Why did people spec auto on performance cars?

Why did people spec auto on performance cars?

Author
Discussion

cerb4.5lee

15,238 posts

135 months

Monday 29th June
quotequote all
MB140 said:
Lovely road between Newark and Mansfield In Notts. They have double white lined the whole road. It’s notorious for the police hiding on the road. Even though it’s a lovely open road how often do I get to use the full performance of the car.
I've used that road for 30 years and they have completely ruined it now I agree. All the main roads around me are terrible for getting your foot down(you are always stuck behind a lorry/van/car with an almost impossible overtaking opportunity).

I do however also have some brilliant and very quiet country roads around me as well though. They are great roads to use to drive just for pleasure, all very quiet NSL roads with plenty of overtaking opportunities and very little traffic. It is just the main roads that suck.

SidewaysSi

7,357 posts

189 months

Monday 29th June
quotequote all
MB140 said:
xjay1337 said:
SidewaysSi said:
I live in the SE and have no issues thoroughly enjoying driving. If you genuinely are stuck in traffic from your house to your destination on every journey then just forget having a vaguely interesting car.
Maybe I'm mis-interpreting the situation but I think he's just getting at that most journeys you get stuck behind some sort of slower car.

IE this morning I dropped my car off for some warranty work. The drive there is usually a nice open flowing A road. But most times, you get stuck behind some old lady doing 50, or some lorries. While there are some over taking spots often there is a lack of visibility for a safe overtake.

The only time I get to properly enjoy driving are on some European mountain roads once a year or the trackdays. On the road I generally just want to get to my destination as comfortably as possible.
Exactly this xj, that’s what I mean. Lovely road between Newark and Mansfield In Notts. They have double white lined the whole road. It’s notorious for the police hiding on the road. Even though it’s a lovely open road how often do I get to use the full performance of the car. Not much really. I still have one for those few moments. (Drive to work for a flight at 2am etc. But not enough % of my driving time means I would spec a manual. If I lived out in the middle of nowhere. Hell yeah. I would have an exige in my garage.
If only eh? We can all make excuses but if you want to do something, there is always a way. I live near the underground on the outskirts of London and manage to enjoy cars, so surely you can't too.

If you want an Exige, buy one and bloody well find places to enjoy it because they exist everywhere. But if you honestly don't care about it or don't want to spend the money etc., there's no need to find excuses.. smile

SidewaysSi

7,357 posts

189 months

Monday 29th June
quotequote all
maz8062 said:
DoubleD said:
maz8062 said:
Oh, but manuals are more engaging people claim. Not really, they're just more effort and they're slower.

Edited by maz8062 on Monday 29th June 16:50
The good thing is we still have choice, which allows people with different opinions like many of us do, to buy and drive what they like.
I agree DD, you're spot on.

My point is that manual boxes haven't come on much since I used to thrash an Austin Maestro (GTI wink) around country lanes back in the day. In those days autos were just for easy driving, although kick down could be quite addictive.

In terms of innovation for manual gearboxes I can only think of the Porsche 7 speed boxes or the 370z rev-matching trickery. Other than that manual boxes are the same as they've always been.

The other day I was watching an onboard of Senna driving a manual F1 car - it looked amazing - I think F1 are missing a trick with their super-fast auto boxes biggrin
I would rather a manual than some auto with old tech.

A sorted manual is a joy to use. If you like that sort of thing of course. But if you can't be arsed or like to rest your left leg, just say so.

ddom

1,007 posts

3 months

Monday 29th June
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
I would rather a manual than some auto with old tech.

A sorted manual is a joy to use. If you like that sort of thing of course. But if you can't be arsed or like to rest your left leg, just say so.
It’s so, so strange. Certain manuals actually define some cars, but we sniff at character? Sometime soon the world won’t have gearboxes or interesting engines and will be full of very linear, very efficient and very dull EV’s. Is there a reason why a good rev match is not liked, H&T into your favourite corners, sometimes goes well sometimes not, but that’s (to me) actually driving.

otolith

41,345 posts

159 months

Monday 29th June
quotequote all
Hungrymc said:
otolith said:
Has it occurred to you that some of the people you're talking to have owned and driven both types of car and have a preference?
And some may prefer different gearboxes for different applications. it’s a broad spectrum from purely for fun through to purely for easy commuting. I think many will own several vehicles across this range.
Indeed. I would not want my automatic car manual nor my manual cars automatic.

