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paddle shift vs stick shift Post Review

"@BoldRide: Just how good is the new Alfa Romeo 4C? @Autocar finds out [#video] Wonder how Paddle shift is vs. Stick

Automatic vs paddle shift vs stick shift http://ifunny.mobi/i/SNQeyC8o1

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paddle shift vs stick shift Q&A Review

Which is actually more pleasurable to drive - automatic or stick shift/manual cars?

In 2015, I bought the new 911 GT3 with PDK-S gearbox. I’m lucky enough to have owned / driven a wide range of supercars. The PDK gearbox (Porsche Doppelkupplung - double clutch) is the best automatic gearbox in the business. It has two clutches (the second clutch is engaged before you need it). It can drive in fully automatic mode, or switch up and down using paddles. Full throttle upshifts (the GT3 revs to 10k) is an intoxicating experience. But … the sheer power of the GT3 meant that you couldn’t access the really exciting moments on a public road. I loved it, but I couldn’t really drive it day to day. I sold it after less than 12 months (and pocketed a tidy return, cough). In 2016, I bought the Porsche GT4, which is like a baby GT3. It is mid-engined, but amazingly has a manual gearbox. I love technology, but really it’s the old school manual stick that makes the GT4, in my view, one of the most exuberant joyful cars I’ve ever driven. I guess I love it for the same reason I wear an analogue Rolex vs an Apple watch. Sometimes, progress just isn’t that enjoyable.

Why do people who are into cars glorify manual transmissions over automatics?

I don’t consider myself a car person, but they’re just fun, even when you are just doing normal day to day driving. It adds whole different layer to the driving experience. Suddenly, your normal daily drive becomes a little more interesting, because you have to think about which gear you should use all of the different scenarios. They can be very annoying or weird sometimes though (parallel parking on a hill), but those moments aren’t extremely common, and there are differnet methods you can use. Transmission have come a long way, but they were commonly known to be much more reliable than automatics. They don’t use electronics for shifting, or complicated hydraulic systems. If you didn’t abuse them, many owners say that you only ever had to worry about the occasional clutch change, pretty much for the life of the car. I would almost always want a manual over an automatic in an actual car. Regardless of if it’s fast or not. It’s debatable with utility vehicles, but it would still be pretty fun. Even if it’s vs. a “paddle shift dual clutch system” or whatever. I’m not some kind of race master, so whatever “time saved” over having the clutch/stick experience i would probably never care about. They just make the driving experience more interesting.

Why are people so lazy? Is it really that hard to drive a stick shift? I learned in 20 minutes, so why do 99 percent of people choose to drive an automatic?

Reality check: Because modern automatics are superior to modern manuals. This wasn't always the case. In the old days, I would have taken a stick over an auto any day of the week - automatics didn't have the performance, responsiveness, or control. Most automatics were 3 speed, and ,occasionally ,4 speed (vs 5 or 6 gears in a manual). The lag between gears in an automatic was noticeable, gas mileage was worse and they never seemed to be in the right gear or shift when you wanted them to. Today though, the tables have turned the other way. Since most throttles aren't cable actuated anymore, the pedal is just telling the computer how much fuel to give the engine and the computer controls the RPM’s. You can't wind out the way you used to, and if you're already revving too high the modern manual won't ,let you ,shift into the gear you want. Meanwhile, automatics have improved significantly; six speed (and sometimes more) are available, they shift faster, and are in sync with everything else that's controlled by the computer - something that has been lost in modern manuals. On my last Corvette (a C6), the paddle shifters in the steering wheel were superior to any stick I had ever driven - more responsive, better track times, and nearly instant shifting. ,Much, faster and smoother than pressing the clutch and shifting manually. I hear this is even more improved on the C7’s. Ironically, these features were also seldom used because the default automatic mode was ,also ,superior to stick. Everything worked in sync and you didn't have to think about it. Like I said, on a classic car, manual is the way to go. But on new ones, automatics have surpassed the stick. Modern sticks suck. I doubt any cars will be made with them in another decade; they will all be automatics with auto-stick or paddle options.

What is the difference between driving an automatic and a manual car?

