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Old 05-11-2000, 02:24 AM   #1
NickSTi
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Post Auto Tranny versus Manual Tranny?

Back home I drive a RHD Subaru Legacy GL, its a semi-automatic. Shik deicdes to give out stickers for trivia and I have a question
The ultimate Subaru (WRC) does not use manual tranny. It uses a semi auto that is capable of changing 600 times a minute or something like that. So why does everyone bash auto trannies like the plague, especially WRECKLEFORD! who thinks the auto tranny config is so inferior. I am not saying our subie auto is better than the manual, but auto is not all that bad.
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Old 05-11-2000, 02:35 AM   #2
Cecil
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Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't see much different between a stock auto and manual racing on the street or track. They both have the same RE92 and it sucks. Maybe a manual feels faster but that should be minimal. Flame suit on :P. But I'm just a newbie .
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Old 05-11-2000, 02:40 AM   #3
NickSTi
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WHOOOA i forgot to put on my flame suit too.
Oh no I left it at the dry cleaners!

And one that dumb note - that was my 600th post. COLIN! (said in the same Mcrae commercial tone) I am coming to get ya!

[This message has been edited by NickSTi (edited May 11, 2000).]
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Old 05-11-2000, 05:19 AM   #4
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All depends on what the tranny was built for. Most Import trannies for the US market are slush boxes designed for the smotthest shift possible so we don't spill our 7-11 big gulp. That does not mean that an auto or a semi-auto can't kick butt. Ferrari would not be putting an auto in if it could not provide good performance. Like Nick said, Subarus WRC car is a semi auto, I think it uses air to shift, Gee if I only had $25,000 I might be able to convince Prodrive to sell me one....


Yahoo......... Me a SPECIALIST now......

[This message has been edited by wrxwannabe (edited May 11, 2000).]
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Old 05-11-2000, 07:00 AM   #5
Tony
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The biggest gripe I have with automatics is that they take all the fun out of driving. Why not have auto steering too and you wouldn't have to do anything but flip staions on the radio.

Seriously the biggest draw back apart from the minor losses in the TC is the lack of gear selection. Accelerating in a straight line this doesn't matter but when autocrossing or on the track it does. You need to be in the right gear at the right time. If you're at the limit of traction in a turn and the auto decided to shift it throws your car's balance all outta whack. There was a guy in my autox region who used to run an automatic Fiero and that thing was always shifting gears at inoportune times and causing them to spin (more so than the usual Fiero ).

For 95% of the time an automatic would be just fine (if a little boring in my book) but for the guys who autox and run track days an automatic would be a terrible choice. One of those semi-automatic trannies would help but still inferior to a manual.

Edit: Also the semi-auto tranny in the WRC car isn't an automatic tranny with driver control (like in an Intrepid) it's basically a manual tranny with a mechanically actuated clutch that the driver controls when it shifts. A very different animal.

Just my $.02

Tony "Functional left foot" Powell

[This message has been edited by Tony (edited May 11, 2000).]
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Old 05-11-2000, 07:23 AM   #6
kelley nelson
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An automated clutch/gearchange for a manual transmission is really what the Ferrari paddle shift system for their road cars is.

I could be interested in a setup like that. Faster, on-demand shifting. Just put that shifter up by the steering wheel ala the Corolla WRC.
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Old 05-11-2000, 08:02 AM   #7
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As pointed out above, the WRC cars do NOT use an automatic transmission. They use a sequential shifted manual transmission. I don't know exactly how the WRC cars are set up, but I'm guessing there's no clutch pedal - the clutch is controlled by the computer. F1 cars use a similar system - just a push button or paddle to shift up or down, the computer handles the clutch automatically. Ferrari's are also available with the F1 style transmission, which is quite trick - the system is even smart enough to blip the throttle for you for smooth downshifts, and it can shift in like 0.4sec at full throttle. I like to think I can shift fast, but I ain't that fast, even on a straight shift (1-2 or 3-4, vice the 2-3 dogleg).

As for straight line acceleration not being affected by an auto, well, that just isn't true. Even the best automatics in the world can't accelerate as quickly as a stick - look at 0-60 numbers for a BMW 540i, for instance. The stick is a couple tenths quicker, even though the automatic is very advanced (much more advanced than the 4EAT Subaru sticks into our $20k cars). The same is true of the performance numbers for the 2.5RS or 2.5GT - the stick is consistently quicker by a few tenths to 60mph and in the 1/4mi. The only place an auto has the advantage for straight line acceleration is in dragstrip repeatability with high horsepower cars. In the Mustang world as far as I know all the "semi pro" (my own term) guys running 7s, 8s, and 9s in the 1/4 use an automatic. With a high stall torque converter, these guys can get the revs up enough nice and high on the line so they're already on the boost. When they launch, the inherent "mushiness" of the torque converter will cushion the shock to the drivetrain, allowing them to put more power to the ground - it's not an "on-off" thing like the clutch which could break the tires loose.

