Originally Posted by radiantm3
I think I preferred the Elise's shifter best. placement is so perfect (it's right next to the steering wheel) and the throws felt pretty short. I did not like the clutch feel or the placement of the gas and brake in that car. I couldn't heel-toe if my life depended on it in that car. I probably just have to have more seat time in it.
I really liked the F430's shifter, but the throws felt slightly long. There were a few times where I had to think about how to go from 3rd to 2nd. Again seat time would probably make it better. I was able to heel-toe like a champ in that car and it felt great. The engine revved so much quicker than in the Elise. The Elise flywheel felt heavy and made the car feel lazy when rev matching.
I think the lambo's throws were the longest (if my memory serves me right). Shifting gears felt like operating factory machinery. One strange thing about the Gallardo is the dead pedal is really close to you since the wheel well is right there. So when you rest your left foot on the dead pedal, your knee is bent halfway. I'm only 5 foot 8 so I can't imagine how much a taller person would have to bend his leg. It felt awkward going from rest to clutch down.
So shifter: Elise, F430, and then Gallardo. Pedals: F430, Gallardo, Elise.
I was an early adopter of the Elise in the US (I was on a waiting list for over a year to get mine). I personally found the shifter throw to be a bit long and had my shifter shortened a little bit. I thought that improved the feel a lot.
As for pedal spacing, you're right that the pedal setup (at least in the early cars) makes heal-toe nearly impossible. But an aftermarket company made a really cool anodized Aluminum pad that effectively raises the brake pedal. And by installing it set slightly to the right (to close the gap between the brake and the gas) it has made heel-toe downshifts a breeze in my car.
Regarding the dual-clutch transmissions, I was also a die-hard 3-pedal guy and turned my nose up at flappy-paddle gearboxes. I was looking for a fun daily-driver and started thinking about an e90 M3. I spent a long time looking for the right 3-pedal car when a friend of a friend told me that I should really try his DCT car out. I took it for a long romp in the country and I was incredibly impressed. So impressed, that I bought my e90 M3 with DCT a couple weeks later.
For most cars I would still buy the 3-pedal version, but I feel like the DCT is such an incredible transmission and so well suited to the car that it is the way to go in the M3 (for me). If I were in the market for a supercar (sadly, I can't even dream about them right now) I'd have to drive them to see what they were like. Until now, I'd have never considered an F458 because they can't be had with a 'proper' manual transmission.