So I would ask you this question, how do you feel about dual clutch transmissions? What does automatic versus manual mean to you, a torque converter versus a gearbox with a clutch, or a 2 pedal car versus a 3 pedal car. The dual clutch transmission pioneered by Audi, now turning up in all kind of places, throws a spanner in the works in what used to be an easy distinction…slush box or gearbox. One had 2 pedals, the other 3…easy peasy. The dual clutch systems make this distinction complicated. You can drive a dual clutch gearbox car the same way you would drive a traditional manual car: you change gears when you want, you get full engine braking, you will roll backwards on a hill, you can be left with a box of neutrals, and you can go all boy racer with a blip of the throttle on the down change. What is different? It’s a lot smother on the change, gear changes are in the order of 300ms, you don’t have to lift your right foot, and you can left foot brake all the time. Did I mention there is no clutch PEDAL? But there is a clutch, in fact two. The last car I bought had a DSG dual clutch gearbox. I like the paddle shift if you are driving hard, but it has some quirks if you are meandering around town. If you and the computer don’t agree on the next step (change up or change down) you can be left with a box full of neutrals and an 18 wheeler bearing down on you. That can happen if you are lazyily moving into an intersection and suddenly need to GO NOW. The computer anticipated an up shift, but now you want to down shift…stupid driver…we know what’s best for you! So next time I might go back to a nice stick on the floor…now I have complete control!!!!! Perhaps a Golf R22…the R32 would have been better but VW stopped making them.

What are the advantages of a manual transmission? One advantage used to be better gas mileage, but a dealer told me recently that there is no longer a difference with today's engines.

There are less and less advantages to using a stick than an auto. The main difference is that you have complete control of choice of gear for whatever situation. Engine braking on things like down hill and towing with a stick allow you to stay off the brakes or less on the brakes - however most modern Auto’s will have the ability to choose the appropriate gear and lock in so that engine braking would be similar — Fun factor of rowing through gears and choosing your own shift points is probably the main reason for a stick. And the BEST reason for a stick is that fewer and fewer people have ever learned how to use a stick/clutch - so that visitors, kids, in-laws, thieves can borrow or steal your car. Automatics have improved so much over the years - with paddle shifters and the like there is little difference in performance and in many cases the performance is better. A Formula 1 car would still be using manual transmissions if they were better - but those autos can match gears and shift faster than any manual. As for gas mileage — it is probably easier to make a stick efficient as the auto is programmed to shift under specific conditions. You could put a stick in neutral going down hill and coast longer —- but without intentionally TRYING to save gas - there is little difference in a good auto vs. a stick in mpg.

Why do driving enthusiasts prefer manual gearboxes over automatic? I get that you have more control over the speed of the car and RPM. I drive a stick myself. But why exactly do they not like automatic?

You already have some great answers so Ill make this cliffnotey. It is because manual guys are like DIY guys. They simply enjoy it. Yes yes, everyone knows an auto can shift faster, but is it more enjoyable? Not to some. Us manual guys are like the photographers that use old mechanical film cameras. We prefer to think about what we are doing vs letting a computer do the thinking. We get enjoyment from making that perfect up shift, rev matching to that down shift, heel and toeing if you have the right pedals and space for it, etc. We are hardcore enough to enjoy this ancient mechanical wonder. We don’t like all the electrical crap designed to assist the commoner drivers. Some of us don’t want all this anti body roll, anti spin, anti fun stuff because we enjoy driving the car to the limit and gaining control. Some of us are hardcore enough to not even want ABS. Driving the car to the limit without the car telling us what we can’t do is the whole point. We prefer to do it ourselves because we know its fun. The automatic version of the car “possibly” being faster won’t bother us be, as car enthusiasts, we will most likely modify the car to compensate anyways. On a side note about fuel efficiency, don’t believe all the numbers on the automatics. Oh Ive tried on several cars while being at about 1,500rpm to use the paddle shifter to bring the car down to 1,000rpm while cruising on a backroad. The ecu didn’t let you. My manual? Do you think the computer is going to not allow me to do so? Hahahaha it can’t. I can get an extra 5mpg out of my rated by cruising at 1,000rpm on a backroad. Manufacturers want you to “think” the automatic is more fuel efficient when it’s really not.