Of course, when I was stuck in a traffic jam at the north end of the NJ Tpk last weekend, I was wishing I had an auto. Other than that, though, I agree whole-heartedly with Tony - a manual is the way to go for the twisties.

Pat Olsen
'99 Legacy 2.5GT 5 speed sedan
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Old 05-11-2000, 08:15 AM   #8
Gambit
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You're missing the point of rowing thru the gears on nice twisties.... Even sequetial sport shifts cannot mimic the experience of grabbing the shiftknob, clutch in, shove the stick to the intende gear, clutch out feeling. It's an emotional feeling type of thing for guys.
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Old 05-11-2000, 08:22 AM   #9
Geezer
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The WRC cars do have a clutch, it is used in starts. F1 cars have a clutch, but it is also on the steering wheel. In the WRC gears can be changed non-sequentially i.e. from 1st to 3rd if desired. Usual operation is sequential though.

Anyway, autos are for old men

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Old 05-11-2000, 10:32 PM   #10
larryganz
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The way the sequential "semi-auto-but-really-manual" tranny works is similar to a motorcycle tranny.

I had no problem shifting up or down without using the clutch on my bike. You just apply a little pressure on the shift lever and blip the throttle to get it to shift down, or back off on the throttle when WFO for a split second to shift up. Race bikes use a circuit to cut throttle for a few microseconds (milliseconds?) when the shift lever is moved up or down, called a speed shifter.

It's still a manual tranny.

Larry Ganz
www.ImprezaRS.com

PS: Can't speeel

[This message has been edited by larryganz (edited May 11, 2000).]
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Old 05-11-2000, 10:44 PM   #11
Volvokiller
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I'm with Tony: Auto = boring. I always feel like I'm not in control with an AT. And I agree with Gambit too, its not always about speed, there is just something about sliding that shifter into the next gear....

Chris
Black 99
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Old 05-12-2000, 10:11 AM   #12
HomerJay
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The "Manumatics" you find on race cars tend to work better than the ones on streets cars. Remember, most of the semi-manual cars are usually automatics, but gives you the freedom of shifting, so they are really based on Auto trannies, which means slower response. The "Manumatics" you see on race cars, doesn't allow you to switch into auto configurations and they are based on manual transmissions.
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Old 05-12-2000, 10:37 AM   #13
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Flame suite engaged...

In case you all didn't know ... The auto tranny in the Subies is a manumatic (much like what Ford uses). I can start out in 1st and it won't shift until I shift it to 2nd. And 2nd won't shift until I shift it to 3rd and so forth. The great things is that on Subie autos that the powertrain split goes from 90/10 to 50/50 when shifting the car yourself. I have slammed lots of manuals off the line shifting myself.

Not that it is a better transmission, but it CAN be fun as well.
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Old 05-12-2000, 11:18 AM   #14
NickSTi
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Damn i did not know that, that is pretty cool (about the TC adjusting). I thought we were stuck with a 90 FWD car
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Old 05-12-2000, 11:23 AM   #15
Paisan
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Only thing I don't like about the automatics on the SOA cars is the torque split. 90/10 instead of 50/50 like the manuals. Other than that, an auto is just about as good as a stick.

The autos I believe do 90/10->10/90, but it doesn't move the power til it senses slipping.

On my XT6 it is 95/5->5/95 according to the articles from '88

-mike

[This message has been edited by paisan (edited May 12, 2000).]
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Old 05-12-2000, 11:30 AM   #16
Gambit
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Uhhh... Kalins, even my old Sunbird will not shift to 2nd when first.... what's your point? auto has it's place and so are manuals. Try downshifting on a quick turn with an auto.....
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Old 05-12-2000, 11:39 AM   #17
8Complex

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Are you kidding? The auto's in the RS's in the states are DOGS! I drove one and it almost turned me away from buying my car it was so crappy. You pound on it at 20 and it sits there in second moaning... WTF? Downshift to 1st and push it from 3500rpm up to redline. *shrug* Maybe a shift kit would take care of it, but with the crappy downshifting of the auto, no thanks.
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Old 05-12-2000, 03:09 PM   #18
JaiMak
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The auto in my TS sucks ass, never knows when to shift, I'm trading it in for a 5spd RS. My old civic and z24 had way better autos, but then they weren't controlling an AWD system.
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Old 05-12-2000, 03:23 PM   #19
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The great equalizer!
http://www.levelten.com


[This message has been edited by subapooh (edited May 12, 2000).]
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Old 05-12-2000, 07:47 PM   #20
imprezawrx
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But I kinda tired of driving a manual.. Ya know, I drive around San Fran quite alot, goin through those "steep" hills and terrible traffic, gosh, sometimes I really wish I have auto.. I kinda wish the new Impreza gets a semi-auto tranny.
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Old 05-12-2000, 08:14 PM   #21
Kevin Thomas
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Thank you Subapooh. Next!
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