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Audi Drive Select (ADS) Summary

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Old 09-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
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Default Audi Drive Select (ADS) Summary

Note: also see post #14 for some clarifications..

I responded to someone who asked about how ADS works in another forum and thought it might be useful here as well, particularly for newer owners.

In a nutshell (for non-active suspension models) - applies to most U.S. later/current ADS equipped models:

The ADS has four driving modes in the MMI:
Comfort
Auto
Dynamic
Individual

The first three automatically set software directed maps for the throttle response, transmission gearing, steering effort, auto cruise control (if equipped) and seat belt tensioner. Individual allows for setting each of the those parameters to Comfort, Auto or Dynamic mode.

Modes

Comfort will provide for best fuel economy and smoother driving by changing upshifting gears sooner/downshifting later, a more sedate throttle response (more travel to the gas pedal for a given amount of gas if you will) and a lighter steering effort. Also a more "relaxed" seat belt tensioner. (See below for ACC).

Dynamic
will provide a sportier feel by holding in each gear longer, up or down, spoitier throttle (more fuel applied for less pedal travel), a greater steering effort and a more aggressive seat belt tensioner. (See below for ACC).

Auto
will vary somewhat in between the two modes above but note that in all modes, the parameters will vary in a predetermined amount depending on driver input, speed, etc..

Individual
can set the parameters of each of the ADS Modes above to taste.

Cars equipped with ACC (Automatic Cruise Control), the Comfort, Auto and Dynamic settings will determine the rate at which the car will speed up or slow down as the detected car in front changes its speed (and based on the ACC distance setting on the steering wheel stalk). ACC can be set in the Individual mode as well.

Note that the D/S selection on the gearshift lever will override ADS settings, i.e. D=Auto and S=Dynamic modes for throttle and gear mapping only; ACC (if equipped), steering and seat belt tensioners remain defaulted to the ADS setting in the MMI. (There is no difference for throttle and gear mapping in D or S from respective Auto or Dynamic settings in the MMI).

Audi S models (and many models in ROW) may include additional ADS settings (adaptive suspension for example).

Final note. Sometimes you'll read in the forums that in S mode or Dynamic that the car is faster than D mode, Auto or comfort. It may seem faster but it's actually not so. There isn't a magic, hidden extra 50 HP with S or Dynamic modes (which would be nice but..no). Because the gas pedal is more sensitive to input, it provides more gas if the pedal pressed the same amount as in Auto or D modes making it appear faster in less than full throttle acceleration. If you are in any mode and you floor it off the line all the way to 70 mph, the elapsed times will be the same. Full throttle when the gears are not shifting until red line overrides any ADS or shifter mode.
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- 2002 allroad 2.7t - 14y/55K mi and still like new
- 2009 A4 3.2 Prestige w/Nav (sold at 4y/48K mi)
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Last edited by snagitseven; 09-16-2013 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:03 PM   #2
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Note that the D/S selection on the gearshift lever will override ADS settings, i.e. D=Auto and S=Dynamic modes for throttle and gear mapping only; ACC (if equipped), steering and seat belt tensioners remain defaulted to the ADS setting in the MMI. (There is no difference for throttle and gear mapping in D or S from respective Auto or Dynamic settings in the MMI).



Final note. Sometimes you'll read in the forums that in S mode or Dynamic that the car is faster than D mode, Auto or comfort. It may seem faster but it's actually not so. There isn't a magic, hidden extra 50 HP with S or Dynamic modes (which would be nice but..no). Because the gas pedal is more sensitive to input, it provides more gas if the pedal pressed the same amount as in Auto or D modes making it appear faster in less than full throttle acceleration. If you are in any mode and you floor it off the line all the way to 70 mph, the elapsed times will be the same. Full throttle when the gears are not shifting until red line overrides any ADS or shifter mode.
D=Auto and S=Dynamic? as I see it is S=Dynamic/Sport and D=Non Dynamic/Sport (Auto and Comfort)

Regarding the "feel fast" I think is fair to say that IF the car shifts quicker in S the car is accelerating faster through the gears, maybe not in just one of them (not hidden horsepower) but a 0-100mph run will be slightly faster in S than in D, this of course if the transmission does shift faster in S vs D.
According to ZF website the transmission is capable of 200 milliseconds shifting, I do not know if that applies only to Sport or D does the same too.
http://www.zf.com/corporate/en/produ...enjoyment.html
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by feralc View Post
D=Auto and S=Dynamic? as I see it is S=Dynamic/Sport and D=Non Dynamic/Sport (Auto and Comfort)