Do you know how to drive a stick shift (a manual transmission automobile)? Do you have a preference between the two? What are your experiences in learning to drive a stick shift? Which do you drive today?

Yes, because I grew up in Britain, where ~75% of all cars are stick shift (manual, as Brits call it). That is slowly changing, but pretty much everyone in Britain can drive a stick, and you can’t get a full UK license unless you take (and pass) the driving test in a stick-shift car. Today I drive an automatic, but in my current car it is an electronic shifter on a standard gearbox vs. an automatic transmission with a belt etc. I do not miss stick shift at all in stop-and-go traffic, where it’s a real pain. I’m not a fan of “old style” automatic transmissions — too much power loss, bad fuel economy. Today’s electronic shifters with a competent shifting algorithm in the controller are the “best of both worlds”, and I can shift manually using paddles on the steering wheel at any time. So no, I don’t miss stick shifting.

What technologies and capabilities can one find in cars that are fun to drive and how much do they impact the driving experience?

A lot of driving purists consider most technology to make cars less fun to drive, especially the type that assists driving. They tend to like the raw experience, the connection of man and machine. Technology frequently makes cars easier to drive, but easy or safe does not translate into more fun. TL;DR it isn't usually specific technologies or capabilities that make certain cars fun to drive, it's a combination of performance, "soul" (how attached the driver feels), and great engineering (which usually involves new technologies). Handling, ,Anti-lock brakes (ABS), are now required by law on all American cars. Purists believe true skill relies on threshold braking, finding the point of maximum braking before skidding by feel, intuition, and carefully modulating the pedal. Truly great drivers can exceed ABS systems' performance especially on snow, gravel, and non-standard sufaces. On dry pavement though, it's hard to beat ABS meaningfully. And 99% of the time in everyday driving, it makes zero difference. With ABS, you mash the pedal to the floor, let the computer do its job, and know that that's the best it can do. Up to 2009 (?), many rental cars did not have ABS because it saved something like $800 off the base price of a car. Stability control, systems, also known as ESP, can brake one or more of four wheels to retain traction as needed. I'm not very familiar with these as it's very new. They however, significantly affect the amount of driver input sensitivity, and the degree to which you can purposely lose traction via maneuvering and in cornering. Handling - power, ,Traction control, is becoming more and more popular. Although it limits the amount you can spin the wheels off the line, and often prevents you from getting the maximum 0-60 times, it is very valuable in slippery conditions and when you don't know how to modulate the throttle well under slip. When it's very severe, like on some models of the Toyota Prius, it can prevent you from getting out of situations where you might need to spin the wheels a bit. A common situation in a FWD car is turning the wheel left or right, then stomping on the gas from a stop - easy to squeak the tires a bit on a car with no traction control. Launch control ,systems vary. The best ones are found on high-performance cars usually with automated manual/dual clutch transmissions, and will give you a consistent launch every time. Normally (and with a manual transmission) you would have to find the best point manually - see ,Is stomping on the gas pedal the best way to get the fastest acceleration from a stand-still? Will the car accelerate more quickly if the gas pedal is fully depressed in a single quick action, or if it is gradually depressed?,. However, OEM launch control may not be as aggressive as a human driver, or an aftermarket launch control, limiting RPM or launch severity for longer component life at the expense of benchmark tests. This is an example of a very good launch control system in action: The old technologies people enjoy interacting with. Transmission:, ,Automatic rev-matching ,for downshifts, eliminating need for heel-toe: This is found on the Nissan 370Z and Infiniti G37. Usually in a manual transmission when downshifting under braking at high revs, you want to brake and tap the gas with your right foot at the same time to rev match your downshift. This is pretty hard and takes a lot of skill to just get your foot positioned correctly, as well as guess the approximate right RPM to hit (I haven't exactly mastered it). In the 370Z/G37, the computer decides that if your shifter is moving toward a lower gear while braking and clutching in, it will hit the gas automatically, resulting in a perfect downshift. Many purists dislike this for making it too easy. Dual clutch and sequential manual transmissions, are transmissions with computer-controlled and gear shifting that can shift ridiculously fast. Dual clutch on the order of 10ms (power interruption) and sequential manual 100-200ms vs. minimum human driver 250-400ms. However, bad sequential manual transmissions can be ridiculously slow: see the smart fortwo's 0.7s+ shifts, and completely kill any sense of fun. You basically lose the third pedal and stick shift, making for a very different driving experience. A lot of driving manual is just practice and intuition, and once this is all computer controlled, your inputs are much simpler: a + or - on the paddle shifters rather than complex "analog" inputs of the clutch and shifter. Power, ,Turbocharger/supercharger,. Forced induction, mo' powah. Superchargers and turbochargers both sound awesome in their separate ways: Turbochargers allow you to use excess heat from the exhaust, but have less linear power delivery, while others love the supercharger whine despite their larger parasitic losses. Cobra - supercharged Kenne Bell Supra Twin Turbo Variable valve timing, - Known as VTEC in Hondas, VVTi in Toyota, and a host of other names - A simple mechanism to increase top-end power while preserving low-end fuel economy. You may feel a VTEC kick at the "crossover" RPM, but otherwise the impact is minimal. VTEC JUST KICKED IN YO Gasoline direct injection ,- More power. Control, ,automation, ,Power steering. ,Specifically, electric power steering: although it removes the parasitic loss of the hydraulic steering pump, improving fuel economy on low-powered vehicles, most systems lose a lot of the "heavy" feel and the feedback one can feel in the wheel which is critical to understanding the road from the driver's seat. Driving automation, ,Adaptive cruise control, Comfort, ,Sound deadening ,has become so strong in many cars that engine noise is now piped into the interior. Sound deadening adds weight and hearing the engine is important in determining when to shift and hearing your throttle response.

