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I was sitting with my counselor getting registered for my Fall classes and him being a motor-head and Porsche enthusiast likes to waste plenty of time when I'm in the office. He told me he was vacationing in California a couple of years back and an F1 360 pulled up across the street and the Valet took it. He chuckled at the fact that the valet didn't know how to get the car into gear and take off to the parking garage.

So I was wondering, with no user clutch control, how do you start from a stop with an F1 transmission without either stalling it or taking off like a rocket. Does the computer simply release the clutch very slowly? I heard they have an "auto" or city mode where it shifts for you, how does the vehicle know to control the clutch and not stall if say you are going along slowly and have to slam on the breaks to avoid an accident?

For as long as I've been a Ferrari fan I've researched how the new trannys work and whatnot, but this question never crossed my mind...I still prefer operating the clutch myself.
 

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how does the vehicle know to control the clutch and not stall if say you are going along slowly and have to slam on the breaks to avoid an accident?

There are sensors monitoring vehicle speed, mainshaft speed, and engine rpm. The computer [software] uses this info and then decides what to do with the clutch. The parameters of this are a part of the software suite, but can handle most clutching situations, like slipping the clutch when taking off, or disengaging when the vehicle speed is abruptly slowed.

Although I have no experience with an F1 tranny, I imagine you can fool the computer if you tried hard enough, and possibly make the car stall. The computers in these cars are as sophisticated as a plank of driftwood, they are quite low on processing power by todays standards, so to speak.
 

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I was a life-long 3-peddle guy right up until I test drove my first 360 F1. I now own a wonderful ’02 F1 coupe. The smoothness, precision and consistency of the 360 F1 transmission are astonishing. I drive my car a lot and I have yet to encounter any situation which is not handled perfectly by the system. I doubt there is any way to stall the engine.

To start from a stop in neutral, simply put your right foot on the brake, pull the right paddle to shift into first, move your foot from the brake to the gas peddle and press down. How far and how quickly you press the gas determines how fast the computer lets out on the clutch. From PIS (Point of Initial Slip) through full engagement is handled perfectly every time – very smooth and predictable. It takes about 2 minutes to get the hang of it.

If you’re driving along and apply the brakes, nothing happens (i.e., clutch remains engaged) until your speed becomes too slow for the gear you’re in, at which point the thing just downshifts one gear automatically. If you slammed on the brakes hard to a full stop without downshifting, you’d simply get a rapid succession of automatic downshifts until you came to a stop in first gear with the clutch disengaged. It couldn’t be simpler.

The automatic mode you speak of is just a matter of having the computer decide when to shift (both up and down) instead of the driver. All you do is press a button on the center tunnel to set the mode and begin driving as though it were a conventional automatic transmission. I almost never use the automatic mode, but it’s perfect for a lady friend who doesn’t want to deal with anything but the gas and brakes.

I am now a huge fan of the Ferrari F1 transmission and I constantly marvel at the level of sophistication Ferrari has achieved with the thing. Some guys simply prefer shifting for themselves as you mention, but don’t be fooled into thinking there is any disadvantage to the F1 system because there isn’t.
 
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