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The Future Of The Manual Transmission



  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    You'll enjoy the new MB, I'm sure.

    Didn't you have another vehicle besides the fintail? I didn't think the fintail was your daily drive.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,914
    Yes, fintail hasn't been a daily driver for many years. Latest modern car was an 02 E55 that I bought in 06.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    that cheered me up: so far the mix is 51% of all sales are manuals for the FR-S and 70% of the BRZs sold are manuals. Yay! :-)

    I do know the only BRZ my Subaru dealer can keep in stock is an automatic - it is white and is gathering dust on the front lot. The guy that sold me my last Subaru tells me the manuals don't stay longer than a couple of days. Now if only Subaru would see the success of the manual in the BRZ and begin to offer a Forester XT with a manual for 2014. I still can't believe they will only offer a CVT (blecch!) with the turbo!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They do have 6/8 simulated steps and paddles to let you choose.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    Well, the Forester decision was based on experience, apparently. I don't remember the numbers on the 2008 model, but I want to say the take rate was sub-five-percent, which is why they nixed the manual option in 2009. So, while me and you might want one, we didn't put our money where are mouths are when it mattered. ;)

    I'm curious at what percent of the manual takes on the BRZ were premium trim level vs. limited.

    The Forester's XT variant only comes in the gussied-up versions, and I'm generally not a big fan of "gussy." :blush:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    A little more proof of manual superiority.

    TOV dyno tested an Accord Sport with CVT. It is rated at 189 hp and put down 159 on the dyno.
    They also test an Accord EX with the 6MT. It is rated at 185 hp and put down 179 on the dyno.

    No wonder the 6MT I4 hit 60 in 6.6 seconds. Not only does it look like the engine is underrated, but it is also much more efficient at getting power down with the 6MT.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    179 at the wheels is 200 plus gross, wow.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,387
    The CVT MIGHT be better than a similar but discontinued Accord 6 speed A/T slush box.

    Parasitic losses are basically unchanged (min of 11.2% to more like 13.3% ) and still HIGH OVER the 6 speed M/T, despite the more "efficient" CVT. My further take is that the "higher" power output still doesn't help too much.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,205
    CVT's are terrible 99-cent type transmissions.

    I just found out my friends 2007 Nissan with the generic 4-banger motor is going to soon be on its third CVT transmission at about 65,000 miles. The first one didn't last longer than 24 hours, as they replaced his engine and transmission on day 2.

    Now again he needs to get it checked as it's making all kinds of noises. He also was told to replace his AC, and recently replaced his CAT converter.

    He has paid for the AC ($1,400), but Nissan has the long emissions warranty thanks to CA, so that was covered (saved him about $1,400 too), Nissan obviously paid for the 2nd engine and 2nd transmission replacement when the car was new, and he tells me Nissan decided to warranty these 99 cent disposable CVT transmissions to 10 years or 120,000 miles. So it looks like he'll be covered again.

    I told him Nissan has no quality control, his car has lost the equivalent of its brain, heart, lungs, and penis in less than 66,000 miles! Although they've been lucky and had no issues until recently, these 4 HUGE issues are like having 4 different stage 4 cancer diagnosis'.

    Even the Neon's ancient 3-speed was good for about 60K miles, the Nissan CVT is averaging 32,500 miles per unit for my friend, who doesn't drive it hard, and only has the meager and weak 2.5 4 cylinder engine.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I doubt that's typical, but that really sucks!
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,055
    edited May 2013
    that I ever heard of was one described in Popular Science back in about '59 or '60. The issue they cited at the time was longevity, especially if significant power was involved. For a lawn mower, they were perfect.

    I'm going to guess that the 50 year haitus from then until CVTs became production pieces on actual cars had to do with figuring out how to keep all those variable components and the belts (or whatever) from packing it in. Perhaps there is more work to do.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I think their biggest (non-car) use is on snowmachines. Something you really don't want to break down on you.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,205
    for the record, it was an amateur mistake of mine to not mention it was an Altima Nissan model, 2007 model year.

    I'm sure it's not typical, but I bet given the voluntary warranty extension it isn't uncommon either.

    As to how an engine could die on the 2nd day........ I have no idea.