What modifications need to be done to go drifting in a Crown Vic?

Firstly, which Crown Vic do you have or are looking at? Both generations of the last iteration 92-97 & 98-11 are the only true Crown Victoria as a standalone model(earlier Crown Vics were a trim level on the LTD 80-91 or the Fairlane 55-56). All came with the modular 4.6L (289cid) V8, though the engines did come in different flavours of output and internals. The P71 variant 93-09 (P7B 10-11) is the police interceptor model, “it's got a cop motor... It's got cop tires, cop suspension and cop shocks.” Jake & Elwood would be proud, even though it doesn't have the 440 cubic inch plant and does have the catalytic converter. If the part from the quotes to the end have you confused, find someone over 40 to explain it to you. Just sayin. Back to getting your CV to slide. I'll make a couple of educated guesses here. You want to do this on a budget - fair enough, always prudent - and a retired P71 interceptor looks like it should fit the bill being that every police force on the continent had a fleet of them which have been taken out of service as newer interceptors are replacing them, ergo there is a significant auction stock of P71s available at gov't auction events, often being sold for ridiculously low sums. Or, now that cops are getting new cars, the old P71s are plentiful and dirt cheap, pre loaded with cop spec parts. I totally get the perspective of considering it. I'll start with the pros: the 4.6L modular V8 in the P71 is the most solid of all flavours of that powerplant. That lump was also used in so many Ford models that parts are ubiquitous - at least where wreckers still have models with it still on their lots, the odds of which drop over time. There was an option for a limited slip rear diff (axle code X5, 3.27:1) called a trac loc. You need to check the axle code when buying, as they shipped standard with an open diff (axle code Z5). A limited slip diff is a huge plus to have, as it makes drifting easier and allows better control. The long wheelbase is a plus, typically being more controllable. Now for drawbacks. Hold on, this may take a while. Ford never built any Crown Vic with a manual transmission. Now, it's not absolutely vital to roll a stick to drift, but it does give you way more control. It's no coincidence that the automotive press nicknamed automatic transmissions from the 70s onward “slush boxes.” Right up to 5 or so years ago, the only automatics that even remotely came close to manuals were high end German, Japanese and the semi autos in exotics (think Ferrari, etc with the paddle shift). Even now, with computer control and 8 or more gears in higher end automatics, the gear lever, even in semi auto mode is an input device. You ask the computer for a gear and it decides whether you're allowed to change to that gear. Drifting a modern faux semi auto gearbox (exotics with paddle shift are true semi auto, where the computer principally manages the clutch and gear change process faster than humans can, but won't prevent you from selecting a particular gear, though the daily street modes may - haven't driven a Ferrari for close to 20 yrs now) requires reprogramming to change the self preservation settings and allow for fast, crisp shifts to the gear you want. These types, chipped or otherwise reprogrammed to behave the way you want under lateral g's can come close to manual. Unfortunately, the Crown Vic never saw anything like that. It came with a true slush box. 4 speed mushy gear changes at weird times and zero control over selection. It sucks power and drowns it at the torque converter. Is it driftable? Sure. When the planets align under the sign of Aries and the moon is in apogee, while a butterfly on the other side of the planet beats it's wings to the sound of a taiko drum out of sync. Ok, maybe not quite that bad. But not far off. Luckily, Ford is bloody cheap. Ridiculously cheap. To the point where they actively refused to build the Mustang with an independent rear suspension until 2015 despite numerous attempts to change it over the years by each successive design team when they did model evolutions. Because Ford brass wanted to shave a few bucks off manufacturing costs. But back to my point. Ford being cheapskates of the sort that Scrooge McDuck is a spendthrift in comparison, wedged one of the 3 flavours of that 4.6L modular V8 