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Mazda is already discussing Skyactiv 3 as well

Mazda only recently started introducing its Skyactiv engines to its different vehicle models, but the automaker is already talking about the upcoming Skyactiv 2 -- and even Skyactiv 3 -- engines for the next decade and beyond. 
 
According to a new report from Automotive News, Mazda plans to gain 30 percent better fuel economy with its Skyactiv 2 engines, which are expected to have a 2020 release date. A 30 percent improvement in fuel economy would make the already impressive Mazda3 rise from 29/41 mpg (city/highway) in its more efficient trim to 38/53 on regular unleased gasoline.
 

2014 Mazda3

Mazda plans to achieve this 30 percent increase in fuel economy by improving the internal combustion of the Skyactiv 2 engines. More specifically, the Skyactiv 2 engine's compression ratio would be bumped up to 18:1 from a current level of 14:1. 
 
This higher compression is able to reach the same combustion temperature as the current engines, but with a leaner mix of fuel -- meaning improved fuel economy. 
 
The Skyactiv 2 engines will utilize homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI), which compresses the fuel-air mixture to a high enough pressure and temperature that it ignites by itself without needing a spark. This allows for more complete fuel combustion and lower nitrogen oxide emissions.
 
However, the Automotive News report indicates that HCCI won't come easy. Engineers must first expand the range of engine speeds for HCCI specifically, because the engine revving too quickly can result in a misfire due to the high number of revolutions, and if revved too slowly, it can misfire due to low temperatures.


2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine
 
Aside from that, engine cooling and the engine's tendency to behave differently based on the use of different fuels need to be figured out.
 
The main goal with Skyactiv 2 is to meet European carbon dioxide emissions standards of 95 grams per kilometer in 2020, but Mazda is looking even further ahead at meeting Europe's standards of 65 grams per kilometer in 2025 with Skyactiv 3. 
 
Mazda didn't go into great detail about Skyactiv 3, but the automaker plans to make more energy available for powering the wheels by limiting the fluctuation of heat in the combustion chamber and reduce losses from exhaust and cooling. Mazda hopes to reach well-to-wheel carbon dioxide emissions with Skyactiv 3 that rival electric vehicles.
 
Mazda first introduced Skyactiv engines to the U.S. market in 2011, starting with the Mazda3 sedan. Since then, they've been added to the Mazda6 sedan and CX-5 crossover.
 
Mazda has been trying to bring the Skyactiv-D diesel engine to the U.S. via the Mazda6, and was supposed to have achieved this by the second half of 2013. However, in September of last year, it was announced that delays in emissions testing has pushed that timetable to late spring of 2014.

Source: Automotive News



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Hmmm
By Dr of crap on 1/6/2014 1:15:42 PM , Rating: 1
Great mpg with out batteries - no hybrids - Hmmmm.
Almost good enough for the CAFE numbers - hmmmm.

You go Mazda.




RE: Hmmm
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/6/2014 1:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, Mazda is bringing all kinds of WIN to the table these days. And they've turned it around quite fast as well. I used to have a 2006 Mazda 3s hatchback, and it was rated at just 29 mpg highway. The new one simply blows it away in fuel economy.

I would have bought the new 2014 model if it offered the cargo space that I needed with me now being a family man. But, it wasn't meant to be. Now if Mazda had brought this to the United States, I would have been first in line to purchase:

http://i.i.cbsi.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/09/05/20134...


RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/6/2014 3:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
There's the CX5...


RE: Hmmm
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/6/2014 5:18:36 PM , Rating: 3
I don't want a high-riding crossover. I hate them with a passion. I prefer wagons, not wagons on stilts :)

And a Mazda6 wagon would get better FE than the CX-5 anyway.


RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/6/2014 7:07:50 PM , Rating: 2
HCCI!!!!! Nice piece of tech there if they can get it to work. I'm not a Mazda fan so I still won't buy their cars but great tech nonetheless.


RE: Hmmm
By menting on 1/7/2014 10:01:42 AM , Rating: 2
I got a 2003 Mazda 6, and recently got the 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback. Great car IMO, but wind noise is a bit excessive.
With cold temps recently, and having snow on the ground for about half the time I had this car, I have been averaging about 33mpg, not the greatest in the world, but still leaps and bounds more than my 2003 Mazda 6 (I get 25 combined MPG if I'm lucky)


RE: Hmmm
By ewhite06 on 1/7/2014 1:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
Oh hell yes. If that wagon ever made it to the US, I would be first in line to get one. That thing is dead sexy.


