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Ferrari 458 Italia  (Source: Car and Driver)

Ford's Mustang is available with a 6-speed manual transmission
Manual transmissions continue to die off in all segments of the auto market

It wasn't too long ago that we were discussing the decline of V6 and V8 engines in favor of more fuel efficient naturally aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinder engines for mainstream vehicles. However, we're also beginning to see the death of another automative staple: the manual transmission.

According to the Detroit News, more than 91 percent of 2009 model year cars sold in the United States came equipped with an automatic transmission. Advances in technology are making the "fuel economy gap" that one favored manuals over automatic transmissions disappear. And in many cases, automatic or CVT-equipped versions of vehicles get better fuel economy than their manually-shifted counterparts.

In the case of the 2011 Mustang V6, the automatic transmission achieves 19 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The manual transmission version also achieves 19 mpg in the city, but gets a slightly lower 30 mpg on the highway.

As for the Honda CR-Z, the difference between the automatic transmission and the manual is even more dramatic. A CR-Z with a CVT transmission gets 36/38 mpg (city/highway) versus 31/37 for the manual transmission.

High performance cars, often a sector where you'd expect to only find a manual transmission, are ditching traditional manuals for single- and dual-clutch automated transmissions. Sports cars like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Ferrari 458 Italia are only available with dual-clutch transmissions.

"Europeans tend to buy manuals on entry models, while Americans view it as an option for enthusiasts," said BMW 5-Series project manager Willem Rombauts.

"Manuals lend a special connection to the car, and that's highly appealing to our customers," said Mini project manager Vincent Kung. "Looking at the next generation of the Cooper, we'll continue to see a significant place for the manual."

In addition to the fuel economy benefits mentioned before, automated transmissions now often provide faster acceleration as well. It's a win-win in the technical sense. However, many people feel that they aren't "one with the machine" if they don't have a third pedal on the floor and a stick to row.

Others see the rise of automatic transmissions as byproduct of America's laziness and penchant for multitasking be it eating, talking, texting, or applying makeup while driving. Whatever the reasons for uptick in automatic transmission adoptions, it doesn't appear to be a trend that will stop anytime soon -- at least not in the United States.



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Maybe there is another reason
By JediJeb on 6/25/2010 5:54:11 PM , Rating: 3
How many minivans are equipped with a manual transmission or even offer one as an option. Also most nicer large cars don't offer manual transmissions either. If every model was offered with both types of transmissions at the same price then what would the numbers look like?

I don't think it is so much drivers are opting for automatics over manuals, they are making a choice of a body style which may not come with a manual option, or is only something you have to special order.




RE: Maybe there is another reason
By dubldwn on 6/25/2010 6:16:08 PM , Rating: 5
I’d imagine it’s the other way around, and they’re not made because there’s no demand for them.

If I was forced at gunpoint to own a minivan, I sure would prefer a manual, though.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By dubldwn on 6/25/2010 6:16:27 PM , Rating: 5
On second thought, I’d just take the bullet.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Samus on 6/26/2010 3:28:06 AM , Rating: 3
The hottest luxury car I can remember with a nice manual was the Lincoln LS, but you could only get a manual if you got a V6, which basically made it a Mondeo. It was nice, but not quite luxury. It's sad that to get a manual transmission you need to buy a sports car or a econobox.

I will never forget my 92 Taurus SHO, the hotest family sedan of its time.


By theapparition on 6/27/2010 7:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
So completely sad that you didn't immediately think of the CTS-V.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By piroroadkill on 6/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Maybe there is another reason
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 7:12:48 PM , Rating: 3
Ya, seriously. Who wouldn't like a minivan.

http://www.pinktentacle.com/images/vanning_1.jpg


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By mcnabney on 6/25/2010 7:13:30 PM , Rating: 3
The Mazda 5 has an available standard. I have one. Gets 26/30mpg - yes, a minivan. I have owned five cars in the past 25 years, all manuals. Next purchase will be a Fiesta.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By ksherman on 6/26/2010 1:52:23 PM , Rating: 3
Mazda offers a manual trans on all it's models, part of why I love them :). I'm rocking a 2009 Mazda3, the manual makes driving a ton of fun!


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 7:13:27 PM , Rating: 3
Subaru does the same. It's awesome.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By BZDTemp on 6/26/2010 7:21:35 PM , Rating: 3
Think about the Mazda 2 if possible (not sure it's available in the US yet). The Fiesta is build on the Mazda 2 platform and the Mazda guys are doing some great weight saving things now. And light=fun :-)


By Spivonious on 6/27/2010 12:33:56 PM , Rating: 3
Really? I thought Ford and Mazda split ways in 2008. It was my understanding that the new Fiesta was built from the ground up by Ford's European design team.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By johnsonx on 6/27/2010 4:41:28 PM , Rating: 2
The Mazda 5 isn't exactly a minivan... it's a high sided small car with minivan-like features like sliding doors. When it came time to get a minivan for the family, I really wanted the Mazda 5. But it was just too small, so we got an MPV instead. The Mazda 5 is a neat vehicle though.

Any man with a young family who chooses an SUV over a minivan is putting his personal 'image' over the comfort of his family, and is no man at all, just an over-grown boy.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 7:17:21 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The Mazda 5 isn't exactly a minivan... it's a high sided small car


Man, sounds like a description of...what's the word. Oh that's right. A minivan.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By thornburg on 6/27/2010 10:03:38 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The Mazda 5 isn't exactly a minivan...


I refer to my Mazda 5 as "a mini minivan".

It seats 6, but the two in the way back had better be small. It's perfect for me, because I have kids, but can't afford to own two cars, and it gets much better milage than any actual minivan.

It's really quite humorous if you can park your 5 between a Honda Fit and an asian-made minivan (like an Odyssey or a Sienna). They look like the 3 bears. All 3 are the same shape, just different sizes.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By ira176 on 6/28/2010 4:52:04 AM , Rating: 2
I learned to drive on a 1989 Ford Aerostar XL, what a sweet ride! It had like an 18" stick to boot, like pseudo tractor trailer truck. I think that the minivan has come a long way as far as looks are concerned and I would consider getting one from maybe honda or toyota, but it would have to be auto now.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By RU482 on 6/27/2010 11:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
the mazda 5 is more like a micro van. Or, a car with rear sliders.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Lazarus Dark on 6/25/2010 7:30:43 PM , Rating: 5
I think people who choose a manual these days are a certain type of driver anyway. I got a manual 2009 Challenger and had to order it from the factory because there were NONE available on lots (that didn't have 10 grand in options I didn't want), had to wait 4 months to get the car delivered to me.

Last I checked, about one third of all 2009 Challengers were manuals. Many owners, me included, stated they would NOT buy the car without a manual. Still, everyone I know is shocked when they find out I got a manual (usually after they ask to take a spin... then I have to ask if they know how to drive stick... few do). Most people just want to mash a pedal without having to think... and they might find it hard to text and eat thier cereal while trying to shift at the same time. *rolleyes* (I am perfectly fine just not answering my phone while driving. If I think its important, I pull over. period.)

I agree that ALL new drivers should be forced to drive manuals. It would half the number of accidents. Personally, when I have a kid, they will get a very used manual car and drive it until they can buy their own car. I wish my parents had done it. Personally... after having gone manual, I NEVER want to go back. I hate driving someone elses car now, the trans will never shift when I want it to...


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Lazarus Dark on 6/25/2010 8:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
?? I have not been in an accident in the dozen years since getting my license, despite all the drivers who seem intent on trying to hit me. In fact I am scared to death to ride as a passenger as everyone elses driving scares me.

Or did you mean something else.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By dubldwn on 6/25/2010 8:56:52 PM , Rating: 3
haha I think he’s saying Challengers aren’t the ‘sensible’ choice. For me, that was half the appeal :D

BTW, of the four dealerships in my area, each had exactly one manual…and about 10 automatics. I was shocked.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Maybe there is another reason
By dubldwn on 6/25/2010 9:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I can’t help what you’re thinking, but it sure does turn a lot of heads, and I get approached a lot with people asking about it. I absolutely love it and this one’s a keeper.

What are you pushing?


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2010 10:16:14 PM , Rating: 1
I guess honestly my biggest problem with the Challenger and Camaro and similar offerings, is that they illustrate the failed American automakers business model. Retro retro retro, when the public is screaming for them to MOVE FORWARD!

Look we get it, a bunch of old nostalgic guys had muscle cars 500 years ago and loved them. But so what?

Notice how the Corvette has never tried to go back to 1950's styling, and it also has hardly ever had a year where they didn't sell like crazy?


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Noya on 6/25/2010 11:28:49 PM , Rating: 3
I totally agree.

Personally, the worst aspect of the "retro" styled cars are the "retro" styled instruments and interiors.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2010 11:53:27 PM , Rating: 1
lol exactly. Let's bring back the WORST interior and dash designs in the history of mankind??

How about no.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By dubldwn on 6/26/2010 12:06:18 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I guess honestly my biggest problem with the Challenger and Camaro and similar offerings, is that they illustrate the failed American automakers business model. Retro retro retro, when the public is screaming for them to MOVE FORWARD!

That’s a false dilemma. America has plenty of competition for Accord/Camry and Civic/Carolla, and I’m well aware that these are very appealing for all the A to B people. Muscle cars aren’t their business model; they’re a niche.
quote:
Look we get it, a bunch of old nostalgic guys had muscle cars 500 years ago and loved them. But so what?