into every damn model they could between 91 - 14. Including the Mustang - which was available with a manual. This means that it is possible to retrofit a Mustang manual - though in all honesty, the best option would be to do a full drivetrain swap - Mustang engine, manual and likely a custom prop shaft unless you can massage, persuade or otherwise mate the prop shaft to the manual. Can't say for sure, you'd have to sort details as you go. It'd also be a good plan to find a Mercury Marauder to grab some cabin parts from. Crown Vics were all column shift, while Marauders had console shift. The Marauder interior would make the swap a bit easier and your interior look less like it was trashed by a tweaker on a heavy meth binge. More livable. And on the topic of the interior - you want new seats. Aftermarket tuner or pro street buckets. They came equipped with either cloth buckets - likely past prime or bench seats. A bench seat is the worst possible choice when drifting. Get something supportive with good side bolsters and belt pass thru holes for the shoulder belts of a 4 or 5 point race harness. May as well do both sides since tossing the bench leaves a void where a passenger would sit. Balances it visually too. Decent seats can be had on a budget from Summit Racing or another retailer of your choice, online or brick and mortar. I've mostly been working front to back so far, but here's where we look under the arches. Wheel arches, not golden arches, though I suppose looking under those wouldn't harm anything. Wouldn't be productive either. The suspension you get with your Crown Vic is what you'd expect for this style of design (body on frame as opposed to unibody), featuring a ladder frame chassis and all the best truck tech from the 70s. Seriously. The frame is truck-like and so is the suspension. Actually nothing wrong with that. Though it weighs a whole lot more. The tradeoff is you can easily replace damaged panels by swapping them out unlike unibody design, which is lighter but way more work to straighten out after damage. Front suspension is double wishbone with coilovers. Heavy, solid unit. Hot rodders use them as upgrades when modding 60s era F series trucks. The P71 Vic has stiffer shocks & springs and higher ground clearance by almost an inch. Drift cars are predominantly lowered. Part of the esthetic of the scene. Lower suspension helps with drifting, though it's usually a byproduct of stiffening the suspension. Keep the shocks and get custom wound springs. Find a local shop that makes them and talk to them. Most people assume custom springs = spendy. It's actually quite reasonable, typically quite close to aftermarket or OE replacements. I had a set custom wound for my project vehicle that ended up less expensive for the pair, all in ($183 with tax) than a single OE replacement ($200 plus tax and shipping). I also wanted better specs than OE, which were quite mushy and didn't last. The custom springs are 25% stiffer, wound from thicker spring wire and drop the front end 2.5″ lower than stock. Handling improvement was night & day. And unlike cutting away coils, like a hack, the customs are safe and predictable, seating correctly on the perches. Plus they are done to my specs. Talk to a spring shop, tell them what you want and as long as it isn't outrageous or attempts to defy physics, they'll sort you out. Get all four corners done and you can spec different drop front vs rear to rake the stance like an old school hot rod, or drop it the same all around for the new school slammed look. I'm personally not a big fan of the full size American cars, but I'll admit, slamming a Vic by 2-3″ would look sick. Just make sure you allow enough clearance for speed bumps. Your Vic rear suspension is, again truck-like. Dependent rear suspension - aka live axle or solid axle - with shocks & springs mounted on separate perches. Some came with anti roll bars, some didn't. You'll want one to keep the body roll down while sliding. You'll also need to figure out how to massage the setup to be predictable and progressive. The long wheelbase helps, but with Ford being such cheapskates, they do the minimum required and engineer enough to make the car track straight. Balance isn't a big priority. So like the Mustang, with its solid axle, lack of balancing, etc, in stock form, it'll be great in a straight line. It will slide better than