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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have owned my 2007 XK for 10 months now and find little point using the paddle shifters to change gear. If I decide I need that bit of extra power I slip the gearbox into 'DS' mode and find this gives me more than enough power for a temporary performance boost then back into 'D' for what I think of is 'relaxed' mode. I understand you can use the gearbox too its full potential but I don't wish to thrash my lovely XK to that extent.
I was wondering if anyone actually uses these paddles on their daily drive ?
 

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The way you choose to shift doesn't change the power you have or the speed at which the car can accelerate. Floor it in D and you will still get access to all the horses. It alters how it is delivered and how in control you are, or even how involved you feel. Sometimes it makes sense to hold a lower gear for the sake of control, up and down an alpine pass, for example, or preparing for a quick pass, even though the difference here is very small. If you don't want to continue in manual mode, just switch it back. It is just one more pull on a paddle. No point not using D for daily commutes. However, when it appears helpful or when one wants to have some fun, at least a very good manual override is there.
 

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I have never driven a XK with paddles so can't comment on the responsiveness, but I drove a F430 and used the paddles instinctively, felt like you were properly driving the car.

I wish my X350 had them, I sometimes use the J Gate, but this is so slow to respond. I love to give the XJ a good thrash now and again, makes it go better imo.
 

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D is for gentle driving - ideal when the wife is in the passenger seat. I don't like DS - on selecting it, the gearbox drops a ratio or two then keeps the engine revving much higher than I consider necessary. When enjoying a drive on the curvy and hilly Scottish Highlands roads where I live, I use the paddles. I like to have full control over the gearbox, and to approach a bend in the right gear so that I can power out of the bend at just the right engine speed, when it is producing peak torque. I am also old-fashioned enough to like to use the gearbox to help to slow the car on descents, or when decelerating into a bend. The auto modes can't do that.
 

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I use my paddles all the time!

As fast as it is, sometimes the 4.2XK feels gutless and disconnected and I have to drop a cog when climbing a gradient on the motorway to keep up with TDi traffic. It’s much easier using the paddles than judging how far to plant your foot for a 'one cog' kickdown which can also take too long. I also use it for slowing down when I want to save my brakes and to listen to the V8! I’ve only used DS a couple of times and in my mind its too mechanically unsympathetic, noisy, terrifying(!!) and I don’t really want the redline changes….....plus the paddles are closer to my hands.
 

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I like the paddles, it was a feature I wanted in my previous BMW but the right spec combo wasn't available at the time, so I'm happy to have them now. Like others have said, I use them to either control precisely my gear for the right part of the road, or just to let loose the soundtrack.
 

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I use the paddles sometimes to change down when needing a quick overtake because it responds faster than kickdown, but you have to remember to put it back to D afterwards.

NeilR says to return to D you 'pull the paddle again' - can you explain this? My workaround is to put it briefly into N and back to D to resume normal progress.

I'm glad that others find S crackers; Jaguar have changed what S does and made it silly unless you're on the 'Ring (they did it in the XF as well, though that had a Dynamic mode that replicated the old sport idea).

I suspect flappy paddles abound in many cars now because they're cheaper to make and make a sexy sales feature. And this brings us back to the GT concept - either the XK is a laid back mile-eating grand tourer, or it's a nuts-out screaming sports car. But that's what the F-Type is for.

I'd like to see Jaguar bring back a GT, but even if they did, I expect it would look the same as all the others. Load the XJ CAD file, squash it by 15% and hit Print... Jaguar, surprise me. Make a car I want to buy!
 

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The manual gives a good insight to how the transmission software works in conjunction with the sensors on the car to help keep the car in the correct gear. However, if you manually override D, the manual states:

The transmission will revert to automatic
operation after a short period of driving at
steady speed; alternatively the shift-up (+)
paddle may be held for a short period
(approximately one second) to return directly
to automatic operation in D.

This came up a few weeks ago. I guess I must be one of the few that actually reads instruction manuals :)
 

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Thanks Neil, I usually read the handbook cover to cover but must have missed that - possibly as I didn't intend to use them!

Given that all this stuff is fly-by-wire now it should be possible to have the kickdown, pedal travel, max revs and various 'modes' re-programmed, no?
 

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Given that all this stuff is fly-by-wire now it should be possible to have the kickdown, pedal travel, max revs and various 'modes' re-programmed, no?
I expect it is possible if you have access to the config settings. However, I guess Jaguar did not expect it's typical customer to want to customize such settings. Other cars give you more modes or even access to individual settings but most people seem to get lost and then just "reset to factory". Can't win really. The S mode give you the choice of slightly faster responses but is already too wasteful for normal use. Adds some fun when crossing the Black Forest on the back roads though.

The Jaguar implementation of the gearbox controls is uncannily good. It is almost always in the right gear and therefore doing stuff manually is less necessary. To be completely honest, my car is faster than I can reliably cope with when trying to manually drive as fast as it will go and I often find myself slowing myself down compared to leaving it in auto because I've picked the wrong gear. It is a bit like when I try to drive a race in a computer game! Added to that, there is so much torque, it pulls well in any gear so manually dropping down a gear is rarely needed. However, playing with it fun and that is why I bought it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
These comments seems too make me in the minority then and maybe I should explore these paddles instead of the 'DS' mode.
 

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I prefer the paddles to DS mode if already in motion, as DS can suddenly rev unnecessarily high. From a standing start DS is fine though.

These comments seems too make me in the minority then and maybe I should explore these paddles instead of the 'DS' mode.
 

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I used the paddles every time I wanted to overtake, also if you get good at using them you can make it blip the engine when slowing down sounds great. Feels a lot more responsive to me too on twisty country lanes powering out of corners listening to the V8 as you go, the aluminium paddle upgrade made a difference too as they're longer and feel more sturdy.
 

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I use the paddles once or twice on every trip I make; mainly for engine braking. Also if I'm approaching a situation where I want to hold a gear, such as going down a highway ramp and scouting for a slot in the traffic, I shift down once and select DS so it stays in manual model.

I think these are carry-over habits from my previous car, an Abarth 595 MTA. It had a flappy-paddle gear box that was terribly jerky on automatic mode, and only shifted somewhat smoothly if you lifted off for the instant you change gear. Basically, I had it in manual mode all the time.
 
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