The reason they love them is because these “retro” cars have a personality, power, and presence missing from most of the compartmentalized and efficiency optimized “modern” cars that look like electric razors.
quote:
Notice how the Corvette has never tried to go back to 1950's styling, and it also has hardly ever had a year where they didn't sell like crazy?

?? - GM and Ford sell like six times as many Camaros and Mustangs a month as Corvette. Although I don’t think any of these cars were meant to be top sellers (certainly not the Chally!), but that’s what enthusiast offerings are all about.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By SPOOFE on 6/27/2010 3:48:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Retro retro retro, when the public is screaming for them to MOVE FORWARD!

Move forward to what? The "retro" look you're decrying was the culmination of four or five decades of styling and design experience. Another four or five and the tech has improved, but styling and design has been a mixed bag. Attempts to "move forward" with design have either resulted in some true eyesores (see: Pontiac Aztek) or given us an armada of generic "Looks Like A Civic" vehicles.

Whattaya want? More gull-wing doors? LED lights everywhere? Silly designs that look more Acid Trip than Motor Vehicle? Let's face it, after fifty years since the "classic retro" days, the only move that would actually be a significant step forward in the eyes of the average consumer would be the flying car.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By EricMartello on 6/28/2010 1:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on the point that most modern cars are dull, boring and have no character or personality in their design...and I also agree that some older cars did have a lot of appealing design features. BUT I don't think we should always be looking back.

Let's take the last model of the FBody, which is what the Camaro and Firebird were for the longest time before being axed in 2003. The last revision of the Firebird Fbod design, at least when it came to the Trans AM WS6, was incredible. It was a great example of contemporary design from classic roots. Even today most people would agree that the WS6 is still on of the most badass looking cars out there...now if only they built off that and improved the tech of the car they'd be onto something.


By Lazarus Dark on 6/28/2010 8:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
If they had come out with a new Firebird/Transam , I would have had a really hard decision between it and the Challenger. The WS6 had been the ONLY car I wanted for years until the Challenger came out. I still had to choose between a used WS6 and the new Challenger, the Challenger really only won because I wanted a warranty (I was tired of pouring money into dying used cars)


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Phoque on 6/25/2010 11:15:33 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I agree that ALL new drivers should be forced to drive manuals. It would half the number of accidents.


It would quarter the number of women driving beforehand. Maybe there's a link.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By djc208 on 6/26/2010 9:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
But even at that, the manual transmission was only offered in the Challenger and its siblings very recently. Before that the only option was a 4 or 5-speed automatic depending on engine.

The MDS system on the HEMI only works with an automatic transmission. It also allows all the new nanny systems better control over the vehicle.

I will say that some of the programming in these new automatic transmissions is cool. The one in my car will downshift and lock up the torque converter in order to slow the car down when your speed goes above the set cruise control speed. Makes those long trips that much less stressful.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 7:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
5 speed manual with no cruise control. I'm a lot happier with it than any automatic.


By Lazarus Dark on 6/28/2010 8:08:57 PM , Rating: 3
6th gear on the manual Challenger gets me right at 29mpg highway since it's been good and broken in, which I'm quite happy with. The 5speed auto doesnt get that.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By inperfectdarkness on 6/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Maybe there is another reason
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 8:01:00 PM , Rating: 3
There's a reason manual transmissions stick around. Cheaper to build and more durable. The reason why you see clutch based semi-automatic transmission in motorsports and not your stupid manumatic crap.

And 1/4 mile drag racing is stupid. Manual/automatic, doesn't matter what you drive for it. It all boils down to whoever has the most power in their car. No amount of skill is going to change that.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By MGSsancho on 6/28/2010 3:33:03 AM , Rating: 2
or a car like the Mercedes SLR. It is automatic.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 7:09:12 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what that has to do with anything. Notice how you don't see the Mercedes SLR in motorsport. It's just owned by rich lazy ppl.

If it does end up in motorsport, they'll custom build a semi-automatic/manual transmission for it. That's if someone is stupid enough to take a $750k car onto the track and not just build up something cheaper, that ends up costing $750k after modifications.


By MamiyaOtaru on 6/28/2010 12:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most people just want to mash a pedal without having to think... and they might find it hard to text and eat thier cereal while trying to shift at the same time. (I am perfectly fine just not answering my phone while driving. If I think its important, I pull over. period.)

I prefer automatics. I also don't use my phone while driving. The automatic doesn't prevent my from multitasking like a manual, but if I abstain from it, that's one less thing I have to do, less to think about, less to fsck up. It doesn't make me feel manly, but I feel less likely to get in a wreck


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Chaser on 6/28/2010 11:34:45 AM , Rating: 2
These retro remakes are a relic trying to make a come back that appeals to a 50+ something beer belly wanting to go back to the drive in theater or the 60s drag strips. For most those buyers those cars scream "where did the good old days go?" He might feel smug in his "new classic" and when grandpa walks up to admire it at the supermarket parking lot. But for me once an M3, M5 or M6 or comparable Audi stops at a traffic light I feel smug knowing my tastes have matured along with me since the 70s.

As far as a manual goes: Please. Performance is performance. Manuals are just for clutch action jockeys that are still whimpering about fuel injection and electronic ignitions. Go back to the empty drive in.


By Lazarus Dark on 6/28/2010 8:17:51 PM , Rating: 3
?? I'm 28.
I did, of course, grow up around muscle cars.
You're probably northern or coastal aren't you?
Down here in the South, Muscle still rules and thats just fine with me. I can appreciate a well-done import, but I'm sorry, nothing sounds as good as a V-8. Nothing.

And while I love my Motorola Droid, Xbox, HTPC, and other high tech equipment, and I work with computers all day at work... when it comes to my Challenger, I would have paid extra to strip out the electronics and get a carburetor on that V-8. When it comes to driving, thats just how I like it...


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By chick0n on 6/25/2010 10:53:44 PM , Rating: 5
The biggest reason is : people can't drive for shit.

Especially people from the united states, simply can't drive for shit. Most of them are too retarded to even drive properly with Automatics, you think they can handle an extra pedal + have to shift up/down ?

Im 30 yrs old now and all my cars (3 cars) are ALL manual transmission cars. People ask me why I want Manual, I told them cuz I want to control the car, not the other way around + more fun to drive a stick than boring Automatics.

Sure if its some Advance stuff like DSG or GR6 type of Auto transmission then maybe, otherwise, no thank you Automatic.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By JonnyDough on 6/25/2010 11:49:14 PM , Rating: 3
All foreigners are judgmental nincompoops. I'm sorry but its statements like the one I just gave that show when someone is wholly ignorant and prejudiced against a group of people they obviously know little of.

I too am 30 years old, and not only can I drive pretty much any stick shift...I was driving a big 3 gear pickup with a cherry picker on the back when I was 17 years old, operating lifts and 4000 PSI industrial power washers. I was also doing some factory work operating welding machines, etc before I was 20. When I was 19 I had a motorcycle, and as a young boy I rode go-karts, mini-bikes, mopeds, and 3 and 4-wheelers.

Here in the U.S. we have a great amount of farmland/desert/woodland/grassland and the disposable income with which to purchase geared recreational vehicles to ride on these terrains with.

There are kids who ride in the field behind my house. We have so many lakes around here its ridiculous, and a lot of people have boats and jet skis which are not automatic.

I don't think you have a clue what you're talking about so maybe next time you should try not to have a broad bias against a nation which you obviously have little understanding of.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By chick0n on 6/26/10, Rating: -1
By prettyRicky on 6/27/2010 2:59:00 PM , Rating: 4
/\this guy = douchebag


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By SPOOFE on 6/27/2010 3:54:39 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Im sitting in my home in NYC to type this out.

and I've been here hmm since 1990.

Ahh, New York City, a town that just makes one think of fast cars, the wind in your hair, a hot chick sitting in the passenger seat...

Or maybe it makes on think of traffic jams, gridlock, and crackhead hobos puking on your fender while you're waiting for nineteen garbage trucks to move.

NYC =/= Driving Expertise.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 8:16:06 PM , Rating: 1
I'm going with chick0n on this. Also, I was born and raised in the US. Born in Kentucky, raised in Idaho. Everything's a freaking automatic nowadays. Cars, recreational vehicles like boats, jet skis, etc.

I'm sorry, but do you seriously have a clue what your even saying. WTF is a manual transmission boat?


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Nik00117 on 6/27/2010 9:52:07 AM , Rating: 2
there is no demand for automatic transmissions.

The lady that bought the Ford Fusion was me the other day picked Automatic because there was less to do with driving. She doesn't want a sports car she wants a A-B car that gets her there safely and without fuss.

Not only that automatics are becoming superior to manuals.

It used to make sense to get a Manual because of the savings in gas and the performance increase

It no longer makes sense to that.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By abhaxus on 6/28/2010 2:16:13 AM , Rating: 2
I agree... when I bought my car, I really wanted the manual. However, on my car (a 2009 Kia Optima) a manual did not include ANY power options. So I went with the automatic with sport shift. I really miss rev-matching my downshifts, but in traffic, I'm much happier.


RE: Maybe there is another reason
By Hiawa23 on 6/28/2010 8:26:51 AM , Rating: 2
I hope manual transmission are not dieing cause that's the only car I will buy. Both my Honda Civic & Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart are manual trans. Automatics are just boring to me, & I have no interest in owning one.


Push Start
By Steven Morgan on 6/25/2010 8:12:33 PM , Rating: 5
One technical advantage automatic transmissions will never have on manual transmissions.




RE: Push Start
By chick0n on 6/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Push Start
By Phoque on 6/25/2010 11:37:48 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
what technical advantage ?


