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Old 8th August 2014, 13:25   #31
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Cost of fuel, rather than cost of car, probably determines type of transmission (and type of fuel used) to a larger extent.

Europe / UK: Fuel is expensive, and diesel in many countries is more expensive than petrol. So manual transmission petrol-powered cars preferred in a lot of cases.

US / Middle East: Manual transmission? What's that?
In Europe it differs quite a bit actually. So for instance in the Nethelands diesel is considerable cheaper then petrol. Bear in mind that (nearly?) all European countries have road tax system as well and a lot of them are weight based and diesel (and autoboxes) are heavier. In most of Western Europe the vast majority of diesel will be company cars. Or at least cars that do more than 30.000 km per year. On average when you factor all these different cost and FE in that is sort of the average tipping point when a diesel becomes more economical.

In the USA very few regular cars have diesels, its all petrol Just about all cars have auto's as well. For most driving a "stickshift" is something they have never done!

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Originally Posted by torque!! View Post
5. Lack of awareness: This is actually a huge factor that goes against an auto. People just don’t know how convenient an auto is! You need to have driven around in one to experience what comfort it offers. The more prevalent autos becomes, and more ‘word of mouth’ publicity they get, the more popular they will become.
That is probably true. Most people would not even think about an auto. Manual is the default.

Also, in most European countries your Driver License is either a full license (you can drive manual and auto) or you can drive only auto! Very few people will go for the only auto DL. Because it limits you severely as the vast majority of cars out there is manual.

The car in which you take your test drive determines what license you get. Those that do go for auto only, are often people who have problems getting used to manual. My mum had an auto_DL. Mainly becasue she only started driving when she was 63 when she started driving and it was difficult enought to learn at her age, without having to worry about manual shifting

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Old 8th August 2014, 13:53   #32
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
An auto box is far more useful in Europe with its numerous small towns with stop and go traffic than in the US with its wide open freeways.
Precisely! Auto boxes make more sense in Europe than in US. I don't see any dearth in availability of automatics, most don't buy it at all. I guess its more of a cultural thing with driving manual trannies in Europe. One of my friend who lives in Germany also didn't like the idea of driving an automatic, though I didn't find out the reason then. Maybe Jeroen might have more idea

Infact US traffic is so orderly and hardly anyone honks that you are slow to move, I wonder why manual trannies aren't used.

If there is one thing I would miss moving from a manual to automatic it would be engine braking.

In Indian context, we've hardly had auto boxes in all segments. The horrid 3-speed Wagon-R and 4-speed Santro and i10 were the first ever to bring auto boxes to the mass market. The FE differential apart from the additional cost of the AT isn't quite attractive. This is what made the Celerio quite popular, its almost remiscient of what Activa did for bikes a decade back.

I doubt any enthusiast loves driving in stop-go traffic (where you spend most of your days in a year), there simply is no joy derived in it.
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Old 8th August 2014, 15:48   #33
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Maybe Jeroen might have more idea

Infact US traffic is so orderly and hardly anyone honks that you are slow to move, I wonder why manual trannies aren't used.
See my early post, it is probably "cultural" and partly due to some other factors as described in various other post.

I lived in the USA for a number of years and have spend a lot of time on business as well. My impression is that Americans love convenience. In anything, any part of their life. That has gotten them huge shopping malls, drive through ATM, pharmacies etc. In many ways I see them prefering function over format so to speak. Auto's are just that, they are extremely functional and make life easier and convenient.

Without wanting to type cast or offend anybody, I also think that by and large Americans are fairly 'lazy' drivers. One elbow out of the window, one finger on the wheel (because it has maximum power steering), huge beverage (MegaJumboSize) in the cupholder, just cruising along. Having an auto really fits that picture. This is not a country in which you fail your driving test because you only have one hand on the wheel, whereas in Europe you will.

This is a nation that for a very long time had 55 mph speed limits. Huge straight highways.