Regarding the "feel fast" I think is fair to say that IF the car shifts quicker in S the car is accelerating faster through the gears, maybe not in just one of them (not hidden horsepower) but a 0-100mph run will be slightly faster in S than in D, this of course if the transmission does shift faster in S vs D.
According to ZF website the transmission is capable of 200 milliseconds shifting, I do not know if that applies only to Sport or D does the same too.
Feralc, please reread my summary. I didn't say the gears shift faster in S or Dynamic, I said they hold longer in gear than Comfort/D mode. So, what I wrote in my summary is correct - gears shift later, not faster or sooner than Comfort or Auto. Your link speaks to the ZF transmissions ability to globally change gears faster but that is not what I was writing re the ADS modes.

As to D=Auto and S=Dynamic for throttle and gear mapping, "Sport" or S mode is the same as Dynamic. It's semantics; S means Sport on the shifter but functions the same as Dynamic for the two parameters mentioned. D mode is the standard Auto mode which in one moment could be close to Comfort or close to Dynamic depending on how the car is being driven.

Bottom line, I stand by my statement that, all conditons being equal, if the car is under full throttle, pedal to the metal, there will be no difference in elapsed times in any selected mode. Time it. I have several times as I was unsure if there would be a difference. There wasn't.
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- 2002 allroad 2.7t - 14y/55K mi and still like new
- 2009 A4 3.2 Prestige w/Nav (sold at 4y/48K mi)
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:13 PM   #4
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Bottom line, I stand by my statement that, all conditons being equal, if the car is under full throttle, pedal to the metal, there will be no difference in elapsed times in any selected mode. Time it. I have several times as I was unsure if there would be a difference. There wasn't.
"Under full throttle" is the key here. At partial throttle the car probably will accelerate more quickly for a given throttle position.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:29 PM   #5
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"Under full throttle" is the key here. At partial throttle the car probably will accelerate more quickly for a given throttle position.
That's what I was trying to get across. Press the gas pedal halfway in Comfort/Auto/D mode, the car gets "X" amount of gas. Press the pedal halfway in Dynamic/S mode, the car gets X+ amount of gas. Press the pedal to the floor and the car gets the same max amount of gas possible regardless of mode selected. Outside of full throttle, It's a matter of pedal travel "sensitivity", if you will. The amount of throttle variance between the different modes decreases as pedal travel is increased toward full press.
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Conti DSW 06 tires; Xpel Ultimate full front, A pillars,mirrors and rocker panels, wrapped edges, Ceramic Pro 9H w/Ceramic Pro Light
- 2002 allroad 2.7t - 14y/55K mi and still like new
- 2009 A4 3.2 Prestige w/Nav (sold at 4y/48K mi)
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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Feralc, please reread my summary. I didn't say the gears shift faster in S or Dynamic, I said they hold longer in gear than Comfort/D mode. So, what I wrote in my summary is correct - gears shift later, not faster or sooner than Comfort or Auto. Your link speaks to the ZF transmissions ability to globally change gears faster but that is not what I was writing re the ADS modes.

As to D=Auto and S=Dynamic for throttle and gear mapping, "Sport" or S mode is the same as Dynamic. It's semantics; S means Sport on the shifter but functions the same as Dynamic for the two parameters mentioned. D mode is the standard Auto mode which in one moment could be close to Comfort or close to Dynamic depending on how the car is being driven.

Bottom line, I stand by my statement that, all conditons being equal, if the car is under full throttle, pedal to the metal, there will be no difference in elapsed times in any selected mode. Time it. I have several times as I was unsure if there would be a difference. There wasn't.
And if you re read mine, you will see I wasn't arguing with you, I was saying that (semantics or not) dynamic and sport applies only for S, and comfort and Auto for D (you mentioned only Auto)