He's talking about starting a car by pushing it and then releasing the clutch while in second gear. All manual transmission vehicles in the world support push start.

You should quit crystal meth for a few days.


RE: Push Start
By JonnyDough on 6/25/2010 11:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
If you read his other posts it would appear that he is for some misguided reason a hater of America. I almost feel sorry for him, except that he's 30 and he should know better by now than to hate groups of people with such broad assumption.


RE: Push Start
By SPOOFE on 6/27/2010 3:57:31 PM , Rating: 4
It's a feature, not a bug? Look, it's a nifty bit of trivia, but "push start" is not something to brag about. I remember my dad having to shove his car down the hill in the morning just to get us kids to school; "awesome, you can start it by pushing it!" was NOT the thought going through my head. More like, "What a crappy car this is."


RE: Push Start
By Zoomer on 6/28/2010 8:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
It's a feature when someone didn't maintain the bettery, or plain forgot to remove the load from the battery for an extended period.


RE: Push Start
By Elakrab on 6/25/2010 11:40:49 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the "Push Start" we are talking about is when you have someone physically push the car and you release the clutch in 1st gear to start the car.


RE: Push Start
By chick0n on 6/25/2010 11:50:49 PM , Rating: 2
I got it wrong, my apology.

I thought u said Push start "button" thinggy.

Push start ... yeah did that a few times for friends. Always work. Auto tranny will never have that :)


RE: Push Start
By StevoLincolnite on 6/26/2010 12:14:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
One technical advantage automatic transmissions will never have on manual transmissions.


We have an ancient NSU car with semi-automatic transmission that has a clutch and torque converter.
At about 40kph which is a bit less than 35mph, the engine started.

In General, you can't push-start a car with automatic transmission, but you can tow-start it.

But it also depends on how the gearbox is actually made. The transmission has to have a rear pump in order for the internals to connect the rear wheels to the engine to turn over the motor.
The last transmission with a rear pump that was put in a domestic use that I recall was back in the early sixties, those can be push started.


RE: Push Start
By Beno on 6/27/2010 3:49:11 PM , Rating: 3
im not an expert in transmissions but i heard that you can do it with automatic, but its not good and harms the gear box.


RE: Push Start
By inperfectdarkness on 6/27/2010 10:08:11 AM , Rating: 2
and one safety feature automatics have over manuals:

remote start won't backfire if you forgot & left the car in gear; no safety switches required.


RE: Push Start
By frobizzle on 6/28/2010 11:22:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
remote start won't backfire if you forgot & left the car in gear; no safety switches required.

Hey, dingbat...for the last 25 years and maybe longer, standards have a clutch interlock switch that requires the clutch being disengaged in order to energize the starter. Your point is moot.


RE: Push Start
By abhaxus on 6/28/2010 1:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
When an end user desires remote start on their vehicle with a manual transmission, the installer disables the switch on the clutch. Thus the car will be able to start with the keyfob without someone being in the car. If the last person to drive the car leaves it in gear, the car will move when the remote start is activated. For this reason, remote start isn't really an option for manual transmission vehicles. Most installers/custom retailers won't install them because of the liability concerns.


Automatic vs. Manual
By Hans Gruber on 6/25/2010 4:41:48 PM , Rating: 4
In Germany, there are no cup holders. German drivers are focused on driving and not drinking coffee or soda.

In America, driving is a multi-taskers dream. Driving, drinking, watching DVD's while driving, popping pills and not focusing with the primary task of driving a vehicle.

I too have a manual transmission like many others here. I have never owned a automatic transmission in my life. I learned to drive in my dads 67' Mustang that the current Mustang exterior is derived from. That car was an absolute death trap without power anything. Everytime I drove the Mustang, I was facing certain death without knowing it.

Today's current CVT and exotic paddleshift semi-automatic transmissions are superior to manual transmission cars only on $50,000+ vehicles. Mercedes comes to mind with their AMG line of cars that produce unheard 0-60mph times under 4 seconds in a few models. Ferrari has for years used paddle shift technology borrowed from their Formula 1 cars with dual electronically controlled clutches.

Most people who buy manual transmissions are buying them for better acceleration and to be one with the automobile. In the future it will be those who value the driver experience which choose a manual transmission over an automatic.

It will be another 10 years until the quality semi automatic transmissions in Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Ferrari will trickle down into mainstream automobiles.

The current automatics are clunky with better fuel economy and a little better acceleration than previous automatic transmissions. The reason for the better fuel economy and improved acceleration has to do with the addition of more gears in the new automatic transmissions. The old three and four speed autos have been replaced by five, six and seven speed automatics that close mirror the gear ratio of a manual and beyond.

In 10 years maybe car companies will put in a dead clutch pedal for those who opt for a automatic transmission but still crave the heal toe acceleration of a manual.




RE: Automatic vs. Manual
By Hyperion1400 on 6/25/2010 7:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
O Rly?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Clutch_SST

You know, Mitsubishi sells a BEAST of a twin clutch for only 36k (Evo10/11 MR+) that will out perform any manual on the market and a good portion of other twin clutches that are far more expensive than their own. I like the fact that they give you a choice between full-auto, paddle shifters, and the classic stick to change hears with. If I had 40k burning a hole in my pocket I would already be driving one!

The fact that you prefer a clutch to having the car do the work for you is purely sentimental and shouldn't add any credence to your belief that you enjoy driving more than others who don't use a clutch or that you are a better driver. Hmm, starting to go off on a bit of a tangent here. Anyway, just because you enjoy a manual more than you do an automatic does not mean that you enjoy driving more than others or that a manual is more enjoyable than an automatic. That is just your personal preference.


RE: Automatic vs. Manual
By chick0n on 6/25/2010 10:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah but it has overheating problems, EVEN when its bone stock. I don't consider that as a successful product, Mitsubishi released it just to "make them look good", its an un-finished product. They know it.

SST is so superior right? maybe on a straight line. other than that, that Twin Clutch bullshit is just worthless. Go ask any "REAL" Evo owners what they prefer, they will just tell you SST is a fucking joke, 6 sp is the one and only way to go.

SST is a Beast? GR6 must be god's gift then.

you might want to do your homework before you spill more bullshit out.


RE: Automatic vs. Manual
By Noya on 6/26/2010 1:50:54 AM , Rating: 1
I have to agree with you. I would not buy a used car with a dual-clutch type gearbox right now. On a lease or maybe brand new with a full factory warranty...and even then I've read forum threads where the manufacturer blames the owner for malfunctions and it turns into a huge shitstorm.

Road & Track had a fairly recent article on DCTs and the 7spd model in the Porsche Cayman S overheated and stopped working properly. And this is a $65k+ German sports car (w/options). Mitsubishi isn't known for quality and reliability in most of their products (4G63t aside), let alone a state-of-the-art first generation DCT gearbox hooked up to an easily tunable car.


RE: Automatic vs. Manual
By MGSsancho on 6/28/2010 3:41:05 AM , Rating: 2
The report say anything about how the car was being driven? Could just be a terrible driver in a brand new Porsche who did not know how to drive.


RE: Automatic vs. Manual
By SPOOFE on 6/27/2010 4:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In Germany, there are no cup holders. German drivers are focused on driving and not drinking coffee or soda.

Because, other than driving for utilitarian purposes, Germans only get the Autobahn. No speed limit is nice and all, but American auto makers use the thousands of miles of open road and vast highway system to their marketing advantage. Two completely different driving environments; I'd take Pacific Coast Highway over the Autobahn any day. Scenery vs. velocity.


RE: Automatic vs. Manual
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 8:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
When you finally get to drive the Autobahn, you'll find out how big of a piece of shit it is. Many portions of it are poorly maintained or bumpy as crap. Like 75% of it has some kind fo speed limit. The speed limits make absolutely zero sense. You'll be in an unlimited zone, then it drops to 130 kph. 300 ft from that it drops to 80 kph. Then 300 ft from that, it goes back to unlimited.

Germany is also pretty open, for how little of a country it is. It's mostly rural area around the autobahns. Hell, most of the country feels rural. Like driving through Colorado or something. Mostly empty, with a few large cities.

Aside from the autobahn, majority of roads have more curves than Kim Kardashian.


RE: Automatic vs. Manual
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 8:28:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, Germans drivers are so focused on driving and not drinking coffee or soda. Hence almost getting hit by German drivers on 3 seperate occassions within the 1st week of being in Germany at Mannheim. After that, I went on the offense. If German drivers are more focused on driving, their focus must suck huge donkey balls. 2 years in Germany and I can't believe how many near misses I've had.

No cup holders? Pfff. That just means more time to play with their GPS.


So What!?
By WikiChici on 6/26/2010 9:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
A Good manual Gearbox means squat if the engine is crap.

A Good Auto gearbox with a great engine is bliss, not only does it downshift better but i think you grindinggearheads are forgetting that a _Modern_ Automatic gearbox is quieter, more efficient, smoother and most of all cheaper (to buy and to run) Oh and they shift alot faster ;D

Manuals have gone the way of the dodo because they have been outdated, if you cant deal with that get a semi automatic with sports upshift control or DSG.

And i think you are forgetting manual gearboxes do pose a safety risk when it comes down to insurance and electronic safety controls as there is no over ride... And lets face it most people who drive manual can not quick shift smoothly so the whole 'benifit' of driving a manual vs. automatic is lost on them.

Accept that Automatic is the new manual, i wonder how many people will freak out when gearboxes no longer have to change gears!?