Mr Tidy

11,376 posts

82 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
otolith said:
Hungrymc said:
otolith said:
Has it occurred to you that some of the people you're talking to have owned and driven both types of car and have a preference?
And some may prefer different gearboxes for different applications. it’s a broad spectrum from purely for fun through to purely for easy commuting. I think many will own several vehicles across this range.
Indeed. I would not want my automatic car manual nor my manual cars automatic.
Just buy what suits however you will use the car - which for me means manual only!

But it's interesting that the owner of an E46 M3 CSL had it converted to manual recently, although as the SMG was an old-school gearbox a manual was probably a huge improvement.

Which may be why SMG was never offered on the Z4M, thankfully!

otolith

41,345 posts

159 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
The manual transmission on my Z4M is in some ways a bit of a pig - but while I’d gladly have it with a better manual, I still wouldn’t swap it for an automatic.

CRA1G

4,220 posts

150 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
otolith said:
The manual transmission on my Z4M is in some ways a bit of a pig - but while I’d gladly have it with a better manual, I still wouldn’t swap it for an automatic.
Iirc they never did an Z4M auto.? I actually liked the manual gearbox/chassis combination in the Z4MC wish I hadn't sold mine now,still have an E46 M3 which is Manual...driving

DickyC

37,844 posts

153 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
av185 said:
Ah yes the innovative quartic steering wheel of the delightful BL Maestro.

With a gearbox to match.
VW box in the Maestro IIRC

Gad-Westy

10,216 posts

168 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
DickyC said:
av185 said:
Ah yes the innovative quartic steering wheel of the delightful BL Maestro.

With a gearbox to match.
VW box in the Maestro IIRC
And a round steering wheel no?

Miserablegit

1,566 posts

64 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
Yes - it was the early allegro with the quartic steering wheel.

kambites

59,031 posts

176 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
Gad-Westy said:
DickyC said:
av185 said:
Ah yes the innovative quartic steering wheel of the delightful BL Maestro.

With a gearbox to match.
VW box in the Maestro IIRC
And a round steering wheel no?
The one I learned to drive in certainly had a round steering wheel! Gearbox wasn't bad either, nothing special but perfectly usable.

DickyC

37,844 posts

153 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
OFF TOPIC BY SOME MARGIN

kambites said:
Gad-Westy said:
DickyC said:
av185 said:
Maestro.
Maestro.
Maestro.
The one I learned to drive in certainly had a round steering wheel! Gearbox wasn't bad either, nothing special but perfectly usable.
Living in Newbury with a year long contract in Sheffield took its toll on cars. Twenty years ago this was. One Saturday I drove whatever I was using at the time to the local garage and asked for yet another fix. Soon after I had walked home the guvnor rang and said I should give up with it.

Knowing he had a row of old bangers in his yard, I said, "Okay, sell me something."
"I haven't got anything."
"Yes, you have."
"I don't have anything you'd want."
"It just has to be reliable."
"I've got a Maestro 1.6 Automatic."
"I'll buy it."

And I did. And it was brilliant. A bit bouncy but otherwise it was fine. Every Monday on my way to an 8 o'clock start in Sheffield I was passed on the A34 by an MG Maestro Turbo; three or four on board, going like the clappers. I was so chuffed with my accidental Maestro experience I put Maestro Turbo on my Wants List. Never bought one though. Maybe I'll just put it back n the list.

otolith

41,345 posts

159 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
CRA1G said:
otolith said:
The manual transmission on my Z4M is in some ways a bit of a pig - but while I’d gladly have it with a better manual, I still wouldn’t swap it for an automatic.
Iirc they never did an Z4M auto.? I actually liked the manual gearbox/chassis combination in the Z4MC wish I hadn't sold mine now,still have an E46 M3 which is Manual...driving
No, no automatic was available. Definitely wouldn't want one though. Would like a nicer manual.

maz8062

705 posts

170 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
av185 said:
maz8062 said:
This is an interesting discussion. For my part, I don't understand the nostalgia that surrounds manual boxes - why? I blame the journalists - them again - they test-drive a Porsche GT3 PDK (cost £158k) and pine for a manual. The car would be so good with a manual - double-declutching, heel and toe, short-shifting - blah, blah, blah. No, it won't.