We have several American friends who live in the Netherlands and the UK and they all tell us the same. They think the Europeans are crazy drivers, tearing along in little boxy cars, on small narrow roads. And to top it, we do it with a manual box!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 8th August 2014 at 15:54.
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Old 8th August 2014, 16:09   #34
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

The 'present' state of mind I have, I can not imaging myself enjoying and AT. There are times when I drive to places like Ludhiana where I feel an automatic would be a blessing. But if I have to keep just one car I will not have the heart to miss the 'involvement' of a MT.
I live in Chandigarh and keep travelling to the Himalayas. I have never driven an AT. I wonder how an AT would behave downhill, when I need the exact gear to have my desired amount of engine breaking. I wonder what people living in the hills in USA do? Someday I will experiment with a friend's Honda Activa!
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Old 8th August 2014, 17:28   #35
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Originally Posted by jassi_jeeper View Post
The 'present' state of mind I have, I can not imaging myself enjoying and AT. There are times when I drive to places like Ludhiana where I feel an automatic would be a blessing. But if I have to keep just one car I will not have the heart to miss the 'involvement' of a MT.

I live in Chandigarh and keep travelling to the Himalayas. I have never driven an AT. I wonder how an AT would behave downhill, when I need the exact gear to have my desired amount of engine breaking. I wonder what people living in the hills in USA do? Someday I will experiment with a friend's Honda Activa!

In American hills or any hill anywhere in the world for that matter, when driving downhill with an AT you put it in lower gear just as in a manual. So you pull it out of D (drive) and slot it in whatever gear gives the appropriate braking. These days, many ATs have more gears then manuals, so yet another advantage the AT has over a manual. More precise braking downhill as you have more gears to chose from!

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Old 9th August 2014, 18:33   #36
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

Dear God, I know you have your hands full what with the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Ebola virus, but please please please won't you make VW see reason and mate that juicy TSI engine with an MT?

Please God?
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Old 11th August 2014, 22:29   #37
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
In American hills or any hill anywhere in the world for that matter, when driving downhill with an AT you put it in lower gear just as in a manual. So you pull it out of D (drive) and slot it in whatever gear gives the appropriate braking.
Jeroen
So does that mean that an AT 'has' to be used like a MT while going downhill? Also do we have the choice of "whatever gear" which gives the appropriate breaking? Like sometimes I feel its the 3dh and at other times the 4th which I use going downhill on my Jeep.
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Old 12th August 2014, 07:54   #38
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
In American hills or any hill anywhere in the world for that matter, when driving downhill with an AT you put it in lower gear just as in a manual. So you pull it out of D (drive) and slot it in whatever gear gives the appropriate braking. These days, many ATs have more gears then manuals, so yet another advantage the AT has over a manual. More precise braking downhill as you have more gears to chose from!

Jeroen
Quote:
Originally Posted by jassi_jeeper View Post
So does that mean that an AT 'has' to be used like a MT while going downhill? Also do we have the choice of "whatever gear" which gives the appropriate breaking? Like sometimes I feel its the 3dh and at other times the 4th which I use going downhill on my Jeep.
Yes, I have infact done this one or two times in USA. One was when I was driving in the Appalachians in W.Va and the second time when I was driving in the Adirondacks in NY. This was around about 1999 - when I had a toyota corolla with a slush box - you see I could not find the MT variant - so had to settle for the AT.
I was fairly new to driving an AT back then, I had been told by my friends to completely stop the car before moving the gear selector to 2 or even L.
As a result , I could see this long line of irritated drivers who were backed up behind me, whenever I encountered a particularly steep grade.

Nobody had told me that you don't need to stop the car to slot in 2 or L. And as it was my only car which I used for everything, I did not want to take the risk of breaking my transmission to bits.
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Old 12th August 2014, 08:05   #39
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by jassi_jeeper View Post
So does that mean that an AT 'has' to be used like a MT while going downhill? Also do we have the choice of "whatever gear" which gives the appropriate breaking? Like sometimes I feel its the 3dh and at other times the 4th which I use going downhill on my Jeep.
Yes, identical to an MT, other then you dont need to use the clutch. Just slot it in the gear that gives you the appropiate braking without overreving the engine, just like a MT
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Old 12th August 2014, 08:41   #40
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

AT boxes usually have a feature of up-shifting by itself if driven in manual mode depending on how much and how long you've been revving the same gear. So how does this aid when going down hill? If there is a 'L' mode or in the absence of that, 'S' mode might help to a certain extent. But still you would need to use brakes more than that of an MT. I don't think the control of AT in any mode is comparable to that of an MT during a down hill ride without application of brakes.
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Old 12th August 2014, 10:46   #41
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Originally Posted by ajaypjayaraj View Post
AT boxes usually have a feature of up-shifting by itself if driven in manual mode depending on how much and how long you've been revving the same gear. So how does this aid when going down hill? If there is a 'L' mode or in the absence of that, 'S' mode might help to a certain extent. But still you would need to use brakes more than that of an MT. I don't think the control of AT in any mode is comparable to that of an MT during a down hill ride without application of brakes.

