Hi all. I wanted to ask those who have had numerous P80s a question about turbo behavior and feel. I've had my 98 T5m for over ten years and I'm very used to how it drives. Last year, I bought a 99R Auto and it feels like a completely different animal.
I know that right off the bat there are some notable differences:
4.4 vs ME7 ecus
16T vs 18T (and different wastegate preload settings)
Manual vs Automatic
Okay, but when it comes to driving them, the T5m feels like an old school turbo car from the 80s: huge turbo lag as the boost builds. Every gear change, boost is lost because the throttle closes, and it starts over again (doh!). The result is that I can feel a push back in the seat as the turbo hits full boost. Feels good.
Now the 99R Auto - it feels like a NA motor almost. I never hear OR feel the turbo spool. It just constantly surges forward. Of course, because throttle stays open during gear changes, boost is never lost, so that kind of makes sense. But the car just doesn't FEEL as fast as the T5m.
The stopwatch disagrees. The 99R is actually faster than the 98T5m (because I'm not really abusing the clutch), but both are around the 7 second mark from 0-60. The T5m just feels more fun. Almost feels like boost increases in the 98 (from 0-10psi), and boost fades or stays about the same all the time on the 99 Auto.
Is what I'm experiencing pretty common? Or should I be feeling a more pronounced turbo spool in the 99R Auto as well?
I have a boost gauge in the 98, but not in the 99 (can't figure out a good way to mount one - I want to avoid the A-pillar mounts)
My Auto R (MY 2000 w/ stock 19T) behaves the same as yours. The Auto T5 has much more throw you in the back seat turbo boost. As Will says I think the 600LBS weight difference is a huge factor. It's like having 3 200lbs guys riding with you.