Back in the day cars came standard with a manual box and 3 pedals - you would have to pay extra for an auto. Since then manufactures have spent $billions on R&D on auto boxes, with the net result that we now have DCT boxes with launch control, 9 gears, manual mode, etc. How much r&d has been spent on manual gearboxes? Ok, Porsche has spent a bit on 7-speed gearboxes, but that's about it. Funny thing is though, you can get a manual box for the same price as an automatic because that's what you want, apparently.

This is a marketing team's dream; get people to opt for manuals, charge the same as an auto and make shed loads of profit.

Oh, but manuals are more engaging people claim. Not really, they're just more effort and they're slower.

This debate is like people demanding a return of the old Motorolla flip phones instead of the current crop of smartphones - because there was no social media, internet etc. Who needs progress when we can wallow in nostalgia biggrin

Edited by maz8062 on Monday 29th June 16:50
You clearly haven't owned or driven a 991.2 GT3. For road use the manual is no slower.

The difference in cost to Porsche between a manual and PDK S in negligible. The manual is 6 not 7 speed and around 33% of gen 2 GT3s are manual including 43 UK GT3 Tourings.
I wonder why? Nothing to do with the long gearing of the manual? Note, most of these reviews are on track, where gearing is not really an issue.

Porsche manuals are lauded as the best in the business, but few of the journalist highlights the ridiculous gearing of the GT models. A GT4 for example, will see the driver at the speed limit at the top of 2nd, what about 3rd, 4th, 5th? Great box but it can't be used to its potential on public roads. If the gearing is that long, what is the point of it over a PDK for the public roads?

Funny that Porsche will shortly be offering the GT4 and Spyder models with a PDK box in the US. Again, I wonder why.

av185

11,260 posts

82 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
maz8062 said:
av185 said:
maz8062 said:
This is an interesting discussion. For my part, I don't understand the nostalgia that surrounds manual boxes - why? I blame the journalists - them again - they test-drive a Porsche GT3 PDK (cost £158k) and pine for a manual. The car would be so good with a manual - double-declutching, heel and toe, short-shifting - blah, blah, blah. No, it won't.

Back in the day cars came standard with a manual box and 3 pedals - you would have to pay extra for an auto. Since then manufactures have spent $billions on R&D on auto boxes, with the net result that we now have DCT boxes with launch control, 9 gears, manual mode, etc. How much r&d has been spent on manual gearboxes? Ok, Porsche has spent a bit on 7-speed gearboxes, but that's about it. Funny thing is though, you can get a manual box for the same price as an automatic because that's what you want, apparently.

This is a marketing team's dream; get people to opt for manuals, charge the same as an auto and make shed loads of profit.

Oh, but manuals are more engaging people claim. Not really, they're just more effort and they're slower.

This debate is like people demanding a return of the old Motorolla flip phones instead of the current crop of smartphones - because there was no social media, internet etc. Who needs progress when we can wallow in nostalgia biggrin

Edited by maz8062 on Monday 29th June 16:50
You clearly haven't owned or driven a 991.2 GT3. For road use the manual is no slower.

The difference in cost to Porsche between a manual and PDK S in negligible. The manual is 6 not 7 speed and around 33% of gen 2 GT3s are manual including 43 UK GT3 Tourings.
I wonder why? Nothing to do with the long gearing of the manual? Note, most of these reviews are on track, where gearing is not really an issue.

Porsche manuals are lauded as the best in the business, but few of the journalist highlights the ridiculous gearing of the GT models. A GT4 for example, will see the driver at the speed limit at the top of 2nd, what about 3rd, 4th, 5th? Great box but it can't be used to its potential on public roads. If the gearing is that long, what is the point of it over a PDK for the public roads?