    I told him he was lucky. My Neon had to be towed to the dealer on the 2nd day (first morning we had it), and from now on, if that ever happens again, it's staying at the dealer as a lemon law claim :lemon: .

    I've learned my lesson; a bad start often is a signal for worse things to come.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    how about let's talk about what is our favorite/least-favorite non-manual transmission.

    FAVORITE NON-MANUAL TRANSMISSION: GM 4L-80E slushbox, with 3rd & 4th gear TCC/lockup
    MOST DESPISED NON-MANUAL TRANSMISSION: any CVT . (minicooper in particular).

    let's invite one of the 7 people in USA driving a porsche cayenne with manual shift!
    I want one of those, but lately i keep not winning the lottery .
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    I've only driven 3 CVTs for any length of time---a Dodge Caliber, an Audi A4 and a Mini Cooper, and I hated all three equally. Not a big database, but so far, I am not impressed.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited May 2013
    It's the Prius syndrome, as I call it. The main reason people get such high MPG with it is because of the video game type interface that trains you to drive like an 85 year old man to eek out every last drop of economy. You can get caught behind one at a stoplight and have to switch lanes as soon as the traffic starts to move. You can always count on one to be going 5 mph under the speed limit. And it's always one that's holding up everyone in the carpool lane.

    Note - that since most Japanese speedometers read 2-5% slow so as to have an acceptable margin to not get sued over it if you run one size larger tires/snow tires/etc, the driver is always going exactly 63 Mph in the fast lane.

    The CVT merely takes it another step. Unless you absolutely put the accelerator flat to the floor like a switch, it goes into "I'll drive like my computers tell me to and you'll enjoy it" mode. Great MPG. Utterly soulless puttering around town.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,205
    I've driven the CVT in the A4 and the Nissan Murano, and ridden in the late model Altima.

    I hated the CVT in all 3. Just didn't like the way it felt slow and false.

    My friend said he thought the cool "push button" start in the Altima was made possible by the CVT, which is why he got it.

    Funny the things that will sell CVT.

    Obviously, he's not a car guy.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    I think the only way I'd buy a car with an automatic transmission, of ANY type, would be:

    1. My left leg became useless

    2. If they'd put a fake clutch pedal in for me to play with. :P

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Best automatic was in a Porsche Boxster that my buddy owns. That thing reads minds.

    Best manual was my NA Miata. Liquid smooth. Literally. The shift turret is submerged in gear oil, not just greased.

    For me nothing comes close to either of those.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,205
    2. If they'd put a fake clutch pedal in for me to play with.

    Interesting idea. I suppose it could be done, and it wouldn't even have to be fake. Instead of shift paddles they could put a third pedal down. As in the Audi's, you can use the stick to push up to shift up, or push down to shift down, only when you put it in manual mode, the pedal could be required.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Don't forget the sound effects - that stuff is already getting piped in to the passenger compartment so it'd be easy to add the sounds of gears stripping, the engine stalling and over-revving in neutral when you miss a shift. :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Essentially that's how a Model T Ford works!

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    edited May 2013
    1. My left leg became useless

    2. If they'd put a fake clutch pedal in for me to play with.

    So be honest, is there a number 3, which would go something like the following?
    "3. If the model I had chosen, indeed the TYPE OF CAR I had chosen, was not available from any manufacturer with a manual."

    That is increasingly going to be the choice those of us die-hards are forced into, and I wrestle with it myself. What happens when the only choices left with an available manual are bottom-of-the-line compact cars and sport-intentioned models? Do we forego the minivan if we need one, or the crossover, or the midsize sedan? Less than ten years from now, there won't be any offerings in those 3 categories with a manual, I will bet. Even now there are precious few, ESPECIALLY if you also want AWD.

    In my current wrestling with myself, I have reached an impasse where I know for sure that if forced into an automatic, I would never buy a CVT even if it meant switching type of car (so all new Subarus are out once the manuals are gone, more's the pity). And I am wholly unimpressed with these DCTs that don't creep properly in traffic and can be a pain in the neck to use. How can it be that with all the "advances" in automatics over the years, I find myself in the year 2013 thinking that traditional TC automatics are the best of the bad among the automatics available?

