European Manual Transmissions


#1

I rented a Renault Megane in Germany, in 2012; it was a sweet car with manual transmission. I’m not a regular manual driver here in the States, but I quickly adapted to manual over there! What a thrill driving the steep mountain pass roads!

My question: the real cool feature on this car was when you accidently stalled, which I did frequently until I got the hang of it, you push the clutch in and the engine restarts automatically. I love this feature so much in fact that I wouldn’t consider buying a car with MT without it. I have not seen any “American” cars with this feature, and an internet search for ANY detail on this feature has been fruitless.

What are all your thoughts? Have you seen this anywhere here in the States?


#2
which I did frequently until I got the hang of it, you push the clutch in and the engine restarts automatically.

Some US vehicles had it for years (Kinda). The Army Jeep - the start button was on the floor next to the clutch. So to start the Jeep you pressed the clutch in …and then moved your foot a little to press the start button.


#3

Nope, no US cars do this. The French cars have always been a little bit different… sometimes in a good way, sometimes a little too weird for the US market.

I rented a Renault Laguna in Sweden about 10 years ago. The angle to insert the key elicited a curse word everyday because it was an unnatural angle for the human (American??) hand to position itself to present the key. The motor rattled like a diesel (sadly, it wasn’t) when cold and the really cool looking rear spoiler lip clogged with snow, making the rear wiper useless. The gear shift lever looked exactly like a “marital aid” if you know what a mean… nudge-nudge wink-wink, E’ said knowingly!


#4

I think the French proved a long time ago, that US drivers . . . in general . . . don’t want the kind of cars they build

I was being kind . . . because most of us know that the French were selling 100% garbage. Normally, I would have used a 4 letter word, but I wouldn’t want to offend somebody’s sensitive eyesight.

That’s why they stopped selling cars here over 20 years ago


#5

We will never have a feature like that in the United States, I do believe drivers with manual transmissions tend to be much better drivers overall, but in America, even most manual transmission drivers are too stupid to have such a feature. If they did it wouldn’t take long until someone launched one of the cars thru a storefront, then the lawyers would come out like vultures.

We can’t even manufacture gas cans here anymore with out the biggest manufacturer going bankrupt due to the high volume of lawsuits that have arisen from people using the gas cans in an unsafe manner.

We are a nation of unaccountable, stupid people.

In France you are considered a drunk driver with a BAC of .05%, here in America we are to intoxicated to properly use such a feature.

Secondly if such a car was sold here 90% of the people on this forum would proclaim the car a deathtrap because

a. Its small
b. has under 100 horsepower
c. its too efficient for our tastes.
d. It can’t cruise at 95mph on the interstate, even though the highest interstate speed limit is 85mph, but You need to constantly be going at least 20 over regardless of the weather, sobriety, ect…


#6

I seem to remember a car from years ago that did that, you pressed on the clutch pedal and it started the car. The key still had to be in the ignition of course. A Nash, Rambler, something like that. I may not be remembering correctly of course. I do remember our family had a Chysler with the starter button on the floor, you pressed it with your foot. But that car was an automatic. But I think I recall an old used car we or somebody had – a 1930’s or 40’s model probably – that you started by pressing on the clutch pedal. I sort of makes sense, as most cars, even American, require you to step on the clutch pedal to start the car anyway.


#7

The feature that @ssphoto describes sounds like the start-stop system that renault was planning to include on every model a few years ago. Push in the clutch and the engine restarts. European buyers like different things than we do.


#8

Probably the only car with such a feature in the States is the Honda CRZ


#9

The old cars the @GeorgeSanJose refers to were Studebakers. I learned to drive a stick shift on a 47 Studebaker Champion and I used that clutch pedal feature a lot. I also had a 53 Buick that started by pressing the gas to the floor, which I though was dumb.


#10

The Fiat and the Ford I drove in Italy did not have this feature, so it’s more of a French car feature than a European car feature.

As someone once said “The French copy nobody, and nobody copies the French.”


#11

Fiat and Ford do offer such a feature but not on every model, Fiat mainly on the 500 and on certain Fords (no mention of specific models) VW and Vauxhall/Opel offer it as well with some engines like the VW Bluemotion and the Opel Ecoflex. Mini and Volvo as well


#12

“The old cars the @GeorgeSanJose refers to were Studebakers”.
Nash also had this feature. The Studebaker and Nash through the mid 1950s had the starter switch under the clutch. You depressed the clutch on these cars and then gave it an extra push. The feature disappeared when suspended pedals were introduced on these makes. Nash combined the starter switch with the automatic transmission lever. On the automatic transmission Nash through the 1957 models (including Rambler), to start the engine you put the transmission lever in neutral and then lifted it toward you. When Rambler went to push button automatics in 1958, you pushed the neutral button–it was marked Neutral/Start.


#13

Yes, that is the start-stop system used in Europe. I had a BMW 128d rental with the feature. I didn’t like it at first, but got used to it. It is making its way to North America. IIRC, BMW already offer it on some US models.