It depends a bit on the car and the AT, but by and large an auto box in manual doesn't shift up earlier then what you would do in a manual. And as I explained, these days AT have more gears then most MT so you have a better choice of gears to start with anytime.

I've driven various cars in both USA and in Europe in mountainous terrain. I have found the AT braking actions I could get on anything from a Ford Focus, to a Jeep Cherokee, to a Jaguar XJR and various Yank tanks I used to rent quite sufficient. By the way, my impression is that most people who drive ATs havent got a clue and just stomp on the brakes all the way downhill. These days modern brakes are pretty good and it takes a lot of punishment before they start fading.

Having said that, nothing beats my Alfa Romeo Spider barreling down a mountain keeping the revs at over 5000RPMs for sheer sound!
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Old 12th August 2014, 11:40   #42
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

It's the other way round too many times where people don't really have a clue of how to use a MT especially in the places you described. Many would have driven only an AT probably or even hold only an AT driver's license.

AT boxes might have become intelligent. The TCU which controls the AT has been developed by different makers. Each model of AT box would have its own program on how to handle the transmission depending on all the mechanical aspects of the car, engine and the gears available.

But a guy who really knows to work the gears, and enjoys it at that, needs only his instincts and the feel to drive any car with any gear ratios with any engine in any terrain, any day. Be it USA or Europe or down hill or whatever.

The thing is, every driver (atleast very involved ones) has his own way of handling his comfortable torque range as he drives around, crawling speeds to high speed. Today's modern AT have come a long way to satisfy those needs with multiple modes to suit the requirement but still not 100% simply because TCU is not the actual driver and every driver is not thinking in the same lines of the complex programs each TCU might have.

After driving a whole lot of modern day ATs, I would still say that a Manual is a Manual. You can't beat that experience with any AT. Ofcourse, talk about convenience, performance, economy, etc. as an advantage of the latest generation ATs, but involvement and torque control of a manual box car will always be a class apart. Simply because, its your senses and your decisions (precise to your best comfort and requirement) which controls how you drive, not a TCU. You may argue that a TCU could be more efficient or less, point accepted. But it can't replace your needs exactly through out every fine part of your driving style.

Not arguing which is better. Many people here argue which is better based on convenience, performance, efficiency, etc. but I am talking purely about driver involvement and fine control of the machine to the last bit of the torque. The available ATs satisfy the needs of most drivers may be.

Point made - For some, the fine details matter and for those drivers, MT drive involvement cannot be replaced by AT boxes unless the TCU is actually hooked up to the driver's brain and takes direct feed. Could be possible in future.

Having said this, I do enjoy DSGs, ZF transmission in BMW, etc. That is different kind of enjoyment. You tune yourself to the gear box performance and involve more on other areas of handling the car. But that doesn't prove manual to be any less fun.
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Old 12th August 2014, 16:32   #43
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by ajaypjayaraj View Post
The thing is, every driver (atleast very involved ones) has his own way of handling his comfortable torque range as he drives around, crawling speeds to high speed. Today's modern AT have come a long way to satisfy those needs with multiple modes to suit the requirement but still not 100% simply because TCU is not the actual driver and every driver is not thinking in the same lines of the complex programs each TCU might have.
Well said Ajay. The manual transmissions are there to stay (forecasts).

I am writing my Thesis on a similar topic for a German automotive biggie. And I do realize, no matter how I program, I cannot fully replicate a drivers behavior. I can only predict what the driver 'might' be thinking.

The control units do what is told to them, they are no Bejan Daruwalla.

Spike

Last edited by SPIKE ARRESTOR : 12th August 2014 at 16:35.
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Old 12th August 2014, 21:25   #44
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Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
I am writing my Thesis on a similar topic for a German automotive biggie. And I do realize, no matter how I program, I cannot fully replicate a drivers behavior. I can only predict what the driver 'might' be thinking.
Hi,
How is your work going? Like all good projects, far far more complex than initially estimated/ expected, isn't it?

Regards
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Old 12th August 2014, 21:37   #45
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Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
The manual transmissions are there to stay (forecasts).
Back in the day, they said this about carburetors, cb points, hydraulic steering and a lot of other things.

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And I do realize, no matter how I program, I cannot fully replicate a drivers behavior.
Really ?
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