RE: So What!?
By chick0n on 6/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: So What!?
By WikiChici on 6/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: So What!?
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 12:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
Semi-automatic and DSG. You do know those are manual transmissions?

CVT transmissions. No gear changes.


RE: So What!?
By WikiChici on 6/28/2010 1:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
I realize CVT has no gear changes but it is not exactly 'standard' now is it?

When CVT is commonplace surely it will be more efficient then manual and old style automatics.


RE: So What!?
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 7:11:56 PM , Rating: 2
When exactly did you say they had to be standard in all this.

quote:
Accept that Automatic is the new manual, i wonder how many people will freak out when gearboxes no longer have to change gears!?


Where? CVT is already out there, maybe not commonplace, but you didn't state such.


In America maybe
By piroroadkill on 6/27/2010 8:09:48 AM , Rating: 3
In pretty much the rest of the world, manual transmission is alive and well




RE: In America maybe
By SPOOFE on 6/27/2010 4:10:57 PM , Rating: 1
In pretty much the rest of the world, so is leprosy, starvation, rickets, polio...


RE: In America maybe
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 11:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
The US, it's mostly automatic. Europe, it's mostly manual. Asia, it's mostly automatic.

All depends where you're living.


*#*# that....
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/25/2010 4:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
Leave my manual cars alone. WTF!




RE: *#*# that....
By Etsp on 6/25/2010 4:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that exactly the point of the article? Consumers are leaving your manual cars alone.

However, as a result automakers have a need to adapt.


what about price?
By joe4324 on 6/25/2010 8:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to be able to keep manuals in new cars because I probably will never buy a new one again, or infact a car less than 20 years old for that matter. But isn't one of major advantages of getting a manual on a small car because they sometimes cost ALOT less? typically base models with sticks can come in even a couple grand cheaper right?

AND, my personal favorite. Have you ever tried to change an automatic transmission? I actually haven't scares the hell out of me, but I can put in a salvage or rebuild into my 81 merc diesel in 4 hours flat and I'm not very good at it.

AND in a crisis situation I could probably do some fairly basic repairing to a manual gearbox.

I don't care if its archaic, or old or whatever you want to call it. Compared to most auto's a Manual tranny has a fraction of the moving parts. And is often subject to make longer lifespans or so it seems.




RE: what about price?
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 11:42:20 PM , Rating: 2
Normally a manual is $2-3k lower than their automatics. But when you move up to expensive cars, the manual versions cost more. Then you have the semi-automatics, which always tend to cost more, but I think they should be even priced.

Swapping out an automatic tranny is as easy as swapping out a manual. It's really not all that big a deal. Besides, most ppl don't even know how to do that anyways, so they wouldn't care.


Never used a manual
By sleepeeg3 on 6/26/2010 1:30:12 AM , Rating: 2
It looks fun for racing, but how would I simultaneously eat my Golondrinas burrito?

Manuals should have disappeared years ago. Electronics should be able to shift faster than a human and shift kits are there to eliminate the slush box. Manual is just one more part to fail and one less arm around the babe. ;)




RE: Never used a manual
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 11:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
Except that the manual has less electronics and parts. Odds are higher that your automatic is going to fail before the manual will. Besides, your babe can sit on top of the shifter, while you rev the engine.


Strange discrepancy
By wvh on 6/26/2010 11:19:45 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not a car expert, but automatics are very rare in Europe. I've only been in a car with automatic gearbox twice in my life, and never drove one. Strange to hear that they are so common in the US.




RE: Strange discrepancy
By afkrotch on 6/27/2010 11:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's due to the cost of gas. During the years of 3-4 speed automatics, gas mileage was horrendous. This didn't matter in the US, as gas was under $1 USD a gallon. While in Europe, gas is heavily taxed. It could cost $3-5 USD a gallon (around 4 litres). With 3-4 speed automatics, it's no wonder that a 5 speed manual had better gas mileage.

Now with gas costing more, governments enforcing higher mileage, automatics are starting to become 5-8 speeds. Closing the gap, if not going above the gas mileage of a manual.

Europeans have been use to using manuals and they simply don't see a reason to change. Which, there really isn't. Unless you're lazy and just want an automatic.


I took mine out...
By jerem43 on 6/26/2010 12:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
I replaced the crappy three speed manual on my car with a five speed manual. Best move I ever did.




RE: I took mine out...
By jerem43 on 6/26/2010 12:41:24 PM , Rating: 2
I meant to say I took out the three speed automatic in my car and replaced it with a five speed manual.

Proof reading is a good thing...


Noone in Europe drives an automatic
By xNIBx on 6/26/10, Rating: 0
By SPOOFE on 6/27/2010 4:09:30 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
How the hell do you bypass another car or go up the hill with an automatic transmission or just do anything? Do you press the accelerator and hope it works?

Yes, just like one hopes the sun will rise tomorrow.

Man, reading some of these comments and it seems like manual drivers are afraid camera will steal their soul or something. Luddite.


91% of MY cars?
By FaceMaster on 6/26/2010 6:55:13 AM , Rating: 2
...How many does he have? Ho ho.




Automatic rebuild
By Burned on 6/26/2010 12:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
What I don't like about automatics is when the day comes to rebuild them it can cost upwards of $2,000. Any manual transmission I have had only needed a clutch package which sets you back $300 to $400. Automatics are nice to drive, I just don't like the cost when it goes tits up because its old or you towed something it couldn't handle.




Traffic
By jkostans on 6/27/2010 9:28:45 AM , Rating: 2
Manuals suck in traffic, that's why I bought an automatic. I do agree manuals are more fun to drive, but a lot of manual transmissions are now slapped into the car without any tweaking what so ever. They're just there to make the option available to the 9% of the population that still wants them. Ratios that don't match the engine/car performance (hence poor mpg), clunky awkward shifts, and clutches that give no feedback to the driver. I'll pass on a manual unless it's a performance car and it's well implemented.




By donjuancarlos on 6/28/2010 12:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
I drive a manual 2008 Accord. The dealer told me automatics get the same mileage as manual. I've checked thread after thread on the Internet and no automatic Accord is pulling the mpg numbers I am getting. As always, EPA numbers are off real-world numbers




What happened to fun?
By Pastuch on 6/28/2010 3:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
I own a 2004 Infiniti G35 Coupe Auto and I hate it. Don't get me wrong, the G35 Coupe is an awesome car but every second I drive it I wish it was a Standard Tranny. Tiptronic just isn't as much fun to drive. If your commute it only 8 minutes long with no traffic every day like mine then a standard tranny is the only way to go!

I also own a 1994 Subaru Impreza WRX Right Hand Drive from Japan. Epic car. I miss the early 90s sports car era. Amazing reliability and so fun to drive.




Might as well
By morphologia on 6/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Might as well
By mdogs444 on 6/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Might as well
By MrBlastman on 6/25/2010 3:42:39 PM , Rating: 5
Speak for yourself. I love my manual transmission and wouldn't want to do without it.

I love the whirr of my engine as I push the clutch in, disengage the gear, let the clutch out and rev it up as I double clutch, preparing to downshift into a lower gear just before I enter a turn, priming me for the peak part of the powerband once I'm in the turn giving me maximum options to adjust my car's heading using the throttle. Brakes? They're for sissies and amateurs.

But, for the masses who stare into the sky while picking their noses and talking on their phones, automatic transmissions afford them this lacksidaisical approach to driving. Fitting, I suppose. I also gather that if they _did_ drive a manual transmission, half of them might pay more attention to driving.


RE: Might as well
By jkostans on 6/27/2010 9:36:59 AM , Rating: 2
Well the highest performance cars in the world aren't manual, so obviously they aren't the optimum transmission anymore. Right now a properly implemented semi-automatic transmission is the the best option if you want pure performance. Can you downshift with precision rev matching in 60ms? The ferarri FXX can:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrari_FXX

Oh and as far as I know all F1 cars are semi-auto by choice.


RE: Might as well
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 12:31:47 AM , Rating: 3
Semi-automatic transmission = a type of manual transmission

Guess what happens in a semi-automatic transmission in an F1 car, Super Touring car, or WRC car when they decide to try to hit 100 mph in 1st gear? The car breaks. It doesn't automatically shift gears for them.

Consumer cars with semi-automatic transmissions on the other hand. They are set to be able to shift gears automatically. Cause most drivers don't know wtf they are doing with a manual transmission. So they need to have their hands held.


RE: Might as well
By inperfectdarkness on 6/27/2010 10:17:26 AM , Rating: 2
...and a DCG will do all of that by you simply flicking a lever. and your view that brakes are for amateurs really speaks to the amount of time you've spent on actual road courses.

your point exactly?


RE: Might as well
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 12:24:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Brakes? They're for sissies and amateurs.


There also for professional drivers that like to shift the weight of their car to certain portions to help with turning.


RE: Might as well
By Luticus on 6/25/2010 3:51:45 PM , Rating: 5
Like hell!

I'll take my manual over an automatic any day! it's not just about fuel economy or acceleration but control. You'll never get the feel or control with an automatic that you'll have with a manual, and don't gemmie those stupid good-for-nothing paddle shifters either.


RE: Might as well
By Spivonious on 6/25/2010 3:53:23 PM , Rating: 1
+1000000000

Nothing gives the control that a manual transmission gives.


RE: Might as well
By SPOOFE on 6/27/2010 4:26:33 PM , Rating: 1
Control is an interesting thing. For instance, I feel in control by keeping my car between the lines and maintaining an awareness of what's going on around me. Manually shifting would be a distraction, and thus, for me, makes me feel like I have less control over the vehicle.


