Originally Posted by gthal
Couple of comments...
If you think Ferrari has "lost something" than I would ask how/why you say that. I don't recall anyone who has spent time in a 458 noting that it was less fun than a 360? Have you had the opportunity to spend significant time in a 360 and now a 458 or is your comment speculative because YOU prefer a 6MT?
Ferrari has commented that they use DCTs to improve performance NOT because they care about making a 458 DD friendly nor, would I bet, that any notable portion of their customer base use a 458 as a DD. If you think that Lambo or Ferrari now ONLY offer DCTs to make their cars more DD friendly then I suggest you might have had a few too many beer tonight
I have owned both trannys on the E92 M3 and can attest... with experience... that the both are just as fun, just as involving but, as you correctly state, just slightly different.
Actually, there are a few reasons why Ferrari use sequential gearboxes and now DCTs. Remember, the California is the FIRST Ferrari to use an actual dual-clutch gearbox. All others were single clutches and called the F1 transmission because it was rather similar to the transmission used in their F1 cars, except evolutionized for the road. Anyway, so the 458 now has the new DCT similar the one in the California.
Now that we've got that out of the way, I've not spent enough time in any current Ferrari to say that they've lost something. What I can tell you is that because they're more focused on surviving in the current times, they've lost a little something. They want to make more money, like any car maker. However, Ferrari are making sure they use F1 tech to inspire these road going cars. They've also realized that customers today want this sort of thing, because they're getting lazier, but also because they believe they connect more with Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, etc. if they have a transmission like theirs. Think I'm wrong? Poll why most guys wanted SMG M3s, M5s, M6s, then go out and check on why so many people bought F1 gearboxed Ferraris. I already know for a fact that over 50% have answered 'because racing drivers use the same transmissions.'
The first ever automatic clutch Ferrari was the Mondial T of 1992 and '93. Why the Mondial? Because the customers were the laziest. Seriously, who buys a Ferrari Mondial for God's sake?! I mean, you wanted a Ferrari and you thought the Mondial was the perfect/right one? Okay... This also discredits the fact that Ferrari hasn't lost a thing.
How many Ferraris, Lamborghinis and BMWs in general? And then take that number find out how many are manuals. Granted, not many Italian sports cars are tracked under any circumstance, unless you've got a lot of money and don't mind wrecking your car.
Now, which do I prefer? Well, a manual, of course. Have I driven dual-clutch gearboxes? Yes, and some of them are pretty damn good. But are they as much fun? No... Sorry. You can say it's the same thing all day long, but I know for a fact that if you enjoy driving a sports car around corners you'll enjoy the more lively and visceral experience a manual gives you. Hitting a paddle doesn't make it more fun nor you a better driver. Some people are actually faster with manuals than DCTs, as well as some cars.
Now if I've had a few too many today/tonight, then go and find every Ferrari and Lamborghini owner currently out there. Ask them why they purchased their car(s), and then go have a drink/dinner with them. Tell me what kind of guys they are. I promise you that most of them are not the kind of people you'll want to socialize with if you'd like to keep your sanity or wits about you.
If the DCT is just as involving, what's your left leg doing the whole time? That statement you made, good sir, is actually physically not possible, at all. One is more of a physical and mental exertion versus one just being a finger workout. They may be just as fun, in certain ways, but they are far from the same experience, nor are they the same involvement.