Funny that Porsche will shortly be offering the GT4 and Spyder models with a PDK box in the US. Again, I wonder why.
Er the manual gearbox in the GT4 is a totally different gearbox to that in the GT3. For a start the GT4 is only 385hp and the GT3 500 hp with greater torque and the ratios are also lower and closer in the GT3.

Plenty of road reviews on both cars if you care to do some research. The GT4 also won ECOTY car of the year which is quite telling and this was based on road use only.

Sounds like you've been reading too many negative reports and drivel spouted by non owners across the usual forums lol.

Go and drive a GT3 and GT4 get some experience of both cars then report back. The GT4 whilst clearly no GT3 is not perfect is nevertheless a great road car at the money.

Porsche are introducing the PDK into the GT4 and Spyder alongside the manual in the UK later this year for no other reason than some buyers prefer PDK. Your suggestion they are offering PDK because there is a problem with overgearing on the manual is frankly laughable and merely proves your clear confusion and misunderstandings of the Porsche GT market.

Leon R

662 posts

51 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
I read the very Evo article you are referring to and you are correct the GT4 did win for 2019, I assume you read it too so you must have also read the bit where they mentioned that a negative of the car was the tall gearing.

av185

11,260 posts

82 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
Leon R said:
I read the very Evo article you are referring to and you are correct the GT4 did win for 2019, I assume you read it too so you must have also read the bit where they mentioned that a negative of the car was the tall gearing.
Yes but I was referring to the 981 GT4 which along with the 718 also won Ecoty a few years back. The 981 and 718 gearboxes are the same though.

Folks using the old chestnut argument that just because a certain car can exceed the speed limit in a given gear holds no water whatsover given most cars top speed can exceed the limit anyway. As we all know its all about the cars involvement at ANY speed through the right amount of driver feedback which some cars offer in spades others do not irrespective of their price whether we are talking mainstream or expensive.

Pan Pan Pan

6,320 posts

66 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
This question has been going for years, but surely it must be down to personal choice, and this in turn, must be based on personal needs / circumstances.
If I did 70 - 80 % of my driving in town traffic, (where, it lets face it, it matters little what type of box is installed, because you cannot really drive the car to its best potential anyway) then probably I would go with an auto.
I think we have come a long way from the stodgy (only) 3 speed slush boxes by now, which everyone will probably agree were bit naff. (It was the sitting there with the engine revving away) before the vehicle decided it was going to move off bit, that always put me off the earlier auto boxes.
When a car has a manual gearbox which is pleasure to use, then a manual box can be a pain in heavy traffic, but can also become an element of the car which increases the drivers involvement with it.
In the past I often thought why buy a really nice drivers car, and then let a robot / machine drive it for you, but some of the latest multi speed autos really do improve some cars.

Edited by Pan Pan Pan on Tuesday 30th June 12:12

maz8062

705 posts

170 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
av185 said:
Leon R said:
I read the very Evo article you are referring to and you are correct the GT4 did win for 2019, I assume you read it too so you must have also read the bit where they mentioned that a negative of the car was the tall gearing.
Yes but I was referring to the 981 GT4 which along with the 718 also won Ecoty a few years back. The 981 and 718 gearboxes are the same though.

Folks using the old chestnut argument that just because a certain car can exceed the speed limit in a given gear holds no water whatsover given most cars top speed can exceed the limit anyway. As we all know its all about the cars involvement at ANY speed through the right amount of driver feedback which some cars offer in spades others do not irrespective of their price whether we are talking mainstream or expensive.
Without wanting to hijack the thread, the title of which is why spec auto over manual, I'd argue that when it comes to some of these Porsche manuals, especially in the GT3/GT4/Spyder models, and for public road use, a PDK would be a better option or a shorter final drive ratio.

Take the 718 GT4 for example, peak power arrives at 7600 and peak torque between 5-6.8k. This is a revvy engine, which needs revs to exploit. If one is rowing through the gears on public roads and operating within the law, you'd hardly be approaching peak torque numbers in 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th. So why spec it over a PDK for road use? Ok, the PDK is not available at the moment so we can't compare them but you get my gist.

These ECOTY and the other cars tests are largely useless when making comparisons for a car used primarily on the public roads