RE: Might as well
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 12:37:42 AM , Rating: 2
I guess you can't chew gum and walk at the same time either then.

For me, it's all just an automatic response. When I feel the rumbling in my steering wheel, the sound of the engine hitting a specific point, or I hit a certain speed, I know that I need to shift.

Only time I look at the tachometer, is when I'm racing around and want to near redline, but not go over it.


RE: Might as well
By alanore on 6/25/2010 4:15:12 PM , Rating: 2
Amen!

Driving a manual feels a lot more involving and fun, driving a auto is boring and sanitized. I like having the control of choosing my own gears for particular corners and scenarios, I don't want some auto box dropping down a gear and effect the balance through the corner.

A lot of the performance gains and the super cars mentioned in this article are semi-automatic, not fully fledged automatic transmissions, they have flappy paddle gearboxes because of the power, and weight of the clutch is too great.

I don't think I would mind too much moving to a flappy paddle gearbox, but no way I'm moving to a full auto.


RE: Might as well
By SPOOFE on 6/27/2010 4:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
driving a auto is boring and sanitized.

Good. Some people want their drive to be boring and sanitized, and prefer to let their scenery or destination provide the color and excitement in their life. Conversely, driving a manual in thick traffic is pure misery.


RE: Might as well
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 12:44:00 AM , Rating: 2
It's all opinionated of course. I don't mind driving in thick traffic. It's really not much of a problem for me. I'd driving a manual in London, Tokyo, Denver, Berlin, etc. I actually prefer it. It gives me something to do and keeps me from falling asleep at the wheel.

Now when there's absolutely no traffic and just a long stretch of road, I get bored. I get sleepy. Be it automatic or manual.


RE: Might as well
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 12:41:31 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the semi-automatics are in those cars, as you can shift gears a lot faster than you can with a regular manual. Now if they were given a racing car style semi-automatic, where it won't shift unless given driver input, I'm fine with. But no, I don't want it automatically changing my gears for me.

I wanted to get a semi-automatic transmission out of an Impreza WRC S7, but they go for about $50k.


RE: Might as well
By hughlle on 6/25/10, Rating: 0
As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By GreenEnvt on 6/25/2010 3:55:09 PM , Rating: 5
Many of us are very good manual transmission drivers, and love driving them.
However, for a commuting car where you are in stop/go traffic for an hour everyday, a manual is tedious.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Luticus on 6/25/2010 3:58:54 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
However, for a commuting car where you are in stop/go traffic for an hour everyday, a manual is tedious.

I agree. The only time i like in auto is in heavy traffic, but i manage with my manual just fine. Just gets a little hard on the clutch foot sometimes. :-)


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Luticus on 6/25/2010 4:09:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
there probably wouldn't be any stop-n-go traffic if people who couldn't drive a stick had to take the bus instead

All for that ;-)

i got an old '94 mx-6 and an '08 honda fit, both manual and i wouldn't have it any other way. Sometimes traffic sucks (i have to deal with it everyday going to and from work so it gets annoying) but i still wouldn't part with my manuals for anything. my wife had a saturn sc2 with an automatic in it before we got out fit and the tranny was a POS and kept breaking down (something about the "valve assembly" or some mess) we swore off autos for life after that. :D


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By WW102 on 6/25/2010 4:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
Would bet the problem was that fact it was a Saturn and not so much it had an automatic in it. But at least you got dent resistant doors with it.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Luticus on 6/25/2010 4:23:36 PM , Rating: 2
Oh i'm sure it was, a little research and i found that it was a common problem with that model. it was my wifes college car anyway so no biggie. I've had other automatics with no problems at all. Just used it as an excuse to go out and get a manual is all. I've always liked manuals better.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By wiz220 on 6/25/2010 5:03:27 PM , Rating: 2
I had a manual Saturn of the same vintage as the SC2 for many years (through college) and never had a problem, just a worn clutch that was replaced for a very reasonable price at about 150,000 miles. If I'm going to have a cheaper economy car like a Saturn you bet your ass it'll be a manual. Cheap automatic transmissions are the worst, while even cheap manuals can go for quite some time trouble free.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By xprojected on 6/25/2010 4:25:17 PM , Rating: 5
There would probably be less stop-n-go traffic if fewer drivers took their RAM 3500 behemoths into the city when they weren't hauling anything except their egos, either.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By aharris on 6/25/2010 8:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you only have one vehicle to use for any given purpose because you opted to buy one of the most expensive consumer trucks on the market?


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By aharris on 6/26/2010 11:10:05 AM , Rating: 2
1) Logic fail. Just because your truck was 10k less than 'comparable models' doesn't equate it to being "one of the cheapest."

2) Fact fail.
2010 Chevy Silverado 3500HD: $32,090
2010 Ford F-350 Super Duty: $25,875
2010 Dodge Ram 3500: $34,680

Source (because people like to talk out of their ass)
Edmunds.com comparison between new heavy-duty trucks.

For the same cost, you could have purchased a small car and a small truck. Now you can take your "oh poor broke little me driving my huge pickup" attitude somewhere where people give a damn.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 1:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, your "facts" from 2010 are irrelevant. My 2004 truck was $10k less than other available models. Period. So there's your first failure.

For your second failure, a small car or a small truck would be worthless to me. My wife breeds and trains horses, and we need to be able to pull a horse trailer...and I race motorcycles, so I need to be able to pull that trailer.

For your third failure, which is coming up right when you declare that my wife shouldn't be breeding horses and I shouldn't be racing motorcycles, may I suggest you take your "I'm way too effing elite to be dealing with you rural-living hick" attitude somewhere where people give a damn.

You are a total failure...at everything except talking out your ass.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 1:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, 2003 truck. Swapped that year with the year of the last motorcycle I bought, which was in 2004.

...since I'm not made of money like some elitist bastards I'm replying to, I can't afford multiple passenger vehicles or a new bike every year. Or every two years...or come to think of it, at any point in the last six years so far...


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 12:49:31 AM , Rating: 2
I bet if you kill the horse and sold it as meat to a French restuarant, you could afford multiple passenger vehicles.

Anyways, thought you owned a truck and SUV.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By mlmiller1 on 6/26/2010 5:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
You probably require more force than my Ram SRT-10. But I remember being stuck in-stop-and-go for three hours coming through the bay. My leg started to shake, and I started using my other leg. Good thing for all that idling torque.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By mlmiller1 on 6/26/2010 5:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
I just about put my foot through the floor of my wifes civic every now and then.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 7:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure about that - although it's not the *same* motor, my previous RAM had the 8.0l V10. I didn't notice a difference between that and my diesel.

...well, other than mileage ;)

The V10 was WAY fun to drive...but holy crap did it suck on mileage. I don't even want to say what I got when pulling a trailer :O


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By KillerNoodle on 6/25/2010 4:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
It is tedious if you do the rev and stop method.

However, if you just idle your way in first it is very easy, that is until someone cuts into the gap that you left in front of you so that you could idle. But that would be another topic dealing with aggressiveness.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By KentState on 6/25/2010 10:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I have both an automatic CTS and a manual Corvette. I find it easier to drive the Vette most days as I can cruise slowly in first or second in slow traffic.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By ksherman on 6/26/2010 1:50:52 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately Chicago drivers see that as a sign of weakness and fill every gap possible. I just get better at starting from second, then I cut out a shift from first.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 12:56:06 AM , Rating: 2
You guys are all weird. I just put my car in neutral, pull out my walking stick, then push my car along with that. Like an Italian gondolier.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2010 4:12:21 PM , Rating: 5
You know what, I loved manuals too. But this type of motorist elitism is just sickening. You are not a better driver or person because you can manage an extra pedal.

I have a surgically rebuilt left knee and live in a high traffic density area. So sorry I can't "manage" a manual anymore and don't deserve my license. Honestly, who the hell are you to say that anyway?


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Luticus on 6/25/2010 4:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're reading a bit to much into it. you got a bum knee... so drive an automatic. The man was probably referring to people who are to lazy or can't pay enough attention to drive a manual. There i agree with him for the most part. People who do nothing but talk on the phone and do their make up while driving make me sick. They want to put everyone else in danger because they couldn't wait 10 minutes to call their "bff's" and tell them all about their lives god know what else.
I understand you're situation probably sucks, but i think you took the original comment a bit more personally than it was intended.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2010 4:24:07 PM , Rating: 5
No, what he said is "people who don't drive the way I like, shouldn't have their license"

Here's an idea, find me a study that shows the accident rates are higher for automatic drivers as opposed to manual ones. I'm very sure you will find no such disparity.

I have no problem with someone preferring something over another. But to hold up everyone who doesn't do things his way as being reckless or less capable is just silly. It's elitism.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By KillerNoodle on 6/25/2010 4:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
Said study would have to be related to the total miles driven seeing as how popular automatics are you can't just compare the number of accidents.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Luticus on 6/25/2010 4:40:06 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely that the post was harsh, don't get me wrong.

Personally I feel that the auto/manual thing is just a choice the way the mac/pc thing is. It's all about what is convenient and comfortable to the person doing the shopping. I say, get what you like and be happy with it.

quote:
find me a study that shows the accident rates are higher for automatic drivers

Logic says that automatics have more wrecks simply because there are more of them on the road. Also I would be willing to be that statistically inexperienced drivers drive way more automatics then manuals simply because a manual does in fact take more skill to operate. This is not to say that all automatic drivers are bad drivers or are inexperienced but that driving a manual does show a certain level of skill just like working on a linux pc usually means you are more of a "geek/nerd/more skilled" because windows/macs are more geared toward novices than linux systems tend to be. In an automatic you just hop in, press go, and steer and off you go driving. In a manual there are a lot more things to keep track of and operate while you drive. This is why preteen kids can steal their parents cars and go joy riding.
Driving an automatic isn't bad, just takes less skill to operate, is all i'm saying


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By aharris on 6/25/2010 8:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
How dare you tell dailytech readers that the Mac/PC thing is a choice!!


