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The Future Of The Manual Transmission

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Comments

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Yup, Dave, precisely.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,627
    there's clutch disc or plate in the DSG, that's were most of the wear and tear on clutches takes place. I saw a good explanation in the new Octane Magazine of how the DSG works but I'm still unclear on the concept.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    "the computer that runs it isn't going to allow you to dump the clutch at 6000rpm or ride the clutch in traffic or grind gears, etc"

    That is also what makes it worse than just having three pedals. I was thinking the other day, another thing automated manuals don't do, I believe, is provide a neutral you can engage while moving. And since they have no clutch, they don't provide for you to engage the gear you want and coast for a few secs while you wait for the appropriate moment to engage it.

    Anything without three pedals just sucks, even if it is really good compared to regular auto transmissions...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Oh hell, Nippon, just shove it in neutral and coast. Same damn thing...
    [-P
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    I will never submit to automation!! :-P :shades:

    like my iconomation??!!

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, just wondering if in keeping with the title of this discussion if a manual emoticon can still be made. Here goes...

    :-|)
    ;--)
    ;-|)
    ;-]
    :-[]

    Okay, let's see if any of those avoid automation...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Cool, I got four out of four. ;-|)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Good man, Shipo! ]-}

    Nippon: you will be assimilated...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    There has been a rather divisive Manual Transmission thread over on the "The Next Lexus IS" discussion. It seems that Lexus, in their infinite wisdom has decreed that while the new IS250 will be available with three pedals, the more potent IS350 will only be available with two pedals and two paddles (and a torque converter). In the end, our benelovent hosts have decided to admonish the combatants (and delete a number of posts). Since that point, said discussion, which was the second most active here in the TownHall yesterday (and one of the most active in recent weeks) has gotten so quiet that one could hear a pin drop onto some plus Lexus carpeting.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Thanks, that's about the only manual control I have these days. :^P

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    that is because in every other regard the new IS will be up to and over the standard set by the new 3-series.

    *ducks to avoid BMW fan's sharp thrown object*

    But on-topic here, this is oh-so-very Toyota (and Lexus) - they figure buyers with the money to afford the "better" model will expect not to have to shift for themselves. The critic are right that it speaks volumes to Toyota's understanding of "enthusiasts", which is not to say it is a bad business decision. Even if there were a manual available for the IS350, it would probably sell 10-20% or so max, not a high portion. The only models that still sell in significant volumes in manual trans are small-engined cars, which the 350 is not. (there, I have admitted it, sigh)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Tehe, I'll refrain from taking the IS vs. 3 bait. :--)

    As a former 3-Series owner, I do find it interesting that the IS has been positioned to go toe to toe with the 3-Series while being offered without one key feature that makes the 3 a 3 (at least in my mind), namely a manual transmission.

    Regarding the large engine vs. the smaller/revvier (sp?) mill coupled with a manual transmission debate; I agree that the larger the displacement of the motor, the smaller the need for a manual gearbox. Having said that, I find the combination of a larger motor and a true manual transmission to be a wonderful thing to behold and drive.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ohhh, nice job of commenting on the IS and not getting up the ire of the hosts. :^P

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Oooo, we can take it up here, then can't we?!

    Absolutely, the smaller plant traditionally benefits all the more from a manual. I think that there's also a sales connection (loose axiom here) between less expensive smaller plants and (usually) less expensive manual trannies.

    Yeah, our enthusiast ranks step outside the box here, but consider how fully the enthusiast attitude inspires the automotive press. The 3 is what it is (as Shipo points up) as a benchmark based on the enthusiast's ideals, IMO. And Lexus having publicly declared that BMW is a target, and further that the IS is the sporting entry for its assault on the BMW cache, it makes zero sense not to offer a manual in the 350 to me, even given that if I bought one it would be an automatic!

    None.

    Nada.

    Nil.

    Zilch.

    The press will not be pleased. And rightly so.

    BTW, I'd still drive its rubber off, even without the manual. ]-}
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "BTW, I'd still drive its rubber off, even without the manual. ]-} "

    LOL!

    Yup, that's the spirit. Had said spirit prevailed over in the IS discussion, it would never have augered in as it did. Oh well! [;-/

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Well, I've dealt before with one of those personalities responsible, and I can say without hesitation that I left a thread based solely on his condescending and arrogant attitude. Probably drives the same damn way...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    large engines with conventional manuals...

    are there any 8-cyl cars left with a clutch available? Besides the Corvette and GTO, I mean. Oh wait, and the Mustang GT. Is there still a manual-shift 540i? Or 545i, or whatever it is nowadays? I don't think so. This is one of the rare occasions when I find myself compelled to give kudos to GM and Ford. Toyota and Honda will certainly never have a V-8/manual combo, not now, not ever it seems. And the "premium brands" are slinking away from the traditional manual just as fast as possible.

    I am with shipo - rowing the gears is the best way to connect to the machine and enjoy the drive, even if larger-engined cars have enough power that you don't really need to wring out the engine to go fast.

    And as long as I can make the comment quietly over here without provoking 200 posts of ire, I agree with the thinking that regardless of cost, Toyota should have made a regular manual available for the IS350. To fit the image.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Is there still a manual-shift 540i? Or 545i, or whatever it is nowadays? I don't think so."