    But for now, the kinds of cars I want ARE still available with a manual, so my personal wrestling match isn't relevant just yet, thank goodness.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Perhaps by that time, technology could project a hologram of a clutch pedal for us to push and a fake gearshift lever---sort of like those suction cup steering wheels they give to kids. :P

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If not, we don't need technology to provide us with another viable alternative: used cars. :sick:

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Porsche Sportomatic

    I remember driving the old Porsche Sportomatic, and I really liked it--it was more like a manual and less like an automatic.

    They are quite rare to see today, as most got converted to 5-speed manuals.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    edited May 2013
    ya never get the love of it outta yer system. I have my eye on this car right now. If I find out it has an automatic I'll withdraw my interest.

    1969 VW Bug

    For some reason I feel compelled ta get an old Bug with a standard transmission. I can't seem ta shake it so I'm thinkin' I'm gonna have ta just satisfy my need and buy one. Anyone have any VW Bug warnings or experience I should know about before I plunk down big American bills on one?

    I think this is the one if it's a stick. I will buy a great stereo for it and add to this beatiful Bug. Cool one, huh? If this car turns out ta be an automatic I don't want it, though. The guy listing says it costs $1,800 and it has Porsche wheels and pipes and that it runs excellent. It might have high miles but this looks ta be the one. It's about 400 miles west of me in south-central Arizona. I'll call the dude sometime mid-week here coming up ta see if he'll take payments. That might be a deal-breaker-he might not wanna take payments. If he won't that'll kill the deal for me. Not him. The thing is, in this economy, not everyone has that much money saved ta buy the car outright. So he might take a payment sale from me. We'll see. I'm becoming beseiged with desire for a stick VW Bug! :shades:

    I'll pick a great stereo for it - I'm so addicted ta great rock and roll that a putrid stereo will only annoy me and tick me off. A strong, competent stereo will only work for this rig.

    Anyone else dig this car? Porsche wheels and pipes...runs excellent the ad says. For only $1,800? Am I missing something big and large here? This is the one dudes. I have 5 days off coming up starting Wednesday. If this guy takes payments I'm now starting ta strongly consider purchasing this little pup. Any of y'all have any thoughts? Warnings about old Bugs that I should consider strongly?

    Sweet. Don't ya love how people can totally strip a car of things like bumpers on old imports and nobody even bats an eyelash? I mean, I wouldn't even start ta be afraid of driving this rig, anywhere, on the freeways or downtowns of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, etc. Know what I mean, Jean? The bumpers mean nothing to me!!

    The guy doesn't show any interior pics so the interior might not look very good. I can cover the seats with seatcovers from Autozone, huh? Also, I don't know if the buttons and lights and electricals work well, he doesn't mention the problems in the ad. I'll have ta call him and get back ta ya'all. But mention anything you can think of in critical. I'd like ta read your thoughts on this thing. I've heard that old VW's have water-cooled engines and they're easy ta work on. Sounds fine ta me. I'm not afraid ta dirty my hands...I've done oil changes, filters, points, plugs, radiators, starters, batteries, etc. I kind of miss working on rigs, actually. So that doesn't frighten me off. Actually, Alamogordo and Las Cruces, NM, have older dudes like me that like to and can work on old VW's. So that won't eliminate the possibility for me. This guy listing this bug for under $2,000 has opened up the strong desire in me to buy one of these old Bug's. He might really need ta sell. But I'd pay him the full $1,800. The car is worth it.

    For those of you not aware, these cars should fetch closer to $3,000 for this year and shape. At least. But he says it runs excellent. So I'll have ta drive the 400 miles west and take my son ta drive the '08 Lancer GTS back if I decide ta pull the trigger. Stay tuned. This won't happen until at least Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013, dudes.

    Oh, those goofy men and their toys. This wouldn't be a needed rig, it would completely be a toy for iluv. Silly, huh? Talk me out of it.

    Remember, an automatic will automatically kill the deal for me. So this love affair might be over just as soon as its started. :blush: Some of you might not like the carbon grey paint job. Just ta let ya know...that doesn't even start ta stop the love for me! :D I'll paint this thing cherry red or spark plug orange myself.

