Originally Posted by southlight
Very interesting are your points "gf/wife borrowing" (so you confirm the quoted post that a "sunday" driver should go with MDCT) and customization. I think nothing can improve the customization of a manual. You don't need any shift programs, you get a continious customization by your left foot...
Without any doubt you're right about the track advantages, but you should further explain what you mean by "a real but perhaps false sense of involvement with the manual!?"
Best regards, south
Wife/gf borrowing is more interesting than saving .4 sec with every single shift??
I do think a Sunday driver should go with DCT. A Sunday driver probably wants an automatic like tranny with very smooth and low rpm shifts. M-DCT in auto mode at a mild setting will likely deliver just that. I ain't a "Sunday" driver but I sure might use such a setting myself occasionally.
Good point about "continuous" customization via the clutch, however, there is no way to be faster than your fastest (shift), that is where M-DCT will shine.
"Real but false": Rowing your own gears is absolutely involving. You feel the clutch pressure, feel the friction point when starting, can control the speed of the clutch release, you feel the gear shifter and feel some vibration in it, you feel it's resistance and the satisfying click into each slot. Indeed you have complete control of the power delivery and gear selection, at all times. Souds great so far. This all takes coordination, brain power, practice and touch. Heel and toe shifting adds another level of skill to the equation. Am I arguing for a MT??... This is "real" involvement but what does it really involve, that is my key question?? It involves mechanical bits and pieces, two levers only really. What does it actually have to do with the driving
? The speed, the line, the braking, the traction, feeling the weight transfer, the g's and feeling riding on the edge of loosing traction, setting up weight transfer with your brakes, scanning the road or track ahead, planning and executing. All of these latter things are more the essense of driving to me
rather than worrying about the particular method which is utilized to appropriately torque multiply and add speed. And worrying about rowing the actual levers themselves! This is why I say the involvement is a bit false. Furthermore these same things a computer and hydraulics or pnuematics just can not do and you would not want it to do so anyway. Then you would be only a passenger. Using this reasoning one might then argue "just get an automatic". There are (obviously) many good reasons not to do so. This choice does indeed detract from the essence
of driving (as partially defined above) as such vehicles typically perform worse and perform unexpectedly. They just are not suited to high performance driving by their inheirent design limitations. That being said some automatics are getting pretty darn nice and quite sporty (recent MBs in particular). Actually they are good becuase they are getting closer to an automated manual in terms of performance but then still suffer in the important weight and power loss categories.
Another example: Anyone ever driven a high performance snowmobile? They have CVTs (continuously variable tranmissions), no gears as such and the clutch is not controlled by the driver, simply by rpm. These machines are a blast, take immense skill, are totally involving and thrilling and you simply do not worry about gears ever. Would putting a user operated clutch and gear shift mechanism make riding the sled more fun or more "involved"? The clear answer is no, just more tedious, distracting and lower the performance level.
Hope that helps clarify the false sense of involvement I refered to. Cheers.