Thread: DSG or Manual
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      04-22-2007, 08:08 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
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.
You make some good points in you "real but false" statement. But following you argument it seems that having a manual transmission and enjoying the "essence" of driving (speed, line, braking, traction....) are mutually exclusive. That's not the case. Call me oldstyle but for decades people drove cars with manuals and did also enjoy all the points you made. I fully agree with you that having a DCT or SMG makes it easier for the driver to focus on the other points...but there are people (not meaning myself) who can combine all that points and are able to "handle" a manual transmission in a perfect way at the same time. So all in all I can't follow your "verdict" that a manual is a real but false driver envolvement, as I already said it doesn't make it easier (especially combined with all the points you stated), but that's also the charm of having a manual...With a sequential gearbox everybody can make a quick shift but if you make a good quick UP- or DOWN-shift with a manual, you can be somewhat proud of yourself...

Best regards and to each their own,