RE: Hmmm
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/6/14, Rating: -1
RE: Hmmm
By Flunk on 1/6/2014 1:56:40 PM , Rating: 3
I think you're going to find that manual transmissions aren't going to be able to make CAFE standards in 2020. Not without some sort of miracle.

We'll all have to buy 10+ speed automatics, or twin-clutch automated manuals. Don't laugh, GM and Ford are joint developing one right now, for 2017 or 2018 model year.


RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/6/2014 2:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
I already have a 6-speed twin clutch automated manual in my Focus. It is pretty decent at keeping my engine at a usable rev range. Not sure I would find 10 speeds all that much better on gas, but who knows. I would prefer to avoid all the complexity added by another 4 gears - particularly in a slushbox transmission.


RE: Hmmm
By menting on 1/7/2014 10:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
do you find the driving experience annoying? I test drove the Hyundai Veloster, which had an automated manual, and it felt very strange. Was looking to buy a Focus, but the forums are littered with transmission issues, so didn't want to take a risk and went for the 2014 Mazda 3 instead.


RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/7/2014 11:14:55 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I really like the dual-clutch automated manual transmission on the Focus. I do not find it annoying at all.

Yes, it does feel a bit different than a slushbox (common hydraulic) automatic. It's shifting feels more positive and responsive. You don't get the sloppy slippage that you normally feel with a standard automatic's shifting - DC transmissions are not as mushy.

If you are interested in purchasing a car with a dual clutch transmission, you need to remember that they are not automatics. They are automated manuals and will not feel exactly the same as a car with a slushbox. Take one for a test drive - in fact take one for several test drives before settling on one to make sure you can live with those differences. Above all be aware that these are primarily manual standards that deal with their own clutch pedal and shift for themselves according to what the car's computer tells them.

For the Ford's transmission, the only gripe I have is the way ford decided to handle the manual shifting options via buttons on the shifter rather than paddles or a shifter gate. It is not a big gripe because I am used to them, but I would have much preferred paddle shifters.

Also avoid the 2012 Focus. Ford had tranny issues with those that they fixed for 2013. Mine is a 2013 and I wouldn't trade it for any other car in its class.


RE: Hmmm
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/7/2014 11:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that the dual clutch is a wear item rated for ~150,000 miles, like a normal manual clutch. Replacement cost is around $1500.

The transmissions got a bad reputation for their shift logic, which is aimed at fuel economy (and probably had a few bugs regardless...). Outside of the Prius synergy drive, DCT are the among best automatics out there if you are concerned with efficiency/longevity. Ford is just going through the growing pains of offering such an advanced technology in such a cheap car.


RE: Hmmm
By menting on 1/7/2014 12:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding the 2012 Focus: I was indeed looking to buy a 2012 Focus, but that had so many issues that I decided against it. the 2013 still had some issues it seems (based on the forums), so I decided against that as well.


RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/7/2014 3:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
Can only comment on my own experience. But then I knew exactly what I was getting into when I bought the car and what to expect.

I have put almost 30,000 mi on mine and have yet to regret that decision. The transmission has never been an issue with it.


RE: Hmmm
By Samus on 1/6/2014 2:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
Mazda reduced the compression ratio of North American Skyactiv models to 13:1 in order to run 87 octane. Only the overseas models run 14:1.

I've historically owned vehicles that use premium fuel (for performance or economy) so it's mysterious to me Mazda is trading a fuel that is 10% more expensive for economy that increases over 15%.

I can't wait for a tuner to develop a ECU flash for the CX-5 that increases the compression ratio to 14:1. The vehicle has four knock sensors and some trick piston designs that would protect it quite well from detonation, so it should be relatively safe.

But Mazda knows we have the most poorly regulated gasoline in the modern world so it's safe to say they are taking this conservative approach to prevent warranty claims, especially with all the CX-5 Skyactiv-Drive transmission valve body problems. Mine was at the dealer for three weeks waiting for parts from Japan.

I love the car, but I'd recommend anybody research (ie www.cxfail.com) these Skyactiv vehicles before purchasing so you know what to expect.

A few things I'd recommend avoiding in any new Mazda is AWD (because it is a joke, I couldn't even get my crossover out of a 8" snow bank because the rear wheels only get 10% power with a maximum of 50%, which never seems to happen.)