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/25/2010 4:45:11 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Here's an idea, find me a study that shows the accident rates are higher for automatic drivers as opposed to manual ones. I'm very sure you will find no such disparity.


I'm not sure such a study has been done - but it doesn't take much thinking to see how someone who really shouldn't be on the road would fail at using a clutch, but squeak past the test in an automatic.

Anyway, just reducing the number of cars on the road would greatly improve safety...

...and any and all incidents of a "runaway car" where the car just sped up and up until it crashed, after burning the brakes out, would have been avoided completely if those were manual cars. Push in clutch - crisis averted.

I *really* don't want anyone to take this the wrong way, because it is a tragedy and I am very sorry that it happened...but that famous case of the runaway car with the 911 call, that ultimately crashed and killed everyone inside? Yeah...that wouldn't have happened if it was a manual transmission.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Runiteshark on 6/25/2010 7:20:35 PM , Rating: 3
Disagree, as soon as you push in that clutch if the engine does not cut power (which they do) it'd just rev and you could safely slow down.

In the event that your brakes don't work you can use engine braking w/ the tranny if necessary to bring you to a speed slow enough to use your e-brakes.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2010 8:06:56 PM , Rating: 1
I think you completely misread what I said entirely. My point was, those people did not crash and die because of automatics. They crashed because they were stupid and panicked. There are several ways to handle BOTH types of transmissions in that situation.

Of course I fucking know you can push in the clutch in a manual. What the hell are you telling me this for? It has NOTHING to do with what he was saying at all!


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/25/2010 10:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it does. It's the only foolproof method.

You can *easily* have your brakes overpowered by the engine, and they become ineffectual.

But actually, let me come back to your last statement...what exactly do you think I was saying, anyway?


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2010 10:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can *easily* have your brakes overpowered by the engine, and they become ineffectual.


Actually that's impossible. You don't know what you are talking about. This has been tested again and again, even traveling at high speeds and holding down the gas, NO CAR overpowers it's own brakes.

That's why most of the "runaway car" victims are actually frauds looking to score big bucks. Cars cannot "runaway". If all else fails, mashing on the brakes WILL stop the car.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 10:10:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually that's impossible. You don't know what you are talking about. This has been tested again and again, even traveling at high speeds and holding down the gas, NO CAR overpowers it's own brakes.


That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Well, maybe excluding reader1 and Pirks.

A car can *easily* overpower it's own brakes - as your brakes heat up, eventually you'll boil the brake fluid and then they're gone. Your claim of such a test is a lie. Period. You are a liar.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 10:25:38 AM , Rating: 2
And for the record, as one might guess, testing a brand-new car with brand-new rotors, pads, and fluid doesn't correctly represent what that car will do a few years down the line.

Particularly as the fluid gets old it degrades - that coupled with the pads getting thinner, meaning they insulate the fluid less from the heat generated by braking friction, makes it much easier to outrun your brakes on a car that's several years old than on a new one.

As a motorcycle racer and former mechanic, I had to have this conversation on a regular basis with other racers (and sometimes the aggressive street rider) who would come in completely freaked out that their brakes faded and then went away entirely. Thin pads + old fluid + hot day + aggressive riding = brake fade and then brake failure. It's pure physics.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 10:35:47 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.ask.com/bar?q=car+overheated+brakes&pag...

This article starts off talking about how most OEM car brakes will fade quickly under aggressive driving - and eventually fail to slow the car down.

Again, remember these guys are using well-maintained if not brand-new cars. Old fluid and thinning pads make this happen an awful lot faster - such that it is entirely possible that in one runaway event, your car with old fluid and not-brand-new pads could boil it's fluid pretty much *right now*.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2010 11:44:06 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I get it. My statement is only false if we assume everyone is riding around with failing brake systems? You do realize in your example that was a brand new Camry right? I doubt it had worn pads, shot fluid, and fading rotors.

I fail to see how a lack of routine maintenance should be taken into account. My statement is 100% factual, and can be verified through a number of tests by multiple sources. Brakes are ALWAYS stronger than the engines as long as you come to a stop immediately and don't lightly brake, inducing heat-fade. MASH THE PEDAL with both feet if you have to, and the car WILL stop.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 1:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh I get it. My statement is only false if we assume everyone is riding around with failing brake systems? You do realize in your example that was a brand new Camry right? I doubt it had worn pads, shot fluid, and fading rotors.


The Car & Driver guys were testing machines in immaculate condition. Not with "failing" brake systems. And the vast majority of vehicles with old and/or waterlogged brake fluid will behave just fine - right up until the sh!t hits the fan and you *then* realize you're in trouble.

My statements have been 100% factual, and there is plenty of easily attainable evidence to readily show that a car can quickly get brake fade & failure.

Which reminds me of you. Failure. Or, do you really think you don't live in this reality?


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2010 11:36:40 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Well, maybe excluding reader1 and Pirks. A car can *easily* overpower it's own brakes - as your brakes heat up, eventually you'll boil the brake fluid and then they're gone. Your claim of such a test is a lie. Period. You are a liar.


Oh ya??

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/how_to_d...

We included the powerful Roush Mustang to test—in the extreme—the theory that “brakes are stronger than the engine.” From 70 mph, the Roush’s brakes were still resolutely king even though a pinned throttle added 80 feet to its stopping distance. However, from 100 mph, it wasn’t clear from behind the wheel that the Mustang was going to stop. But after 903 feet—almost three times longer than normal—the 540-hp supercharged Roush finally did succumb, chugging to a stop in a puff of brake smoke.

Certainly the most natural reaction to a stuck-throttle emergency is to stomp on the brake pedal, possibly with both feet. And despite dramatic horsepower increases since C/D’s 1987 unintended-acceleration test of an Audi 5000, brakes by and large can still overpower and rein in an engine roaring under full throttle

You were saying??? This was extremely easy to Google. You should try it sometimes before calling others liars.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 1:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
As I said, you have different results with brand-new equipment. If you actually read more of "your" articles, you'd see that pumping the brakes also helps them fail, which is something that someone panicking is likely to do.

So I guess then that you think the Car & Driver guys were lying in the article I posted? Go talk to some racers and see what they have to say about brake fade & failure.

Because of the indisputable fact that there are very easily attained circumstances in which a normal car can get brake fade & failure very easily, any such statement that such a thing is impossible is categorically a LIE. Which makes you a liar. You should try critical thinking skills once in a while...physics is physics and you can't get around them.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2010 2:39:02 PM , Rating: 2
The article you linked specifically dealt with "track" brake fade. Now I don't know how you drive, but I don't see a whole lot of people on the highways continuously braking hard from 100+ MPH over and over again.

"You can imagine the sphincter tightening that occurs if that happens while you're barreling toward a turn at 100 mph."

Yeah let me tell ya. That happens ALL THE TIME when I go driving, right??

quote:
So I guess then that you think the Car & Driver guys were lying in the article I posted? Go talk to some racers and see what they have to say about brake fade & failure.


Again, RACING. Are you just trying to look like a dumbass?? Daily driving in NO WAY puts the kind of stress on brake systems that racing does.

Once more, your statement only holds up in two situations; 1. Extreme race or track braking
2. Horribly neglected poorly maintained street cars

And neither of these fits the example you gave of the brand freaking new "runaway" Toyota Camry you gave back when this argument started.

Again, calling me a liar?? Fuck you Moto. You accuse me of no critical thinking skills but continue to relate daily driving to your retarded racing examples. Then make excuses like "they were using new cars", well no shit idiot. Do you expect anyone to test 10 year old hoopties!!??

Here are the facts. You got caught in a bad position, having said some bullshit that is wrong, and are now trying to dig your way out of it with dubious racing car examples that have no bearing on this topic. Calling me a liar and insulting me doesn't change the fact that you're WRONG.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 3:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
God you're stupid.

I refer you to racers because they experience brake fade, and can counter the idiotic claim that it's "impossible" for it to happen.

Regular daily drivers don't notice it, because as a rule they DON'T drive aggressively. And for your other moronic assertion that this can only happen on a "horribly neglected" car, I'll point out again that you wouldn't notice that you had such a possibility of brake problems until something *bad* happened. You can have waterlogged brake fluid in a car that is otherwise perfectly fine, as well as thin brake pads. It doesn't mean you don't take care of your car, and I'd be willing to bet that you yourself have not flushed the brake fluid in your car...probably ever. Most people don't until they notice a problem during normal driving.

...anyway, it dawns on me that once again I'm trying to talk some sense into an idiot.

You're wrong. Deal with it or don't. Shouldn't you be greasing up your hair anyway?


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2010 4:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
Ok seriously, this needs more context. Because the context you are putting this argument in, is ludicrous. Of COURSE cars with glowing red brakes from racing are "fading". No shit Sherlock. What does this have to do with driving on the roads??

So basically your argument is, cars with failed brakes don't have brakes? Wow Moto, that's just brilliant.

Again context. I showed you quantifiable and repeatable proof that, even on 500+HP cars, brakes WILL stop the car. You insert pure speculation, that's all it is. You don't know the condition of every cars braking system that the driver claimed was a "runaway" car. Your speculating that people wouldn't "notice" this fading, which fits with your highly elitist OP about how you are better than everyone and more knowledgeable.