On the other point I never implied you said it shifts faster in Dynamic, but I am wondering if this is indeed the case, maybe S/dynamic does shift faster than D, I know some other gearboxes do according of how much throttle you are giving.
Having said that MAYBE the 200 milliseconds shifting is capable only when the car is S vs D, we have to ask Audi or ZF
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by snagitseven View Post
That's what I was trying to get across. Press the gas pedal halfway in Comfort/Auto/D mode, the car gets "X" amount of gas. Press the pedal halfway in Dynamic/S mode, the car gets X+ amount of gas. Press the pedal to the floor and the car gets the same max amount of gas possible regardless of mode selected. Outside of full throttle, It's a matter of pedal travel "sensitivity", if you will. The amount of throttle variance between the different modes decreases as pedal travel is increased toward full press.
Yup that is true. But try getting an aftermarket ECU upgrade (e.g. APR), Dynamic/S mode will clearly be faster at any pedal input stage.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:04 PM   #8
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Yup that is true. But try getting an aftermarket ECU upgrade (e.g. APR), Dynamic/S mode will clearly be faster at any pedal input stage.
No doubt. An ECU mod is a whole different ball game and beyond the scope and intent of my original post.
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- 2002 allroad 2.7t - 14y/55K mi and still like new
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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Comfort will provide for best fuel economy and smoother driving by changing upshifting gears sooner/downshifting later, a more sedate throttle response (more travel to the gas pedal for a given amount of gas if you will) and a lighter steering effort. Also a more "relaxed" seat belt tensioner. (See below for ACC).

Auto
will vary somewhat in between the two modes above but note that in all modes, the parameters will vary in a predetermined amount depending on driver input, speed, etc..
The engine (gas pedal response) and the transmission are actually the same in Comfort and Auto modes. The transmission will be in 'D' mode for both, but it still varies the "Dynamic Shift Program" depending on lots of factors like hills, cornering and driving style. Apparently there are up to 256 shift maps and the one being used at the time can be read using VAG-COM. See this webpage: http://www.audipages.com/Tech_Articl...nsmission.html

Also see the attached PDFs. Note that a lot of features are not available on US A6s such as the air suspension, dynamic variable ratio steering, the sport differential, and Efficiency mode (but can be enabled through VAG-COM). So out of the three features left on my 2.0T Premium Plus, the only difference between Comfort and Auto is the steering effort.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Audi Drive Select UK A6.pdf (232.9 KB, 112 views)
File Type: pdf Audi Drive Select US A7.pdf (80.2 KB, 112 views)
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:51 PM   #10
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The engine (gas pedal response) and the transmission are actually the same in Comfort and Auto modes. The transmission will be in 'D' mode for both, but it still varies the "Dynamic Shift Program" depending on lots of factors like hills, cornering and driving style. Apparently there are up to 256 shift maps and the one being used at the time can be read using VAG-COM. See this webpage: http://www.audipages.com/Tech_Articl...nsmission.html

So out of the three features left on my 2.0T Premium Plus, the only difference between Comfort and Auto is the steering effort.
I read the tech article (from a 2002 A8?) a couple of times and maybe I'm thick but I didn't see where it describes the Comfort vs Auto modes. (Did the A8 even have ADS back in 2002?) In any case, I'm not so sure the article would apply today.

That said, perhaps you're right and I'm feeling a placebo effect but I sense a slight difference between Auto and Comfort (beyond steering), albeit less noticeable than compared to Dynamic mode. I'm not certain if the maps are in a range from comfort to something in between Comfort and Dynamic or employs settings in the middle (I suspect the former).

I guess the big question is, if there is no difference for the most important two performance categories, why does Audi have an Auto mode at all? Why not just Comfort and Dynamic and if steering is different in Auto mode, let it be adjusted separately through the Individual mode as it is now? I'm going to continue to dig deeper on this one.

BTW, I did mention in the summary it was for U.S. versions and that there are other ADS features available in S models and ROW. While I'm aware of the Efficiency mode, I wanted to stay with with U.S. stock settings and avoid Vag-Com mods that perhaps might confuse new owners.
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Conti DSW 06 tires; Xpel Ultimate full front, A pillars,mirrors and rocker panels, wrapped edges, Ceramic Pro 9H w/Ceramic Pro Light
- 2002 allroad 2.7t - 14y/55K mi and still like new
- 2009 A4 3.2 Prestige w/Nav (sold at 4y/48K mi)
- 2001 A6 2.7t (sold at 8y/98K mi)

Last edited by snagitseven; 09-11-2013 at 07:58 PM.
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