What's the point of "manual" automatic trannys?


LOL, I love it! George Jones did a lot of great work :smile:
Kudos for remembering it.


Keeping it car related, here’s a classic.

I borrowed my wife’s Geo Metro last night. One liter of raw power, Three cylinders of asphalt-tearing terror on thirteen-inch wheels. It’s stock, alright, nothing done to it, but it pushes the barely 2000 pounds of metro around with AUTHORITY. I’m always catching mopeds and 18-wheelers by surprise… I was headed back from Baskin Robbins with my manly triple-latte cappuccino blast ("No Cinnamon, maam, I take it BLACK"), when I stopped at a streetlight. As the Metro throbbed its throaty idle around me, I sipped my bold beverage and wiped the white froth my stiff upper lip. I was minding my own business, but then I heard a rev from the next lane. I turned, made eye contact, then let my eyes trace over the competition. Ford Festiva - a late model, could be trouble. Low profile tires, curb feelers, and school bus-yellow paint. Yep, a hot rod, for sure. The howl of his motor snapped my reverie, and I looked back into the driver's eyes, nodded, then blipped my own throttle. As I tugged on my driving gloves and slipped on my sunglasses (gotta look cool to be fast, and I am *damn* cool, hence...), the night was split with the sound of seven screaming cylinders... Then the light turned... I almost had him out of the hole, my three pounding cylinders thrusting me at least a millimeter back into my seat, as smoke pouring from my front right tire... my unlimited slip differential was letting me down! I saw in the corner of my eyes, a yellow snout gaining, and I heard the roar of his four cylinders. He slung by me, right front wheel juddering against the pavement, and he flashed me a smile as his .7 extra liters of motor stretched its legs. I kept my foot gamely in it, though, waiting for the CHECK ENGINE light to blink on in the one-gauge (no tachometer here!) instrument panel. I saw a glimpse of chrome under his bumper, and knew the ugly truth... He was running a custom exhaust-probably a 2-into-1 dual exhaust...maybe event cutouts! Damn his hot-rod soul! The old lady passing us on the crosswalk cast a dirty look in our boy-racer direction... Yet still I persisted, with my three pumping pistons singing a heady high-pitched song, wound fully out. Though only a few handfuls of seconds had passed, we were nearing the crosswalk at the other side of the intersection, and I heard the note of his engine change as he made his shift to second, and I saw his grin in his rearview mirror fade as he missed the shift! I rocketed by, shifting, and nursed the clutch gently in to keep from bogging, keeping my motor spinning hot and pulling me ahead, now trailing a cloud of stinking clutch smoke. Not ready to give up so easily, he left his foot in it, revving, and I heard one wheel *almost* chirp as he finally found second and dropped the clutch. We careened over the crosswalk, now going at least 15 miles per hour. A bicyclist passed us, but intent on the race as we were, neither of us batted an eye. He pulled slowly abreast of me, and neck and neck, we made the shift to third, the scream of motors deafening all pedestrians within a five foot circle. He nosed ahead as we passed 30 miles an hour, then eased in front of me, taunting, as we shifted into fourth. I was staring up the dual 6" chrome tips of his exhaust, snarling, my cappuccino forgotten, as he lifted a little to take the next corner. I saw my opportunity, and counting on the innate agility of my trusty steed, I pulled wide into the number two lane and kept my foot buried in carpet. ..Slowly, I inched around him, feeling my Metro roll slowly to the left as I came abreast in the midst of this gradual sweeping turn. I felt the Geo ease onto its suspension stops, and felt the right rear wheel slowly leave the ground - no matter, though, because my drive wheels, up front, were pulling me through the corner, and around the Festiva... The Ford driver beat his wheel in rage as my wife's car eased past him on the outside, my P165/55R13s screaming in protest, as we raced to the next light. We coasted down, neck-and neck, to the red light. I tightened my driving gloves, ready for another round, when this WIMP in the next car meekly flipped his turn signal and made a right. Chevy superiority reigns!!! I drove off sipping my masculine drink, awash in my sheer virility, looking for other unwitting targets…




Um… the only thing that comes to mind is
"I wanna [he wants to] be a paperback writer… paperback writer!! " - respects to the Beatles.


Wow! 100 plus posts. The point of the additional shift paddles on a regular A/T as described by Marnet is that there really is no point.