I'd also avoid the technology package. Adaptive headlights don't work properly, proximity key fails on pretty much everybody (stalling, not detecting the key, walk-away locks are intermittent) and the TomTom GPS is probably the worse unit I've ever seen. The Mazda 3/6 have adaptive cruise control that constantly deactivates (and only works up to 18mph so it's really for stop-go traffic, not highway cruising) just like city brake, which even Top Gear proved is hit or miss, no pun intended.


RE: Hmmm
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/6/2014 2:21:33 PM , Rating: 3
Efficiency only grows logarithmically with CR. Without doing the math, I'd say going from 13:1 to 14:1 is only a 1-2% boost in efficiency.

The Skyactiv engines don't really operate at 13-14:1 CR anyways, they only do so at part throttle. The engines use specially shaped pistons and a tuned exhaust to increase cylinder scavenging, reducing intake charge temperature. If they ran at 14:1 at max BMEP, the engine would detonate (even with GDI). They use a variable intake valve to limit high CR to part throttle operation only.


RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/6/2014 7:09:45 PM , Rating: 2
I was wondering how they were able to get away with that high CR (even with DI). Thanks for that info.


RE: Hmmm
By Samus on 1/7/2014 1:50:21 AM , Rating: 2
You don't have to do the math. Thousands of others all over the world have already done it for you. A quick Google search shows many people in Great Britain, Australia and Japan average around 35mpg mixed driving in the 2013 CX-5 2.0 where our 2013 CX-5 2.0 averages 28. The 2.5 is said to reduce the economy only 1 mpg. Once I've owned mine long enough and it isn't -15f I will know my real-world fuel economy. But the point it, American versions of international vehicles with identical engines always get lower economy.

I had an SVT Focus, known as the ST170 in Europe, and imported an ECU, reflashed my PATS theft module, and tuned it with a builder in St. Albans, UK. I regularly achieved 35mpg mixed driving on 93 octane fuel. No other SVT in the United States could get over 32 HIGHWAY without hypermiling, even with economy tunes.

International Skyactive's run 14:1, ours run 13:1. Is there more to it? Of course. Emissions regulations (in which Japan is the world-leader, so this is irrelevant) and fuel quality play a roll. Any petrol engine ideally burns at "stoic" but running leaner and using technology to monitor the consequences will improve fuel economy. The compression ratio can be increased in a variety of ways to improve fuel efficiency; special intake and head cooling techniques, piston design, tuned headers, valve/cam timing, etc. This improves overall efficiency, but the industry PR simply calls it compression ratio, which is all I was referring too.

What you need to keep in mind, like you mention, is the purpose of direct injection is to keep peak compression ratio across the power band, which obviously isn't going to always be 13:1+ but even if you can get away burning above stoic at idle, you are going to save fuel.


RE: Hmmm
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/7/2014 12:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
The math is simple: thermal efficiency=(1-(1/CR^(specific heat-1)). I just did it and the improvement from 13:1 to 14:1 is 1.6%.

Unless you have scientific sources for those MPG numbers, the differences you cite are just anecdotal and thus suspect. I'm not saying you are wrong, but I can't assume you are right. According to the manufacturer's website, the CX-5 (2.0 manual) is rated at ~39mpg(US) combined on the British cycle and 29mpg(US) combined on the American cycle. Certainly a huge difference, but so are the drive cycles...

Mazda refers to the peak of their "dynamic" CR as though it were the static CR, as stated by nearly every car manufacturer since cars were invented. Late intake valve closure (LIVC), as pioneered by Ralph Miller with his work on industrial diesel engines, has muddied the water. As with any internal combustion engine, the value that really matters is the pressure ratio, as the CR refers to a geometric quantity.

The purpose of GDI is to increase volumetric efficiency, intake charge cooling and fuel metering. Nearly every engine in America is designed to run at stoichiometry (14.7:1) unless peak power is required (e.g. acceleration). Running lean results in high NOx and is almost always avoided. Notable exceptions include Honda hybrid vehicles, which use a NOx adsorption catalyst that it periodically flushes by running rich.


RE: Hmmm
By Samus on 1/7/2014 1:30:00 AM , Rating: 1
I love how DT'ers down-rate those who own a product, express their opinion, while providing valuable advice and experiences.

Absolutely shocking.


RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/7/2014 11:53:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I love how DT'ers down-rate those who own a product, express their opinion, while providing valuable advice and experiences.
That's because you were supposed to have glowing reviews of your Mazda product, the golden child of the wanna be eco-enthusiast. I appreciated your post. It's always nice to get past all the hype and hear the real story.


RE: Hmmm
By Moishe on 1/7/2014 4:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
Simplicity breeds reliability and Mazdas have not been very simple lately.

I applaud them for their history of innovation, but innovation requires quality as well or you're just building something that will be perfected by the next guy.


RE: Hmmm
By lucyfek on 1/6/2014 2:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
Can you elaborate why AT outperforms stick with respect to mpg?
From my own experience it's just marketing gimmick of manufacturers hell bent on selling you options that are more expensive to begin with and to maintain. Not to say that AT will break sooner (don't mention clutch replacement for MT because we all know the price difference between the two). These new fancy 9 speeds are just crazy complicated and this much less reliable and expensive in the long run. Also, when you consider that with fewer gears you may stay more of the time in the highest gear (and lower rpms mean lower fuel use for injected engines) I'm not so sure of the mpg claims (I would rather consider these 9 speeds a performance option but nothing more).
To sum it up - AT are more expensive, heavier, more complicated/failure prone and while if someone that drives like maniac can surely mess up mpgs in stick vehicle the same is true for AT (just you're never in control of the vehicle and you end up trying to shift it with gas pedal into the gear that matches your driving style).
Oh yeah folks, make sure to also purchase the most expensive navigation and sunroof options on your next vehicle and all top it of with 72+ month financing (after that period this loaded vehicle will be practically unsellable as no mechanic will touch it for any repairs that normal people can afford).


RE: Hmmm
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/6/2014 2:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
The more gears you have, the longer you can keep an engine at its max BSFC. There are manual transmissions with 6+ speed (especially in commercial trucking), but shifting every 500-1000rpm ain't fun.

Manuals can get hybrid-like city MPG, but only by "pulse and gliding." The engine needs to be operated at max BSFC (generally peak torque) and shut off when at speed. Rinse and repeat. Hybrids get excellent city MPG mostly through its motor, not its automatic transmission.

Also, not all automatics are made equal. The Prius transmission is dead simple and reliable.


RE: Hmmm
By lucyfek on 1/6/2014 3:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, when you add hybrid drive than AT may make sense (even then probably dual clutch as torque converter is pure waste until locked). And shifting every 500 rmps IS fun (not that I really think/notice it any more than traffic in front of me, btw I never really go pass 3000 so shifting every 1000 seems like a "spirited" driving).
Also, for non-hybrid cars maximum BSFC is - again - more closely related to performance than max mpg - I know that driving 40mph in 5th (highest for my car) won't get me best acceleration but no AT will beat the mpg (none of these would shift into highest gear yet being programmed for performance that matches somebody's else expectations, regardless of time, mood, snow on the road etc). It's easy to observe this mpg/rpm relation through odb2 - I bet that coasting to the red light in neutral is very bad from the point of view of BSFC yet gets great mpg (regular car with AT will keep engine revved up and waste more gas in the process, regardless of how many speeds the AT had).
Also, speaking of hybrids I'm not sure if any of these shuts down the engine while cruising at highway speeds (unlikely) and I'm not sure if disengaging AT at speed is great for them (I know it'll not break right away;).
Anyway, the moment I have no manual option in standard vehicle (not a performance car) I surely go for hybrid as all control over the drive-train and economy of initial purchase has already been impaired.


RE: Hmmm
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/6/2014 4:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
1. More gear sets make sense hybrid or not.

2. Shifting frequently is not fun. Truckers w/ 13spd. transmissions shift every 250rpm. Listen to them and you'll hear them shift >5x (!) before crossing an intersection from a stop. No thank you.

3. Max BSFC is the most efficient conversion of gasoline to HP. Hybrid/non-hybrid is irrelevant.

4. Modern ATs utilize very tall top gear ratios, which suck for accelerating. Shifting is near instantaneous, so there is no downside.

5. It's illegal to coast in neutral. Automatics can theoretically do so... some DCT actually do. Hybrids certainly do below a certain speed.


RE: Hmmm
By Shadowself on 1/6/2014 2:05:47 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Stick shift + traffic = hell.


