Why did people spec auto on performance cars?

Why did people spec auto on performance cars?

Author
Discussion

swampy442

622 posts

166 months

Wednesday 24th June
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Mr Whippy said:
nordboy said:
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.
This...

How many racecars etc have manual boxes these days? My Q may be, why would you NOT spec auto? They all have the manual mode/ paddles, so you can still change your own gears, just much quicker than everyone with a manual gearbox.
It’s about fun in a sports car.
This is interesting, define 'fun' I had as much fun in an R35 GTR as I had in a Honda type R powered Marlin kit car, probably more with the rapid fire downshifts on the paddle.

DoubleD

12,721 posts

63 months

Wednesday 24th June
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TwigtheWonderkid said:
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.
I would go for the most fun spec, not necessarily the fastest.

fun is more important than fast for me.

SidewaysSi

7,357 posts

189 months

Wednesday 24th June
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Oh yipee another manual Vs auto thread.

Everyone knows manuals are for real men.

Ron99

1,316 posts

36 months

Wednesday 24th June
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I like an auto for family duties but much prefer a manual for recreational driving.

Auto makes a car easier to drive.

Manual makes a car more interactive and entertaining.






PanicBuyingBogRoll

672 posts

17 months

Wednesday 24th June
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swampy442 said:
..... beacuse the early SMG was awful lol
But still better than the manual. Which is fookin awful in the E46.

DoubleD

12,721 posts

63 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
Everyone knows manuals are for real men.
We've already had that comment, try another.

Monkeylegend

18,764 posts

186 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
Oh yipee another manual Vs auto thread.

Everyone knows manuals are for real men.
I don't think we are allowed to say that, it upsets some hehe

untakenname

2,963 posts

147 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
Unless you're going for ultimate time round a track then for a road based performance car the manual will always be more involving, gearing and footwork adds so much to the experience.
People wouldn't want a car that steered automatically for them but will accept a car that will shift gear for without any intervention.

PanicBuyingBogRoll

672 posts

17 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
Oh yipee another manual Vs auto thread.

Everyone knows manuals are for real men.
Or for men who feel they need to prove they are real men? So clearly aren't. smile

Bennet

1,327 posts

86 months

Wednesday 24th June
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Automatic = faster = better is a poor argument given that it's already widely agreed on PH that outright performance is largely irrelevant to the enjoyment of a car nowadays.


DoubleD

12,721 posts

63 months

Wednesday 24th June
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Some people like a manual, nothing wrong with that.

Some people like an automatic, nothing wrong with that.

So lets stop with all the childish comments

Om

138 posts

33 months

Wednesday 24th June
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Raygun said:
For many years now (at least 40 years) I've always thought performance cars should have manual gearboxes, we've had tiptronic, auto etc but s/h it's always manual that commands a premium. I just don't understand why anyone buying a performance car with an option of a manual gearbox would not tick that box on a spec sheet?
I think the answer is that it depends...

For one, if you are talking about 'performance cars' then that is a much broader group than if you are specifically looking at 'sports cars'.

Sports cars tend to be about small, lighter weight, revvy engines, a more overall immediate/engaged experience. A manual gearbox, for me at least, seems an ideal accompaniment to that. With more modern sports cars I can see that a good auto box with a paddle shift could be a good compromise in the right circumstances, although I envisage something at the more powerful end of the spectrum that is more focused on outright performance than straightforward driver enjoyment.

Once you broaden things out to performance cars generally then I think the gloves are off. There are so many variations around the theme that these days it is all down to personal preferences and likely the individual vehicle.

When I was looking at sports cars recently, due to my specific requirements I broadened my search to more GT oriented sports cars, and whilst I couldn't have countenanced an auto box in any form for a MX-5, Gt-86, Boxster, when I drove the 370Z (with the GT pack and S/A gearbox) it seemed a perfectly natural combination for the car - fast, long legged for cruising but still able to switch to the paddle shift and do a reasonable impression of a sports car when desired. But thats just me.