    Spark plug orange! Metallic orange? That's it! The body looks straight, don't it?!!! I'll tart paint it me-own silly self. Like steve sez, you need a project ta work on, dont ya?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,653
    Old VW Bugs have air-cooled motors. They are considered easy to work on but I'd worry about how they hold up in the hot climate of the Southwest. If the engine is hopped up, you'd better have some sort of oil-cooler for the engine and transmission. If it's not hopped up the car will be hideously slow and the handling is frankly, crap.

    The transmission is actually a weak spot on the Beatle, second gear syncros go quickly and the linkages cause problems and are pretty sloppy giving shifts a loose rubbery feel. I consider it the worst manual transmission I've ever driven (the best--a tie between the Jag E-type S2 and the Fiat 124 Sports).

    All of the VW's faults can be remedied but if you're looking for a great stick-shift experience on the cheap, I'd look for an MG-Midget/A-H Sprite mkII, they're even easier to work on and they'd look good in Orange. ;)


    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    thank you for your feedback on the Bug. That is exactly what I'm looking for at this point - if the cool, ghost-grey '69 VW Bug is going to have weak points, and I know it will, I want ta know about them now. So I can talk myself out of it and avoid the arguments with my wife, who is taking the side of Suse Ormon (albeit the financially smarter side) and arguing against the idea.

    As for tranny's, I drove our 2001 Kia Sportage 4X4 for years. That small SUV is also used by the South Korean military, and it is good in low gears but "rubbery" or just plain rough as all get out between 1st and 2nd. IIRC the car I learned ta drive stick on, Dad '66 VW Fastback, had this synchro problem, too. I have driven so many sticks that I feel I'm ready for any challenge. Oh, and about driving slow, ever since I wrecked Dad's '66 VW Fastback (the lightest, coolest car I've ever driven...I do love my '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS with its automatic CVT "chirp-the-tire" getup, but the car is heavy. The Lancer GTS does handle like a dream and is my favorite bodystyle anywhere on the planet) I have driven much like a careful old man retiree (I'm not, I'm still working fulltime) off ta golf. And not get smutted out on the highway. So a slow driver like the Bug won't bother me at all. I'll be right at home with it.

    I'll have the best of both worlds, a great handling car, the '08 Lancer GTS, and a slow but steady '69 VW Bug. It's true I won't like the 2nd gear synchro going out early at all. I don't like unexpected side-a-the-road experiences much at all. If an after-market company has come up with an aid ta get the shifting linkage over carefully and neatly into 2nd (it's probably out there somewhere...Las Cruces has some VW specialists I could take it to if the current owner has nothing on that for me) I will definitely look in to getting that tranny update.

    I had a '65 Ford Mustang with a 200-6cyl. 3-speed stick and there was a light synchro problem with that car that I had to get used to. Synchro's would break prematurely. Eventually found an aftermarket fix to beef it up and it didn't happen again. Though the tranny eventually broke to where I couldn't get out of 1st gear in the thing. I limped into a used car place in Tacoma, WA, and traded the freshly painted red '65 Mustang stuck in 1st gear in on a 1970 Chevy Suburban that ran well but got about 12 mpg. It was huge, heavy and an automatic that worked great, just had so much weight to move with its 350 V8 engine I couldn't justify keeping it long.

    Traded it for a '66 Ford Fairlane that we eventually named old Smokey 'cause the engine would smoke - on the go and at idle. Sold that car and bought Dad's '73 Plymouth Gold Duster and that was like driving a Cadillac. :)

    This deal will probably never happen for a variety of reasons, but I get an occasional fire lit under me ta get another rig. We'll see. An old Morris Minor with a stick, perhaps? Who has Morris Minor's for sale in the U.S. MG Midget's? Don't they have electrical problems like the Triumph TR-4's and TR-250's and MGB Roadster's and...Fiat 500's? Anyone know of an ancient Fiat 500 available in the desert southwest?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • ohenryxohenryx Posts: 285
    I see a couple of major problems with this, right off the top of my head. Number one, and by far the biggest problem, is this "Must take payments". No individual in his/her right mind is ever going to sell a used car to a stranger and "take payments". It simply ain't gonna happen, not in this life.

    Number two, air conditioning. Very, very few Bugs of that vintage were equipped with AC, and in your part of the world, it really is a necessity.
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