This is one of many, many things that are wrong with U.S. drivers. They don't *really* know how to drive stick shift vehicles. Hell, in many, many cases driver's ed classes don't even teach how to drive a stick shift.

And before someone jumps on and says they know how to drive a stick shift and still have problems in dense/fast moving traffic, I'll categorically state that 90% (or more) of the people who *think* they know how to properly drive a stick shift actually do not.


RE: Hmmm
By Dr of crap on 1/6/2014 2:14:23 PM , Rating: 3
WHY would you think that drivers ED classes SHOULD teach you how to drive a stick??? They only teach you how to handle the car well enough to get a license. THERE is no teaching how to drive a stick. WE have over 90% AT over here.

YOU need to learn how to drive a stick on you own.


RE: Hmmm
By Argon18 on 1/6/14, Rating: -1
RE: Hmmm
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/6/2014 3:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
What's the point? Over 80% of the vehicles sold today in the U.S. are automatics (last time I checked; it could be higher). The most popular segments in the U.S. market (full-size pickups, midsize sedans, compact/midsize crossover) are dominated by automatic transmissions.

The only place you even find a decent number of manuals anymore are in sports/sporty cars (even then, many are being replaced by DCT), BMW sports sedans, base-model economy cars, and... uh... I guess that's about it.

You don't teach for a dying breed. If you want to learn how to drive a stick, find a friend/family member that has one.


RE: Hmmm
By Dr of crap on 1/6/2014 4:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I said and yet I get a nasty reply - ??

Can't get through to some I guess.


RE: Hmmm
By clarkn0va on 1/8/2014 1:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
One has to wonder how much MT sales would rise if new drivers were taught to drive a stick.

And I do not believe your stat that 80% of vehicles sold in the US are AT. This may be true for passenger vehicles, but certainly not all vehicles.

If xx% of car and light truck buyers want to pay for AT, that's their business, but I think the merits of teaching MT to new drivers are apparent.

- it gives the driver the ability to lend, borrow or rent a MT vehicle
- it helps the driver understand what gears are and how they work in a vehicle. This is useful knowledge, even to somebody who drives AT.
- it promotes reduced vehicle manufacturing and recycling costs
- it promotes reduced fuel consumption. This effect may be diminished as AT and CVT get more sophisticated, but then it's a tradeoff with the previous point, isn't it?


RE: Hmmm
By Reclaimer77 on 1/6/2014 4:55:36 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You're free to choose whatever you want for your personal car, but an education should include all of the available options


Uhh the purpose of the DMV isn't to teach you how to drive or educate you. That's YOUR job! It's to see if you can competently operate the vehicle you brought with you to the test.

Forcing people to learn transmissions they'll never have to use seems like a horrible use of tax dollars. And what is the upside exactly? How does that make our roads safer or whatever?

quote:
Automatics are for elderly and handicapped only, across most of the world.


My current car and most cars I've owned have been manuals. But this is just ridiculous, are you THAT shallow and childish?


RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/6/2014 7:16:27 PM , Rating: 2
Automatics of some form are where cars are going, even in Europe. I was a staunch manual only user until the ZF 8 speed auto (and to a lesser extent, BMW's 7 speed DCT). I now have no issues giving up a manual for these excellent transmissions. As a matter of fact, my next car WILL have either a ZF 8 speed auto or dual clutch.


RE: Hmmm
By Reclaimer77 on 1/7/2014 12:27:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well when I was a teenager I had major reconstruction on my left knee, and it's gotten worst pretty much every year since. I think the day is coming soon where I too will be resigned to an automatic transmission.

Sigh :(


RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/7/2014 12:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well when I was a teenager I had major reconstruction on my left knee, and it's gotten worst pretty much every year since.
Ouch! Well when the day comes, at least the auto won't suck too bad. If it was 5 years ago, I'd hang myself. A DCT is the best alternative IMO.


RE: Hmmm
By Firebat5 on 1/7/2014 3:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
I do enjoy the DCT on my Lancer. It really is a lot of fun to drive. I wanted a manual but the wife didn't. Perfect compromise. All of the fun, none of the learning curve.


RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/7/2014 3:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah DCTs are rocking these days -- though there are a lot of misguided people that think they should work like slushboxes. They don't!!

I hear you reclaimer about the left knee. Trashed mine back in my early 20s after a motorcycle wipeout. Was in a toes-to-crotch cast for 6 months and when I finally got out of it my I lost so much muscle my left thigh was 5 inches thinner than my right. It looked like a stick. After about 35 years since then I am getting really good at predicting the weather.

