begin to suggest we should line em up soon. He drive away quietly and could not be happier himself that Dodge is leading all of us into some exiting times with these state of the art automatic transmissions.
It was nice to get feedback and confirmation like this from a guy with the ultimate performance engine paired with the A8. I only have a 5.7 Hemi but the first time mine mimicked my driving style I was blown away and didn't know what to think and was telling my passenger son about this amazing transmission with lots of excitement and he looked at me like I was crazy...LOL
 

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What comprises a Jake brake, exactly? You always hear it come into a conversation like this, but does anybody know what it actually is? Is it a throttle flap device that goes on the intake of a diesel, or is there more to it?
 

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At this point I have not found a downside to the A8 so don't look for those comments below.

The only downside with the A8 and the R/T is Dodge takes away the anti-spin rear that is STANDARD with the 6-speed and replaces it with the open rear, you have to upgrade to the Scat Pack R/T with A8 to get anti-spin.
 

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What comprises a Jake brake, exactly? You always hear it come into a conversation like this, but does anybody know what it actually is? Is it a throttle flap device that goes on the intake of a diesel, or is there more to it?

There are a couple of kinds, but the one originated by Jacobs (hence 'Jake Brake') that makes the characteristic BRAP BRAP BRAP BRAP!! sound is the most common. What it does is lift the exhaust valve in a diesel engine right at the top of the compression stroke, but only if the accelerator is fully lifted so that no fuel is being injected. What that does is make the crankshaft do all the work of compressing the intake air up to the point of TDC, then vent all the compressed air into the exhaust so it doesn't push the piston back down on the next stroke. Most big rigs have a multi-stage system where the driver can use compression braking on 2 cylinders, 4, cylinders, or all 6. Its actually a good bit of extra hardware in the engine to do this, as you might guess, but its super effective because a diesel has such a high compression ratio and all that energy required to compress the air gets fired right out the exhaust. On old fully-mechanical diesels with unit injectors instead of a central injection pump (think old Detroit 2-strokes), the compression brake just mechanically coupled the exhaust valves to the fuel injection cam lobe so that they opened along with the fuel injector.

The less common kind found on light trucks is just a valve in the exhaust that can be closed so that it puts back-pressure on all the pistons as they're trying to push air out on the exhaust stroke. It doesn't work nearly as well, but you can add it on easily.
 

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So it's here!!! Congrats David, here's to many happy miles ahead :)
She is here and she is happy, get yourself up here to drive it. Just don't blow my engine! When are you getting your monster back? Got the Nittos on the back yesterday, but with temps now dropping into the 40's wheel hop at low speeds is their behavior so far. I did finally remove the ESP totally once yesterday....ohhhhh it is clear the computer keeps this thing in check more than we realize until you attempt to go without. BUT I did get it to hook from 40-90 and wow, it felt like it could keep up with a quick bike, we will see soon, let summer come.

Yea guys a little more feedback.... I drive some Harleys and a custom type 124CI TP Engineering monster. I have to tell you the Hellcat displays an amazing similarity to driving a Harley at slow speeds. Monster torque lets you cruise around town at 1500-2500 rpm, it sounds unbelievable, and it has the response a quick cycle has. Also and this is most amazing....pull into town slowing down, quickly blip the throttle and that thing downshifts like you did it manually! Slower, do it again and you are treated to another mind reading downshift. Don't like any of that, use ECO mode, it mellows everything out and up shifts as much as possible and you can drive by Churches and cops, no worries. It is a dream, glad I got the A8, period.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You'll NEVER appreciably increase engine wear by using engine braking. NEVER. here's my reasoning:

1) The actual "braking" effect doesn't come from friction, it comes from a closed throttle and sucking/compressing/exhausting air through a closed throttle. The "wear" is on the air molecules, not the engine parts. This is why diesels (no throttle plate) don't have much "natural" engine braking and have to be supplemented with compression-release brakes ("Jake Brakes.")

2) The forces involved are TINY compared to when the engine is producing power. Seriously- the negative pressure on top of the piston on the intake stroke is what produces most of the engine braking. That is going to be just a tiny fraction of the positive pressure that appears on top of each piston when the spark plug fires at wide-open thrott.e

3) Because of #2 , the engine bearings hardly even notice engine braking. On top of that, the little bit of added force on the bearings that does come from engine-braking is on the opposite side of each bearing as the combustion forces. Its on the same side of the bearing that experiences the intertial force of pulling the piston down at high RPM, so the bearing itself is up to the task.

4) Back to big diesels that DO use Jake brakes- when compression braking, they generate many times the braking force that a gasoline engine generates, and they cost a huge amount of money- yet the trucking industry gladly uses jake brakes instead of air brakes all the time. The wear on the engine is essentially zero, but the wear on the brakes is costly.

This is all good to know. Thanks for the detailed info. I just purchased a massive Dodge 3500 Ram with a Hemi diesel to haul a trade show trailer around the Country and it has a "Jake Brake" button, I thought that was kinda cool.
 

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U mean a Cummins diesel. No better truck out there. Enjoy!
 
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