I would add that modern auto boxes are so much different now - both in terms of shift speed, lock-up, sheer numbers of gears etc that the old view of something that blunted performance and took away from the experience is exactly that - an old view. I can still understand why people want a manual in a sports car, but I have had my eyes opened to the possibilities offered by the newer generations of gearbox.

Ultrafunkula

762 posts

60 months

Wednesday 24th June
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I prefer manuals, but I had a 2014 Audi S3 manual which was completely awful - the DSG would have been much better in that car for sure. I'm fighting to stay with manuals until I can't any more but there are so few around now in performance cars it seems.

Downward

1,848 posts

58 months

Wednesday 24th June
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Auto convert for me.
After driving manuals since 1995 pushed the button in 2017. Now both cars are auto’s.

Modern driving conditions are a lot busier and average speed a lot slower, way more traffic, traffic controls etc and stopping.

julian64

13,094 posts

209 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
I think the problem is trying to decide what you want from a car. I'm now in my mid fifties. I've been lucky enough to have, or at least have tried a good number of fast cars over the years.

Its difficulty to part with a lot of money, and some of these cars are a lot of money, for something that you suspect may not hold its money, or is not as fast as the blue ribbon variant in the showroom.

The auto/manual fits into that, especially as if the manual or auto was an afterthought it usually isn't well implemented by the manufacturer. A manufacturer who sells 99% auto and will grudgingly produce a manual for the 1% is likely to make a complete hash of it.

So its safe to look for what the manufacturer does best. For the cars I've bought and sold, autos figure highly. Of the cars I can't let go of, they are pretty much all kit cars and all manual. Not what I thought I was going to say in my early days with cars.

I guess if you face the reality of today's driving. You could be driving along the road in a maclaren and the sadness is that you are unlikely to be able to pull away from a white van man with a committed foot.

For that reason I've pretty much given up thinking out fastest, and opted for fun. For me the gearbox is still the most fun of the two. I try not to care its 0-60 time is less although I still do, a bit.

A1VDY

2,449 posts

82 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
Auto box's are for girls only.
They cost on average 3 times that of a manual box when they
lunch themselves too..

grumpy52

4,316 posts

121 months

Wednesday 24th June
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It's fairly simple , way back when (60s,70s&80s) the clutches that were man enough to handle the power were extremely heavy in operation and the gearbox selector was far from slick .
Not an ideal situation to help with driving in traffic .
I used to collect and deliver high end hire cars from a branch at Heathrow to our branch in Kensington and customers all over the city . The luxury cars were not a problem the high performance cars on the other hand were often really hard work .
Back then they may have been leading edge performance wise but compared to today's machines that even your granny could drive they were not exactly refined.
Added problems were that after mumbling along in city traffic you couldn't just hit the loud pedal and go for it at the hint of an open road , the engine needed gently clearing otherwise it was easy to damage these fragile power plants .


Max_Torque

15,176 posts

172 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
Modern performance cars are now so fast, that a manual box feels out of place imo.

In the 90's i had a 306-gti6, that took 25 seconds to get to 100 mph. Today a drive a diesel estate car that does it in 12.

A manual in a fast car just means you spend most of your time in neutral............

Turbobanana

2,336 posts

156 months

Wednesday 24th June
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Back when I was selling cars I used to have an obtuse, recurring customer who always bought new autos - about every 2 years. He was seemingly fit and healthy, had the correct number of arms and legs and was a competent driver.

I asked him once why he always bought automatics.

"Boy, this is {insert year here}. I'm damned if I'm going to tell a bloody car when to change gear!".

Terminator X

9,152 posts

159 months

Wednesday 24th June
quotequote all
I was a die hard gear shifter until I bought a RS3 (sporty albeit not sports car) which only came with paddles and DCT. Was actually quite amazed by how good it was that I'd struggle to go back to manual. I do still keep an eye on manual GT4's though, clubsport Spec!

TX.