Why did people spec auto on performance cars?

Why did people spec auto on performance cars?

Author
Discussion

jof

169 posts

151 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
I get the question - in my younger days I believed autos were only for those of advanced age or couldn't drive properly.

Now that I prefer comfort and as relaxed a drive as possible in my daily, I wouldn't be without it.

My fun weekend cars will however always be manual. You buy weekend cars for the fun and excitement of driving - for me,this will always mean a 3 pedal manual

Argleton

3,695 posts

53 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
It's always funny when you see a manual F430 or 599 pop up with a massive premium and many, many people want them.

Which means real petrolheads really don't like to buy new.

I think its ease of use. A lot of people buying new have it as their only car and auto makes it relaxing. Most performance cars can work as daily drivers now - compared to 25 years ago - where low service intervals and tricky manuals rendered them high day cars.

Raygun

Original Poster:

3,413 posts

75 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
Dog Star said:
Do you still want acetylene lights and a starting handle - and damn those radial tyres - and crossply tyres OP?

Technology moves on. The smoothness and speed of a present day auto box is such that I really cannot see why anyone would want a manual - manufacturers obviously know what they're up to.
For some of us paupers who've saved up their money to buy a nice sunny Sunday car the thought of having to recoup some money on the purchase at some point in the future helps if you've got a sought after variant.

CRA1G

4,220 posts

150 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
When I was buying a new BMW every year in the 80/90's I simply chose Manual to save a few quid so to spec it up with alloys,leather and a radio cassette.....hehe

toon10

4,764 posts

112 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
For me it's all about how you use the car. If you have a daily and a performance car for weekends then I'd agree, manual all the way. If you want a performance car as an only car then I'd never go back to manual now. My last two fast cars have both been autos as 95% of the time they are better and easier to live with. If I got myself a weekend fast car then I'd most likely spec manual.

Baldchap

2,951 posts

47 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
My dogbus is an auto, despite being a performance model, because it does the supermarket run, picks the kids up from school, takes the dog to the woods and generally spends less than 5% of the time being driven like a performance car.

Plus they don't do it in a manual. laugh

paddy1970

42 posts

64 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
I would go for a manual if the car has less than 350-400 bhp.

After that threshold (when driving at high speed), things are happening a bit too fast for me to manage both clutch/gear stick and the rest (but I am an old fart!). However, I nearly always use the manual DCT function on the road/track. I find the paddle-shift a lot easier and faster to use than the gear shift. I only use the DTC in automatic mode when I am in traffic or cruising (rarely).

Miserablegit

1,566 posts

64 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
It’s all been covered above - the new pdk/dct systems cannot be compared with auto/tiptronic of old.
I drive dct, manual and slushmatic. Each variant suits the vehicle.
DCT allows more ratios and therefore there is more cog swapping in the car than a manual option with long gearing.
It is also quicker than a manual option which is a plus point to me.
I’ve also got manuals with overdrive if I need to “stir a box of cogs”
And let’s not pretend every manual gearbox is a joy to use!

Monkeylegend

18,764 posts

186 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
I think with some there is an element of "real men drive manuals, not automatics", they see it as an affront to their masculinity. Goodness knows what they will do when we are all electric yikes

I have driven automatic cars for the last 20 years and love them. My other half has never driven an automatic and refuses to drive mine, so I get to drive a manual Renault Scenic quite often bounce

E36Dan

7,173 posts

123 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
Raygun said:
Why did people spec auto on performance cars?
Raygun said:
For many years now (at least 40 years) I've always thought
Exactly that, init. Why did you wake today and decide to have a go at the automatics? Nasty.

TheRainMaker

4,278 posts

197 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
swampy442 said:
There will be a time when manual boxes will only be available on only the cheapest cars. Auto's and semi auto's are easier to use and faster in every situation, its called progress.
People have been saying that for the last 20 years.

DickyC

37,844 posts

153 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
Because it's an AMG.

They don't make manuals.

joropug

591 posts

144 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
It depends entirely on whether its a good auto or manual. Just as there are bad autos, there are bad manuals too.

For instance, I have had 4 BMW Manuals (E46 330 5spd, 6sp, e39 5spd and F30 320d 6spd). All were notchy, and actually the newest one was by far the worst. The clutch has an awfully long throw which makes the seating position uncomfortable (Too close to the pedals and twisted in the seat) - it also meant changes were slower.

Compare that to the ZF8 auto, always on power, smoother, why anyone would want a manual i don't know.

That said, i think Diesels and Petrol Turbos suit Auto and naturally aspirated suits manual to seek out those high RPM shifts. Honda VTEC owners will know what I mean, hitting the shift bang on the limiter to make sure you stay in VTEC was an absolute hoot, but that was a really fast and positive gearbox.

Chris32345

899 posts

17 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
swampy442 said:
There will be a time when manual boxes will only be available on only the cheapest cars. Auto's and semi auto's are easier to use and faster in every situation, its called progress.
Not they won't
They will all be electric power long before they make auto boxes cheep and realiable enough for every car

DoubleD

12,721 posts

63 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
These threads always go the same way. Weve already had the starting handle and cross ply tyre thing and the real men drive manuals thing.

Choice is a good thing, my choice is manual, others choose something different.

_Hoppers

380 posts

20 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
Bobtherallyfan said:
Did that on the first drive. Since then it’s been in full auto mode...the changes are so instantaneous that manual intervention seems utterly pointless.
Same here! I got a 320d Auto a couple of years ago, I thought I'd be using the manual override most of the time but I tend to keep it in auto unless I'm 'making progress'.

plfrench

1,434 posts

223 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
paddy1970 said:
I would go for a manual if the car has less than 350-400 bhp.
If you're talking new, I don't think you'd have much choice other than auto if above 350-400 bhp... Do any manufacturers other than Porsche still offer a manual with over 400 bhp? scratchchin

Having said that, with the introduction of particulate filters and everything being turbocharged, you're better off getting an older car for fun duties anyway biggrin

kambites

59,031 posts

176 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
There's a world of difference between an old four speed slush box and a modern 8-9 speed DSG or even torque converter box with a lockout clutch like a ZF8.

TwigtheWonderkid

32,081 posts

105 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
I haven't got a performance car, just a Seat Arona 1.0. I specced the DSG because it's quicker, has better fuel economy and lower CO2 than the manual.

If I was buying a new 911, I'd definitely spec it with PDK. Because from everything I've read, it's faster than the manual. And who doesn't want the quickest car they can buy if you're buying a performance car.

kambites

59,031 posts

176 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
And who doesn't want the quickest car they can buy if you're buying a performance car.
Me. smile

For me performance is a byproduct of a car being fun, not an end in its own right. Making a car faster does not, in itself, necessarily make a car more fun.