All the while ignoring the fact that YOU brought up the 2010 Camry, A NEW CAR, as an example of a "runaway" car. Did you forget that? There is no way a 2010 Camry has brakes and fluid issues that you are trying to argue here. Again, CONTEXT!!!


The only evidence I can find to even support your claim is that improperly braking in an emergency situation would lead to brake failure. Again, so what? It doesn't lend credibility to your side if someone isn't standing on the brakes like they should. That's simply driver error, not a technical limitation. Again, if you apply maximum force, NO CAR can overpower it's brakes

"As this isn't something people practice, they may think they're hitting the brakes hard enough when they're not. To overcome the engine's force, you must stand on the brakes for all you're worth. It's actually worse to just continuously use the brakes moderately hard, as this will not cause the car to stop; instead, the brakes will quickly overheat and fade, becoming ineffective."

http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/safety/articles/1...

But this isn't germane to our argument. If you're doing it wrong, you are going to get the wrong results. You seem to have your whole argument built on a silly premise, fortified with copious amounts of speculation and guesswork, topped with sheer ignorance.

quote:
...anyway, it dawns on me that once again I'm trying to talk some sense into an idiot.


Well it's clear that compared to you, in your own mind, EVERYONE ELSE is an idiot. That's your problem.

quote:
You're wrong. Deal with it or don't. Shouldn't you be greasing up your hair anyway?


You still haven't proven I am. That's a problem wouldn't you think? I have shown multitudes of proof of my point, you haven't shown me ONE test where a car was unable to out-brake it's engine. You have only shown me proof that cars with bad brakes, brake badly, especially when the driver brakes in the wrong manner. Well gee wiz, that's just mind blowing right there.

I said cars out-brake their engines. I have proven that succinctly and repeatedly. How does this make me wrong? And that hair comment, well, not sure where you are going with that.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 7:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
You're lost, again, as always.

All information on that 2010 Camry does indeed indicate that the brakes faded then failed in that one instance.

Your information is not pertinant to real-world experience.

And I'm done talking to you. Again. Hopefully I'll remember not to try to help you out with your mental problems next time.

Go eff yourself. And get back to work with some styling gel on that sweet Italian hair of yours. Seems to be what you do best.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2010 8:10:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
All information on that 2010 Camry does indeed indicate that the brakes faded then failed in that one instance.


No the information concluded someone moderately applying brakes to overheat them so he could CLAIM he tried to stop the car. NOT someone standing on them bringing the car to a hault. Also that man has a history of fraudulent lawsuits, so you do the math. How else do you explain that neither Toyota or the NHTSA can duplicate this "defect"? The cars stop EVERY TIME!

You're narcissism is unbelievable. You honestly think you know something that thousands of engineers, thousands of government safety testers, and millions of driver don't already know?? You actually think they didn't take natural brake fading into account with these tests !!?? You're that in love with yourself, amazing.

quote:
Your information is not pertinant to real-world experience.


Yeah you know what, I think I'll take the word of Car and Driver, Edmund's, and whoever else I linked over Motoman and his amateur 'racing buddies'. They did a perfectly fair and controlled experiment, and now you're crying and being a jerk because it doesn't match your preconceived notions of how things should be.

I think the NHTSA, who's JOB is to test real world experience, knows more than you. Sorry Moto.

quote:
Go eff yourself. And get back to work with some styling gel on that sweet Italian hair of yours. Seems to be what you do best.


Racists stereotypes, good one. And they call me racist around here, you're pathetic. That childish stuff has no place on here. And as far as put downs go, I heard better back in sixth grade, which is apparently where you still are.

When you have to resort to that, you've lost. The only ones time being wasted here is mine. I assumed I was dealing with a rational intelligent person.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 1:42:54 PM , Rating: 2
Also, herr pinhead, these guys are testing one-off short-duration stops - like take off, get to speed, stop. Not having driven for a few hours in lots of heat and/or stop & go traffic or having driven aggressively, so on and so forth. The test is not valid for any conditions under the ones they tested in. Which are not real world conditions.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Farfignewton on 6/26/2010 4:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually that's impossible. You don't know what you are talking about. This has been tested again and again, even traveling at high speeds and holding down the gas, NO CAR overpowers it's own brakes.


Way back in'97 my car had been sitting for a couple of months because I was carpooling to work and using my bike for all other travel. Had to move it one day, as apparently it was thought to be abandoned, and when I started it, I discovered the throttle was pegged and the car would not idle down. As there was no one around I decided to risk moving it and put it in reverse - no problem. After putting it in forward however, I found the car perfectly capable of chugging along at about 10 mph with my foot fully on the brake. Had to shut off the engine and he-man it into an empty space for another apartment complex - from which it was towed later that night. The brakes were six months old and working fine when I parked it.

It CAN happen.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2010 5:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
We're talking about a one time emergency braking situation here. Not constant abuse over and over again.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By alanore on 6/27/2010 6:29:58 AM , Rating: 2
RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 1:06:37 AM , Rating: 2
Tell those Prius drivers out there that mashing on the brakes will stop their cars.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 1:05:43 AM , Rating: 2
Ummm...huh?

You do know that automatics have gears too? You can select those to engine brake an automatic.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 12:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But to hold up everyone who doesn't do things his way as being reckless or less capable is just silly.


You have a bum knee, so wouldn't you fall under "less capable"?


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/25/2010 4:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

I'm going to toss Reclaimer a bone this time. I honestly didn't mean to discriminate against anyone with a physical condition.

So by all means Reclaimer, drive your automatic.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By kmmatney on 6/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By moriz on 6/26/2010 12:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
this has got to be the most ridiculous tripe i've ever heard.

a car is a method of transportation for me, and the vast majority of the population. why does it matter whether it shifts automatically or manually?

if i feel inclined to drive manual, i'll go and learn it. it isn't difficult, and most of the drivers out there are perfectly capable of learning it. but just like me, they don't feel the need to, since automatic is perfectly adequate.

don't paint yourself so high and mighty just because you can manage one extra pedal and a stick. if you like this sort of thing, good for you. however, don't assume the rest of us are somehow less intellectually gifted just because we don't want to worry about such things.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By dsx724 on 6/26/2010 2:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think the OP should turn off ABS, traction control, power steering, and manage all the lights with toggle switches.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 2:20:44 PM , Rating: 2
In a lot of vehicles, power steering isn't all that necessary. I had a 4x4 Nissan truck way back in the day, and when the power steering pump failed, I had little problem driving it around for a month or two before I could afford to fix it. It was a *much* bigger problem when the power steering pump failed in my Ram 2500 4x4 - on the 6th level of a parking garage in downtown. After wrestling it down and out of the garage, I went straight to the shop with it ;) - not that I would ever consider saying that power steering is some extravagent luxury, but just saying.

I'm not a huge fan of traction control or ABS. But I recognize that for the vast majority of drivers out there, it's a good thing. As for lights on toggle switches...now you're just being silly.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 1:19:36 AM , Rating: 2
If we went back to gigantic steering wheels, we could get rid of power steering. Would suck though.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 1:17:47 AM , Rating: 2
The car I had in Japan had no ABS, traction control, power steering, power brakes, etc. My lights could easily be toggle switches, not like I ever put them on high beams anyways. Barely even needed lights in Tokyo. Enough light pollution.

The only power anything I had, was the windshield wipers and power windows on the 2 front doors. 2 rear doors were manual windows.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 2:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
There are an assload of people on the road who are *nearly* unable to drive their automatics. Who would never have the slightest chance of passing a driving test with a stick.

Those are the people I'm talking about. And you're a fool if you try to deny they don't exist.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By MartyLK on 6/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By Motoman on 6/26/2010 3:41:03 PM , Rating: 2
...I was going to respond, but then noticed you have a 0.75 post rating. So...I'm guessing you're related to Pirks and/or reader1, so there's really no point.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By drycrust3 on 6/26/2010 3:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Car-related injuries and deaths would drop immensely.

In 2008 New Zealand had the lowest death toll in 50 years. 366 people were killed on the roads. My casual observation is NZ has more cars with automatic transmissions on the road now than at any other time in those 50 years. While you may think automatic transmissions cost lives, the facts tell us that if the type of transmission counts, then automatics save lives.
People loose their lives when cars are driven outside of the "normal" probability range, or what should be the "normal" probability range. Which raises the obvious question: What causes a driver to go outside of that "normal" range?
This is like asking "Why do cars break down?". The Japanese solved that problem by tightening up on their tolerances during manufacture, and car reliability went up immensely.
In the same way, when we tighten up on the tolerances we allow drivers, then fatal accidents will go down. We know this is true because when the police target drunk drivers, who seem to display a much wider "range" driving technique than the norm, accidents go down.
Now let us factor into this they type of transmission. Since changing gear manually takes a hand off the steering wheel, it must affect the ability of the driver to maintain a straight line or their position within a lane (and if you drive with only one hand then you aren't driving correctly). While that seems insignificant, the fact is changing gear manually changes the ability of the driver to maintain their position within a lane or maintain a straight line (or their line in a corner). Those factors affect the tolerances within which a driver is driving. Thus, if everything else was equal except for the type of transmission system used, manual transmissions must cause more accidents than automatic transmissions. On the basis that there is a correlation between accidents and fatalities, then I suggest to you that automatic transmissions must save lives, which, as I said above, statistics seem to support.


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By afkrotch on 6/28/2010 1:24:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
My casual observation is NZ has more cars with automatic transmissions on the road now than at any other time in those 50 years.