    Good news, the 545i is still equipped with a good old fashioned 3-Pedal 6-Speed manual as standard equipment. The 6-Speed Steptronic and the 6-Speed SMG are no cost options. This actually makes the 545i manual relatively less expensive than the previous E39 540i 6-Speed, which was the most expensive 5er south of the M5.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
    Nippon - good point - if you stop and think about it, the only affordable one is the Mustang GT (around $25K).... maybe some pickups? Other than that, they are all beyond the price range of the average buyer
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    yes, and the manual in the Mustang GT is no great joy to use. In fact, the one in the GTO could be better too.

    shipo: thanks for the clarification - so there is still a manual 545i. Kudos to BMW as well, then, although I will bet you almost any money this will be the last 8-cyl 5-series to have a three pedal manual. I bet it is slick, though, if you can raise the $50K+ it costs to buy one. :-P

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Audi will sell you the S4 with a 6M. And the RS4 will be available with a manual as well. But, as stated, this is pricey territory.

    I think part of the reason that Lexus is opting out of a manual for the 350 (thus far), is that, unlike the Europeans, their core market is the US! They are targeting higher sales in Europe (witness the IS220d), but it's not where they make serious coin by a long shot.

    Remember what Dennis said: Toyota is very conservative with its business model. If they can't make a significant business case for something, it won't happen. I think that's going to bite them with regard to the IS, as it has in the past...
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,703
    I predict that the manual transmission will be a "no-cost" option in the IS250 (ala the TSX and TL), and therefore save no money over the slushbox..

    Which really sucks.. I bought my first manual transmission car specifically to save the $300 charge for automatic (yes, that was a very long time ago).

    regards,
    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Sheesh! And you had the nerve to call me "grandpa"...

    [-P
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,703
    Way off topic...
    I went to the Reds opening day game today... Two homers in the bottom of the 9th to win 7-6, and 70 degrees and sunny..

    And... the beer was cold..

    Speaking of driving... the wife drove home.. and a good time was had by all..

    You should have seen me driving my brand-new '77 Cobra II home.. First time driving a stick, other than in my friends driveway.. I think I just about wore out the tires getting out of the dealer's parking lot.

    regards,
    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,460
    had to rub it in. I'm a Mets fan. And I like beer. And had to work today.

    OT, excluding the "exotics (M5/M3/S4), the best yardstick to see if Lexus' business decision makes sense is to look at the compititions sales of MT in the base and optional engine models.

    Using BMW, what's the MT% in the 325 vs. 330?
    G35: Well, only one engine, so just look at the overall split.
    TSX? Oops, only one engine again. Ditto for TL.

    Hmm, I must be missing some other model...

    Anyway, I'll probably stay stick until I die (or I try to paint the kitchen agian and am stiff as a board the next day). Might revisit if my driving habits change, but I don't spend much time stuck in traffic, so not a big deal.

    I almost prefer the smaller engine with a stick (small within reason). You can get a lot more use out of it. Too much HP, and you have trouble ever winding it out. If you have to short shift all the time, it's not as much fun.

    In some ways, a small underpowered car is the most fun. You can wind the bejesus out of it, and don't have to worry about tickets.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    That's just plain mean, Kentuck. I have no words low enough... [-P

    ;+)

    At least my first stick embarassment was private, if more severe. Took Dad's brand spankin' new '77 Accord (he was ahead of his time) for a spin around the driveway (big driveway) while they were in Napa for the day. This would be about four months before my license. Had a blast screamin' around on the gravel playing Ongais, and executing some pretty smooth shifts (1-2-3), or so it seemed then. So I figger I'd best not tempt fate, and I brought her in for a landing by the fence next to the garage. Nobody'd be the wiser, right? I eased up to the fence on the brake, came to a stop, and then, forgetting to take her out of gear, popped the clutch. Whole damn fence (rotted posts) fell over, and there was a cute little crease in the bumper.

    For my 18th birthday, Mom and Dad made a present of the rest of my repayment obligation! Mom made up a fortune cookie for me (with a candle stuck in it) that read "Confucius say: he who drive unlicensed have little accord". Funny lady...
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I once vowed that I would never own an automatic. That was about 26 years ago when I bought my first new car.

    Unfortunately, I had no choice but to break my vow. Our 1996 Isuzu Trooper 5-speed gave us one too many reasons to put a bullet into it. The only SUV's that I looked at that still have a stick were the X5 3.0 and base Cayenne. They were far too small to meet our needs, so my vow was broken on a 2005 Acura MDX. Try as I might, I couldn't get the Acura dealer to retrofit a 6-speed tranny like the one in my 2004 TL.

    I spoke with the owner of a Ferrari dealership recently and he indicated that the new 430 is being produced at 15% manual 6-speeds, 85% F1 SMGs. What in the world are we coming to??? Just a couple of years ago, you couldn't buy an M5 with an automatic. Now you can't buy a new one with a stick. That really sucks. I can finally afford one, but now I've got some Gameboy raised engineer telling me I've got to use my thumbs to switch gears?? . I don't care if it's faster shifting than me. Tiger Woods is a better golfer, but I haven't sold my clubs.

    P.S. The MDX is my wife's first automatic as well. We have both tried to put our passengers through the windshield on a few occasions. I need to tie my left foot to something until it realizes the brake pedal isn't a clutch.
  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
    BMW will offer a "regular" 6 speed manual with 3 pedals in the 2006 M5 due to consumer demand in the USA.... Other markets will continue to get just the SMG with the paddles.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    I heard they were reconsidering the no-manual thing due to customer outcry, but I never thought they would actually reverse course and offer the third pedal. I will have to give BMW their due here - an unusual decision in the context of the market.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

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