I have no problem driving stick at this age. I just don't bother when DCTs can shift 100 times faster than I ever could.


RE: Hmmm
By Concillian on 1/7/2014 2:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
Tax dollars? Where do you live that tax dollars go for driver's ed? I had to pay for my own driver's training classes (California). Did something happen since 1991 when I learned to drive that tax dollars are being used to educate drivers?

I guess you could say tax dollars are used to test drivers, but by and large that funding comes from DMV fees, which are optional "taxes."

I parallel park less than 5% of the time I park, but I had to do that on my driving test. less then 5% of my turns are 3 point turns, but a driving test needs to make sure you know how to handle that situation. Why is it a bad thing to require people have basic knowledge of how to operate a transmission belonging to 10-20% of cars on the road? It obviously can't be required for the driving test, but there should be material in the written portion so there's at least a basic understanding.

---

People hate manuals in traffic because they feel that a quarter car length gap between them and the car in front of them must be filled immediately or it's like the end of the world or something.

Check how truckers drive in traffic... they pick a gear that's about the average speed and idle forwards in that gear. This causes gaps to get created and then shrink in front of them, but the truck still goes at roughly the same speed it otherwise would have. Not only is that the easiest way to drive in traffic, it's the most fuel efficient way AND it smooths traffic in that lane for less of the annoying stop and go BS.

So you end up with a gap in front of you. Don't worry, those brake lights will come again soon enough.


RE: Hmmm
By mindless1 on 1/6/2014 11:02:57 PM , Rating: 5
I feel quite the opposite, that there are only 4 classes of people who drive manuals.

1) Truck drivers who need a robust transmission for heavy hauling.

2) Poor people with no common sense to buy a used vehicle, instead want to shave a little bit off the cost of a new vehicle.

3) Immature young adults who want to feel like they are race car drivers on public roads.

4) Real race car drivers on a track.

4) Idiots

Notice I didn't list sports cars. There is no reason to drive a sports car on a public road in a manner where you need enough torque to need a manual transmission, and it's illegal to operate one in this reckless manner in many countries.

Only a masochist chooses to manually shift tens of thousands of times a year for no good reason. It's the equivalent of getting a dishwasher where you have to hit one button to start the water flowing, then hit another to fire up the heating element, then come back later and hit the controls to get it to spin the wand, then come back and get it to empty and start the rinse, then come back again and get it to heat dry, then come back later to get it to stop... instead of just pressing the start button and letting it do the rest for you AUTOMATICALLY.

That would be crazy to do, just like it's crazy to constantly shift when a car can do it for you.

There is no reason for the average person to learn to stick shift. Sure it's one of those things in life you might want to learn some day, just like it's handy to learn how to paint a room, put in a water heater, play golf, etc.

An education where you spend time learning something you never use later is what is wrong with the educational system already.


RE: Hmmm
By mindless1 on 1/6/2014 11:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
replace 4 with 5 a couple times


RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/7/2014 1:06:21 AM , Rating: 1
I don't fit on your list. I just enjoy manual transmissions and prefer them, that's all. I do own a sports car but my previous cars were not (and had manuals). Up until relatively recently auto's just plain sucked. Now they're to the point where I wouldn't mind having one and in the case of DCT's, they're quicker and more consistent. And please stop with the illegalities of this or that. Do you really think that traffic violations are only related to what transmission is in your car? Since auto's are the overwhelming majority, it stands to reason that auto drivers are more prone to reckless and illegal behavior behind the wheel.


RE: Hmmm
By mindless1 on 1/7/2014 2:28:06 AM , Rating: 2
Of course traffic violations can occur for many reasons but we can break them down into two classes, intentional and accidental.

It's intentional when someone picks a manual because they want to drive their vehicle like it's a race car. You know it happens.

I'd be willing to bet that the % of manual shift drivers (cars, not trucks) who deliberately drive recklessly is far far higher than their automatic counterparts, that the # of events per driver is far higher.

No, it does not stand to reason that auto drivers as a group are more prone, although it does stand to reason that the total # of violations by that group is higher since auto drivers are a significant majority. Certainly that doesn't make every manual shift driver a criminal, but it does go a long way to explaining why many people pick a manual with no justifiable reason they care to share in public.


RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/7/2014 12:22:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Of course traffic violations can occur for many reasons but we can break them down into two classes, intentional and accidental.
Really? By who?

quote:
No, it does not stand to reason that auto drivers as a group are more prone, although it does stand to reason that the total # of violations by that group is higher since auto drivers are a significant majority. Certainly that doesn't make every manual shift driver a criminal, but it does go a long way to explaining why many people pick a manual with no justifiable reason they care to share in public.
Again, by who? And, YES, it DOES stand to reason that auto drivers are more prone to illegal behavior because they are in the vast majority (see I can do that too LOL!). I contend that auto drivers are inherently more reckless due to actual traffic statistics not someone's flawed opinion. In other words, you're wrong.


RE: Hmmm
By Moishe on 1/7/2014 4:19:41 PM , Rating: 1
Your thinking is so narrow that I'm surprised that you can get through your day.

You're really saying that there are only two options?
Racers and stupid people?

Maybe your personality is so shallow and uninteresting that it can be categorized like that, but I assure you that the rest of the world is full of very colorful people and opinions.


RE: Hmmm
By lucyfek on 1/7/2014 1:27:43 PM , Rating: 2
you may want think twice before coming up with bogus reasons to pick between AT and MT (and learn to count pass 4).
1. MT is more robust - guess this is why all military vehicle have AT. The reason more simple - AT does not require almost any skill from the operator, truck operators are expected to know what they were doing (and expenses associated with AT do add up, but since all stick drivers are 5) Idiots we'll skip this reason for now). Also it's the controls/hydraulics and not gear part that tends to fail (for MT once the "controller" failed he/she has no longer need for the rest of the system).
2) Poor people (I guess you are the 1%, good for you) should buy your used "pandora box" over affordable new vehicle with MT (and affordable choices are diminishing as marketers convinced public that more is better). I'll bet that all current new fancy AT vehicle will be next to impossible to keep pass 100k (maybe 150k) miles. Once you have to do dreaded AT overhaul (=replacement) or even swap dual-clutch (1500$ - omg, compare this to 400$ for old school clutch that you can actually do yourself if you want to go really cheap). Probably, some of these new AT tech can't be done outside of dealers network (again no cheap option)- tough luck, unless you were 5) Idiot who bought into a vehicle with MT.
3) Statistically, with AT vehicle dominating sales also the racers you encounter drive the AT (after all they know no better, never learned to drive stick, car salesman have no problems convincing them to get AT and big rims, and "great" financing offer they get seals the deal). Again, while 5) Idiots with MT can attempt the same it's just as likely that they went with MT to keep TCO of their vehicle purchase low and not to race (cause they are 2) Poor anyway).
4) Real race car drivers - well, I have to admit that new AT can shift faster and will outperform human with MT on the race track and this is what's used out there. On the public roads I'll take MT any day as I don't have a need for launch control, extra HPs and all the "premium" BS packaged simply to justify final price of the expensive car (and keep you tied to dealer's service shop later)). Once you considered all cars are made to be basically consumables that have to be replaced after certain mileage you'll realize that "sticking" with MT gives you the only opportunity to get pass this design goal of manufactures.
5) Idiots - not sure that either MT or AT is sufficient to qualify you as one but from strictly financial point of view - well you know where it all adds up to.

You can call me/us masochist but once I'm in a car (MT or AT as I have both) all I know is that MT actually does what I need or want and AT - well, it's like POS camera - you can only hope it did it. I do not consider it hard work to operate MT (it takes fraction of second to shift) and after all I'm not supposed to pay attention to stuff beyond controlling the vehicle (we can agree that this is for 5) Idiots). Needles to say, I would not take a long trip in a used vehicle with AT as pushing to a service station in the middle of nowhere is far beyond the level of masochism that normal MT driver would accept.
And I'll keep the money I spared by going with MT for better things than moving myself from A to B. And with average person no longer being able to operate MT my car stays off the menu of casual thieves (commonly 3) Immature young adults and 5) Idiots).


RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/7/2014 3:50:02 PM , Rating: 1
You sir are a moron.

I was going to provide you a more complete response, but eath time I re-read your comments, I think that truly sums your post up in one short sentence.


RE: Hmmm
By Moishe on 1/7/2014 4:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
You're a fool.

What about those of us who simply like to drive manual transmissions?

I may be a minority, but I fit nowhere in your list.