My casual observation in the USA is that 100% of accidents were caused by automatic vehicles.

See what I did there?


RE: As far as I'm concerned...
By SPOOFE on 6/27/2010 4:44:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you can't manage a clutch, throttle, and stickshift, then I don't want to be on the road with you.

Cars aren't appliances. You should be engaged with your vehicle.

If you can't feel engaged with your vehicle without managing a clutch, throttle, and stickshift, then you're a lousy driver. Get off the road.


Article, like many is wrong...
By goku on 6/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Article, like many is wrong...
By sealsix6 on 6/25/2010 4:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your heading, nice way to generalise by looking at one set of facts.

Come to Europe buddy, cars are a luxury to many many people, and the cost margin on paying for an automatic is ridiculous in most cases.
And even most of the luxury cars I have driven here are all Manual, renting a car on holiday I have never been given an automatic, driving a company leased car I have never been in an automatic.
BUT, I do prefer driving an automatic - especially with larger cars, although I own a 6-spd manual right now.


RE: Article, like many is wrong...
By goku on 6/25/2010 5:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
Are you even responding to my post? I don't see how your reply has any connection whatsoever to my initial post.


By Lazarus Dark on 6/25/2010 7:37:32 PM , Rating: 2
funny, on the Dodge Challenger, the Manual is actually a $1000 OPTION, while the auto is standard. Though this may be because its a really advanced manual (based on the same manual as the Viper and Corvette. The new Camaro uses a version of this manual as well.)


RE: Article, like many is wrong...
By HelToupee on 6/25/2010 4:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you don't believe me that most A/T equipped vehicles today (includes CVT!) are still just as inefficient as they were in the 90s, just try comparing the 0-60 times between the M/T and the A/T.


Nissan has something called a GT-R that begs to differ... The Bugatti Veyron will also argue your point. I believe it's because these are "direct shift gearboxes", at least that's what VW calls them. They don't shift right where you would, but they do it where it should be done, and they do it much more quickly than a person could with a standard manual. Other than that, they're pretty much just an automated manual transmission. That's what's going in all these high-performance cars these days, and they're actually quite good, mechanically. Sometimes the execution of the driver controls leaves something to be desired (see Jeremy Clarkson's diatribes on Ferarri's "flappy-paddle-gearboxes")

I totally agree with you on your MT-geared-for-performance thing. I've got a 2005.5 Jetta with a 5-speed. I wish they didn't make the ratios so close, and that they dialed out the final a bit, too. I'm sure I could get better mileage, especially on my highway-speed commute, and I've never wanted for more power on the road in the thing. I can get rubber up through 4th without undue effort (and the traction control off), and I've only got 150 bhp and 150 torques.


RE: Article, like many is wrong...
By alanore on 6/25/2010 4:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
They are Semi-auto boxes in the mentioned cars.

The Flappy paddle gear boxes that Jeremy Clarkson hates are the Automatic gearboxes with paddle gear selects.

On an interesting note, in Top Gear they had a drag race between a Veyron and a McLaren F1 (manual) According to Ron Dennis (Head of development at Mclaren) it took several attempts to actually get the Veyron to win, as seen in the show, because the transmission kept bogging down. Thats 1001BHP with a 7speed DSG driving 4 wheels of the Veyron not being able to beat 627BHP 6 speed manual with only rear wheel drive.


RE: Article, like many is wrong...
By FormulaRedline on 6/25/2010 4:59:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nissan has something called a GT-R that begs to differ... The Bugatti Veyron will also argue your point. I believe it's because these are "direct shift gearboxes"

Let me direct you the THE VERY FIRST SENTENCE of the post:
quote:
Unless these cars are equipped with DSG type transmissions

What do you think DSG stands for?

His point is dead on and, in fact, has saved me a good deal of typing. DSGs are not the same as automatics. Automatics use power and gas mileage sapping torque converters. Manuals and DSGs use more efficient clutches.

As goku points out, companies have begun to increase the gearing ratios on the automatic cars to account for this loss, but at the cost of performance. A perfect example of this is the very car quoted in the article, the 2011 Mustang V6.


By drycrust3 on 6/27/2010 3:40:50 AM , Rating: 2
Excuse me for saying so, but the fuel efficiency of a gearbox does not have any relationship to its contribution to road safety. A gearbox that demands attention and diverts a drivers attention from driving is less safe than one that does its job and lets the driver do their job.


RE: Article, like many is wrong...
By dubldwn on 6/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: Article, like many is wrong...
By McScoot on 6/26/2010 9:10:08 PM , Rating: 1
It seems to me that the only reason to desire a manual is because you like pressing in a clutch to change gears, despite the fuel economy and performance loss compared to decent alternatives. They're also cheap to buy and cheap to repair. I guess that's reasonable, but anyone arguing that they're technically better is clearly false in many cases. I think a conventional automatic in small/underpowered cars, especially naturally aspirated, is the main situation where a standard manual still gives a respectable performance and fuel economy advantage (though not compared to dual clutch), or situations where a poor quality automatic is getting used, perhaps even with less gears.

Take the example of the Ford Falcon (just a standard 4 door sedan). The 6 speed conventional automatic is the most fuel efficient version (versus a 6 speed manual version). The auto also gives better performance. It overcomes its extra weight and power loss (minimal on a high quality box anyway) in two main ways. Firstly, it changes gears much faster than a human with a manual. Secondly, the computer is able to assist the automatic in ways that aren't possible with a manual. The manual version hasn't been neglected, it does have a launch control feature to allow optimum acceleration from standstill (turbo is spooled and air pumped through disabled cylinders, I thought, so you have boost available at launch). But, e.g., on the turbo version, the automatic is able to make sure boost is maintained between all gear shifts where appropriate. The auto is also a stronger gear box and can do things like change down gears to adjust engine braking when using cruise control. Manuals can no longer even claim the advantage of being able to tell the car exactly which gear to use (sometimes useful for towing, etc). A decent automatic lets you do exactly the same thing, it's just that to change gears you just push up/down and it will be in the gear quicker than a human could do.

The advantages of dual clutch transmissions are even greater than the best automatics (though it sounds like some in performance applications leave a bit to be desired in terms of gear change smoothness). They are lighter then conventional automatics, change gears even faster, and there's no torque convertor sapping power. This is why the head of Volkswagen has said manuals are obsolete, it's why Bugatti Veyron, Evo X, Ferrari California, anything serious about performance really, is going dual clutch. There are large advantages in decreased gear change time. It's why F1 uses even faster gearboxes called seamless shift (where the power less is about half a rotation, which isn't long at 18000rpm).


RE: Article, like many is wrong...
By jiffylube1000 on 6/26/2010 11:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
It's only some of the newest cars with the most recent fuel-saving electronically controlled systems where the manual gets worse fuel economy than the automatic. That and CVT's, which are inherently more efficient.

Traditionally, non-luxury cars had a 5-speed manual option (6-speeds for sporty versions), with a 4-speed automatic. In the mid 2000's, 5-speed automatics became more common and now 6-speed automatics are starting to become more prevalent.

Before the past few years, manuals often got tangibly better fuel economy.

As for driving a manual just "because you like pressing in a clutch to change gears" -- I drive manual for both the fuel economy reason (in my current car, the manual gets about 10% better fuel economy than the comparable automatic), and for better control of the car.

In my (frequent) city driving, I often drive in 2nd or 3rd gear, based on traffic. I'm not constantly gearing up or down based on my speed, or in an inappropriate gear for traffic.

I like being able to keep the car in a lower gear longer than an automatic, or downshifting when I really want a burst of speed.

I like that the car is more responsive than a lot of low-to-mid end automatics. 200+ HP automatic V6's have come a long way recently, but in a 100-140hp economy car, manual often carries its traditional advantages - better acceleration, better fuel economy.

I also find that I'm more aware while driving a manual transmission car, and less prone to doing stupid multitasking things.


RE: Article, like many is wrong...
By McScoot on 6/27/2010 3:11:01 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're exactly right when it comes to a lot of cars in the past and even a fair number of new ones (especially small and/or cheap ones), when it comes to manuals giving better performance and better economy than conventional automatics. Look at a new Ford Focus, a pretty typical smallish car, the automatic version has a significantly worse fuel economy rating (ignoring powershift).

Things are changing with many new cars, though. It's increasingly common to have good automatics, either dual clutch or advanced 6 speed. E.g., taking Ford Falcon as an example again, the manual used to offer better economy and performance. Improvements such as having the same number of ratios as the manual, changing gears faster, locking the torque convertor in all forwards gears, and a series of software improvements/additions, make a big difference. ZF's new 8 speed conventional automatic (due out soon, I think) has shift times of 200ms. That's the same as Nissan claim for the GT-R's dual-clutch. Dual clutch isn't standing still either, many are still using a wet clutch, even though dry clutch versions (like the 7 speed DSG) offer even further advantages. It just seems to me that if a manual is worse than a good automatic box today, that in the future this will only be more so. The presence of DCT will push them into irrelevance, or at least relegate them to niches such as cars where more sophisticated boxes are too expensive or models where enough enthusiast demand exists for a manual version.

As for having better control, I don't think there's much of a case for that now. In a Ford Falcon you can put the auto into any of the six gears you want (when you switch to manual shift mode). It will never change up by itself no matter how hard you rev it. It will only change down when the rpm drops below idle speeds and it's about to stall. I don't see a lot of value in the ability to stall the engine, which means that the only real difference is there's no clutch to press and the shifts are faster.


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