any pre 15 Mustang ever could, owing to the wheelbase advantage, but if you're going to put the time, effort and money into it to make it the best drift car possible, you'll want to mod the suspension, front & rear to provide the most control and feedback you can. And sorting it so you get progressive angle instead of snap oversteer will go a long way. At the end of the day, it comes down to passion & persistence mixed with a dose of stubbornness and a handful or two of “fuck you” to take the approach of proving people who say it's impossible utterly wrong. If you see the potential where others don't and you want to do it for you, face the challenge and beat it into submission. Take all advice and cautions with a grain of salt, then learn or teach yourself what you need to accomplish it. Just do it for you. And when you're done, with a bitchin' sled that you can slide around in all day, and you get to point to it and say, that's all me, I proved them wrong. The satisfaction is something no one can buy or take from you. And it's even better when you can say, I didn't just buy bolt ons from a catalog or website and slap them on a ride that looks like everything else, just like everyone else, I put bloody effort into it and nothing else looks the same. It won't be easy or fast, but nothing worth it ever is. And I'm pretty sure you'd like to slide it as soon as you can, while building it. So the suspension can wait a bit. To get sliding as quick as you can, seats. Even cheap recaro knockoffs or bargain corbeau seats will be an upgrade. You can always upgrade again later for reasonable prices. Now I mentioned before to look for a Vic that has the trac loc LSD option. Getting a Vic with one already installed saves headaches. Then try drifting it with the slush box, so you can fully wrap your head around why a stick is so valuable. Then determine the best way to swap in a Mustang manual that works for you. I honestly don't know how the bell housings match up, but if you get a Mustang 4.6 with manual, the swap should be straightforward. Mounts should line up and things should mostly bolt in. Mating the prop shaft is an unknown to me, so you'll have to sort that. Make sure you get the harness & ECU from the Mustang donor as well. That will make the swap go much smoother. Honestly after the manual conversion, the rest is cake. The hardest part is over and you can work on other mods between drift events. And JDM guys regularly do manual swaps when they can't get the car they want with manual, so it's not uncommon to do, just uncommon with a Vic. If you've made it through the whole way, I salute you. I try to give as much info as I can so you can make the most informed decisions. And despite not being an American car guy, my bias isn't relevant here. If you like the Crown Vic, cool. Everyone's entitled to like what they like without getting shit all over by some neckbeard. Happy drifting.

Is it possible that in a few years car manufacturers will be finished with new designs for gas powered vehicles for the remaining brand new ones and instead will concentrate their efforts more on electrical vehicles?

Sadly the trend is clearly heading that way. Plusses for electric: 100 % torque instantly, and at all times. No ‘sweet spot in the rev range as with a gas engine. No need to buy gas obviously, so more consistent fuel costs. Improvements are increasing both range and performance. So we should see more fast electrics. Plusses for gas engines: More involving driving experience. Better sound, better transmission choices. At this point still, more range. Hybrids work best for this, and for power. Pure electrics still fall short. Availability of gas vs. charging stations favors gas for now and the near future. Batteries add weight to vehicles and additional safety risks. Cost of electric vehicles is higher in general at this time than gas. Basically, electric cars have no soul. And they only seem to be greener. They actually are not, once you factor in the environmental cost of their manufacture, battery disposal, and the environmental cist of the electricity they demand. My vote? Gas or hybrid. But the writing is on the wall. First we are losing the joy of manual stick shifts, then we will lose paddle shifts, then we lose gas engines, and finally we lose the chance to actually drive to self-driving- and self- crashing cars. Sort of sucks.