I have a problem with people who want to call everyone else idiots because they don't 'get it.' It's that same attitude that believes that anyone who chooses to drive a higher MPG vehicle with no real 'need' is an idiot.

The benefit of an adult live-and-let-live attitude is that you recognize that there are people who are not like you. It's called diversity of thought.

I have a Jeep Wrangler. It has horrible gas mileage, and it's 4X4, and it's a manual transmission. Even worse *gasp*, I don't "need" it. But you know what? I like it, I can afford the gas, I enjoy the manual transmission, and on occasion I enjoy off-roading. If micro-managing, nanny-state, babysitter types want to judge me for having a differing opinion, they can shove it.

I think tiny cars are ugly and have very limited utility, but instead of being a self-centered tool, I accept that everyone is different and I embrace it.


RE: Hmmm
By Samus on 1/6/2014 2:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, the 2014 CX-5 and 2014 Mazda 3 have the best manual 6-speed I've ever driven. The clutch is easy but strong, the shifts are incredibly short gate-to-gate and everything is light and connected. Compared to the Fiesta ST, which has probably the worst 6-speed I've ever driven (literally feels like a Logitech G35 shifted, no connection whatsoever) and the Cruze Eco 6-speed which has very poor ratio placement, the Mazda manual is very easy to live with. I would have gotten it if it was offered on Grand Touring models (the only trim you can get with leather heated seats, larger 2.5l engine, etc.)

It irks me that Mazda North America has the poorest vehicle configurations in the Mazda network. Go to the UK and you have 5 trim options with far more tech configurations, and obviously one of the best diesels out there.

Mazda announced that Diesel is delayed, AGAIN, for their state-side lineup.


RE: Hmmm
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/6/2014 2:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
Stick shifts are a dying breed, so I don't blame US drivers for not learning.

In terms of traffic, things are fine when cars are moving above idling speed in 1st gear. Try sitting in a parking lot (e.g. 405 freeway) going 5mph intermittently (not smoothly crawling) for hours. Certainly a worse-case scenario... but hell.

The US population is increasing at a much faster rate than roads are being built, especially in urban areas. Traffic is only going to get worse.


RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/6/2014 3:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
When 6+ speed automatics and dual-clutch automated manuals are more fuel efficient than manuals there is less demand for manual trans cars.

Sure there will be the crowd that says mixing your own gears is more fun, and for those folks, I say, fine - go buy a manual trans car. BUT even a Ferrari 458 Italia, Bugatti Veyron SS and Lamborghini Aventador has automated manual transmissions (Dual clutch for the Ferrari & Bugatti). And you can't get a whole lot more fun to drive than these, right?


RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/7/2014 1:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And you can't get a whole lot more fun to drive than these, right?
All the big name sports cars are going DCT. Even the new 911 GT3 is DCT ONLY. And all reviews are that the car is excellent (including the transmission).


RE: Hmmm
By Mint on 1/6/2014 3:13:16 PM , Rating: 3
I think plug-in hybrids will one day be cheaper than gas cars.

How? The smartphone model. The car maker takes most of the fuel savings by billing you for EV miles (e.g. $3 per 50 miles, or cheaper than 50 MPG), pays the utilities wholesale plus a little extra, and in return they subsidize the car up front.

To put this into perspective, GM probably has about 50 million vehicles on the road in the US, probably using about $80B in gas per year. If they were plugins and GM pocketed even a tenth of those savings (the rest split between the subsidy, the car owners, and the power utility), this profit would be equal to their annual US operating income.

It's a colossal business opportunity.


RE: Hmmm
By mindless1 on 1/6/2014 11:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know how to break this to you but the smartphone model makes them cost 4X as much, not cheaper.


RE: Hmmm
By clarkn0va on 1/8/2014 2:01:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, and people buy them up, because the cost is hidden. As a salesperson I can assure you that the vast majority of consumers are not asking "how much does this cost", but "how much does this cost per month". If people didn't work this way, then the handset makers and telcos wouldn't be selling phones to every blue collar and his pre-teen daughter.

I think the GP's idea is a good one as long as proper competition allows for fair pricing, and regulatory capture doesn't prevent it. These are the things that have ruined mobile data pricing in North America and the very reason that everybody and their goldfish has a phone that they have paid 4x too much for.


RE: Hmmm
By protomech on 1/6/2014 4:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that CAFE mpg is very different from EPA mpg.


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