Guys, for your information, my Series 2 xr8 (200kw) auto was affected with a 'harsh' 2nd to 1st kickdown shift. To see if your vehical is effected by this (and i believe its only the 200kw auto v8s).. take off slowly from teh lights, let it change to 2nd gear(which should happen approx 30km/h) when it reaches 50km/h, floor it. it should geardown smoothly..
Mine however, was rather quite harsh, it actually felt like the wheels locked up for a split second (read: compression lockup), before it engaged into 1st.
I Promptly took it back to ford (i bought the car second hand) and made them aware of the problem i noticed. they took the car for a drive.. and watchin them, they were rolling, and stopped.. apparently it also clunks back into 1st gear.
He said they were doing a 'valve body upgrade' where they put the valve body from the 220kw Auto version of the xr8 into mine (dunno if they used the 220kw valve body), but they did change the valve body as i watched them do it.
Apparently there's a Ford Service Bulliton which does state this as a valid problem, however, not to do it unless the owner notices it. which is a fair thing in my opinion, as if i drove like a old guy, and not kicking it down every 2nd corner i got to, i wouuldnt experiance the harsh shifting from 2nd to 1st..
If your cars under warentee, and its a 200kw XR8 and have the same problem as me/ take it to ford, they were a real great help, and they didnt try brushing it off as (adaptive shift is re learning)