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Manual vs paddle


Caps lock broken?

Anyway, paddle shifters don’t have all the control of a traditional manual. I’ve tried a paddle shift equipped Honda Fit. It will not let you start in any gear except first, and will not let you lug the engine.

However, transmission choice is a matter of preference. If you like the feel of a manual better, then go for it.

Dual clutch F1-style auto-manual transmissions are pretty cool. Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, etc. make great ones. They will hold a gear from just above stalling to red line, shift in 100ms and perfectly rev-match downshifts. Slush-box autos with paddles on the steering wheel are just glorified automatics.


Turn off your caps lock!

Being the traditionalist that I am, I could not imagine buying a Corvette with a paddle shift transmission. That seems more at home in a German or Italian supercar, definitely not a Corvette. I’m surprised GM would offer that in the Corvette. Maybe they’re trying to cut in on Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s action? I don’t know a whole lot about the paddle shift thing either, but for tradition’s sake, and for the driving experience, I would take the six speed traditional manual any day. Paddle shifting is for video games.

Greatly improved since when? Other than picking up extra gears, the basic design of a manual transmission hasn’t really changed much since the 1930’s.

Paddle shifters are the new “in” thing to make a car feel sporty. Hyundai even put them in their new Genesis Coupe

I don’t know what kind of paddle-shift transmission Corvette uses. If it’s a setup like Porsche uses it, heck yes go for it. They’re awesome, and you’ll get faster shifts than you can perform yourself with a standard. If it’s like the ones Acura and other luxo car makers use to make you think you’re in control, get the standard.

A really easy way to tell is to bring the tach about halfway to redline and then, while still accelerating, shift. If it shifts immediately, it’s probably a good setup. If there’s about a 500rpm delay or so, then it’s a regular automatic with “sport shift,” and will suck for a Corvette.

Drive them both and see which one you like best. If you drive in rush hour traffic, clutching will be a real pain in the left leg. That’s why I don’t miss manual shifting. One point in favor of the paddle shift is that it was the transmission used in the fastest production sedan run at the Nurburgring - the Cadillac CTS-V. But that was in fully automatic mode.

The automatic in the Corvette despite the paddles, is just a run of the mill, traditional slushbox; it’s not a dual clutch transmission like you find in a Lambo or Ferrari. I would go with the manual.

I think of myself as a purist, and I am against paddle shifters, although I admit I have never tried them.

I believe some VW Beetles has what they called a “semi-automatic” transmission that behaved in a similar manner, only with a normal shifter. They didn’t have a manual clutch, so letting off on the gas automatically disengaged the clutch so you could shift. I believe paddle shifters work similarly. You just let off on the gas, shift, and press the gas. However, unlike VW’s “semi-automatic” transmission, I think paddle shifters manually shift what we think of as an automatic transmission.

Paddle shifters are fine for people who don’t know how to drive a car with a real manual transmission and want something to play with, but if you know how to drive a car with a manual transmission, and you enjoy it, I think paddle shifters will be a disappointment.

Can the sequential shift mechanism of a motorcycle transmission be considered a “paddle shifter”? The only disadvantage of a sequential shift manual is that you can’t skip gears nor shift directly into neutral without going back down through all the gears.

BMW calls their “paddle shift” transmission a “SMG” for sequencial manual gearbox. Perhaps a bit more developed than those 1930 models. You cannot and would not want to try and beat shifting these transmissions, they are that fast, shift after shift.

The VW auto stick shift cars did have a electricaly operated clutch. The clutch was activated when you rested your hand on the shifter.

Motorcycle sequential shift manuals were often shifted without releasing the clutch. On road racing bikes, the normal procedure was to preload the shift lever with foot pressure before the shift, the engine torque prevents the shift forks from pulling the engagement dogs apart, when the rider wants to shift, he closes the throttle or hits a kill button and the engine unloads the transmission dogs and the transmission shifts.
I understand that F-1 car transmissions worked much the same way before the two clutch transmission was invented.

Well, to be fair, you’re comparing a 110hp car to a 400+hp one.
With my Mazda I can start it first or second if need be

While I haven’t driven a car with paddle shifters, I’ve driven several “slushboxes” with manual shift modes, and I find them to be pretty much useless. The type that Ferrari and some others use is a manual gearbox with some sort of hydraulic control setup on it, and is probably a lot more exciting. Were I to buy a new 'Vette, I would definitely go for the traditional stick-shift.

I believe some VW Beetles has what they called a “semi-automatic” transmission that behaved in a similar manner, only with a normal shifter. They didn’t have a manual clutch, so letting off on the gas automatically disengaged the clutch so you could shift.

I know that it isn’t the same thing as a paddle shift, but my Dad’s 1947 DeSoto fluid drive shifted semi-automatically when one released the accelerator in driving range. The clutch was used to select lo range, driving range, neutral or reverse. Once in driving range, you released the accelerator to shift between the two speeds.

Personally, I would rather have either a manual transmission or a fully automatic transmisison than a paddle shift, a DeSoto fluid drive, or a VW semi-automatic (I think VW called it the automatic stick shift. It took the Gross National Product of several third world countries to keep this automatic stick shift working properly).

Yet, the CTS-V sedan still holds the record for fastest lap in a production sedan at the Nordschleife, using the paddle-shifting automatic. In fully automatic mode. Not bad for an inferior transmission.

Yeah, I heard about that. I would be interested to see how a manual transmission CTS-V would fair.