In reply to @UsedEconobox_2_UsedB awesome video. Dual clutch automatics do this routinely. They match revs at upshifts and on downshifts. Regular torque-converter transmissions also match revs on downshifts (no need to on upshifts). The transmission in cars like the Cadillac ATS V and Lexus RC F also do the shifts up and down automatically, usually at the perfect time and location on a racetrack. Can they beat a pro driver? Still debatable, but they are way better, and way faster than drivers with only limited racetrack experience. Just my observations. I still respect folks that can heel toe like the driver in the video. It takes years to be able to do that.


I always wonder why GM didn’t offer the Chevy metro SS model with a Hayabusa engine


Likely because the Metro was designed to be a low cost practical car with outstanding gas mileage. The Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle has a higher msrp than the Geo Metro car had. Also, could the Hayabusa motorcycle engine meet car emission standards?
By the way, the Geo Metro got better gas mileage than the Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle did.


There were plenty of performance cars rising from their humble roots such as
Fiesta ST
Mazdaspeed 3
Imprezza STI
Golf R

The motorcycle got worst mileage than the metro because it is not an aerodynamic machine compared to a car.


While it is true that most motorcycles have the aerodynamics of a Jeep, they also have a very low frontal area so the total wind drag is not necessarily higher than that of a car. My Ninja 300 can get 70 mpg if I ride on 55 mph roads, even going 70, it gets close to 60 mpg.
Hayabusas were one of the cleaner motorcycles on the market, allowing them to go 190+ mph with 178 horsepower, before they were elecronically limited to 187 mph by a gentleman’s agreement between the big four Japanese motorcycle makers.

Compared to a Harley Davidson Road King with a “bat wing” fairing, the Happy Bus (Hayabusa) was a bullet train.


They did do a turbo Metro. same 1.0L 3 cylinder but with a turbo. It made something likes 70 HP (this is back in the early 90’s.) The Suzuki Swift (similar model) could be had with a 100 HP 1.3L I4


Suzuki Swifts are fun little cars.


Then there is the weight to consider. Even my most un-aerodynamic motorcycle only weighs about 500 lbs, so it gets better fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic that it does on the highway, kind of like a hybrid car.


Blush. I have written about my son-in-law putting slotted and drilled rotors on my 2002 Sienna after I managed to experience brake fade for the first time in probably decades between Tlaxcala and Puebla, Mexico.


In the 60’s before my 2 years conscription, I read that SAAB racing team actually cornered at full throttle with full braking, for as you say compensating for over/understeer issues. I was still driving crazy, and I tried it on my 1953 Chevrolet. It actually helped me corner on the gravel roads with sharp turns a bit faster.

In other words, I could feel what SAAB was talking about.

After two years in the military I didn’t drive like that any more.


I tried that in my first SAAB… spun out in a snowy parking lot. Several times.

Later when I raced a FWD car, I came to conclude the fastest guys in FWD cars were just a bit crazy. They set them up to spin out heading INto the turn so they can power the car out straight. Great, as long you don’t have to lift for a spinng car in front of you 'cause you’re gonna spin too!


I didn’t do this stuff in a parking lot. On country gravel roads with at times cars and trucks and tractors, any of which required shutting down instantly. I never put a car in the ditch, which really makes not much sense the way I drove. When I tell young people about those crazy days, the only explanation I can give is: God wanted to torture me some more. Heh, heh.

I read once the Nazi era German racing crew chief told his drivers to go into a certain s-curve at 120. Normally, anything over a modest speed resulted in a crash. He concluded that at 120 the car would sort of vibrate its way through the s-curves, and he was correct, giving them a bit of advantage on every lap.


There’s also the fact that tires loaded with only 500 pounds of weight are going to have a lower rolling resistance than tires loaded with 3000 pounds of weight. So a motorcycle may very well have higher wind drag than a car but the total drag of a car may be higher. Wind drag increases exponentially with speed but rolling resistance is linear so the faster you go, the more important wind drag becomes, the slower you go, the more important rolling resistance becomes.

Motorcycles accelerate effortlessly and hardly notice grades, but dread headwinds. Cars and trucks are just the opposite.

Motorcycles are at their best when they stay small and stick to low speed roads. Here they can deliver triple digit gas mileage when you stick to 45 mph speeds and have an engine sized for the power needed to go that fast.
If you want to cruise at 80-90 mph, it takes so much horsepower to propel a motorcycle that you are actually better off just driving a small compact car when it comes to gas mileage and especially tire life.