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(Jalopnik)   A manual transmission is the only real way to drive and the author of this article needs to deal with it   (jalopnik.com) divider line 397
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20431 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Oct 2012 at 1:09 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-22 02:30:12 AM  
Subby is a car hipster.
 
2012-10-22 02:30:53 AM  

katfairy: One thing that automatic has over manual is that if your wrists are farked up from multiple bouts of tendinitis, you can still drive relatively comfortably.

As for my own personal preference... is the car in good shape, get decent MPG, and get me where I need to go with minimal bother? Then I wouldn't care if it was auto or stick.

/sticking to auto, though
//yeah, my wrists do suck


Legit concern.

If I couldn't work the clutch, I'd drive auto.

Automatic tranny is like a fleshlight. It gets the job done, but it's not as fun.
 
2012-10-22 02:31:43 AM  
I'm 28 and have driven a manual on 4 different cars for about 10 of those 12 years I've had my license. I really enjoy driving a stick even though I never think about whether I'm shifting or not. It just becomes second nature.

That being said, I have never thought people who drive autos are inferior.
That's ridiculous. Most people in America want to get from point A to point B as easily as possible, and that's perfectly reasonable.

I do, however think everyone who has access to a manual should be forced to learn how to drive one.
If only for emergency situations or DD purposes.

It's like knowing how to tie a freaking knot for God's sake.
 
2012-10-22 02:31:50 AM  

SlappyKincaid: Shadow Blasko:

Yes it is/was

The RX-8 Renesis is most likely the last rotary that Mazda will make.

The minute amounts of oil that the rotary burns as a nature of its design mean that it will not pass 2015 EU emissions standards, or the 2018 Japanese standards, so there will be no market for it.

They are still widely used in small aircraft and heavily used in off road truck racing, but as a power plant for a production vehicle... they are pretty much done.

The last RX-8 was made for the Japan market with a Hydrogen burning rotary, but the horsepower was only 1/2 what the gasoline version made, so it failed pretty miserably.


Wankel had an excellent concept (great power for such a compact design) but I just don't think that engine is built to last. They're just not sealed right. They never got that right.

It's a shame really. I liked the RX-7 and I know little about the RX-8 other than it's aesthetically pleasing to me.


I've got 131,000 miles on mine, and she still pulls great. No problems. (you know, aside from that mileage thing) but the price was right, so I can't complain.

The Renesis Rotary (Next gen from the RX-7) fixed the apex seal issues, and they seem to last pretty well.

It is a boon to rotary enthusiasts that they have a reputation (previously earned, but not so much anymore) for failing early, as you can buy a good RX-8 with 50k miles on it for less than 8 grand now.
 
2012-10-22 02:31:50 AM  
Girl driver here, and you can have my manny tranny when you pry it from my cold, dead hands...
 
2012-10-22 02:31:59 AM  
I drive a 1990 Chevy G20 van. There are no manual transmissions for those big sin wagons but I bet I'd hit 100mph before that limp dick. There's something about a big block V8 that'll make you go like a raped ape when you stomped on the gas.
 
2012-10-22 02:32:59 AM  
I wonder if people had this much trouble letting go of crank starters?
 
2012-10-22 02:34:47 AM  

Hand Banana: I wonder if people had this much trouble letting go of crank starters?


Why do people keep comparing the two?
 
2012-10-22 02:35:04 AM  

fickle floridian: This article isn't about "automatics". It's about the new generation of electronic, dual-clutch, high-performance transmissions that happen to be paddle-shifted because the driver can't shift them anywhere near as fast as the computer. If all you've driven are manual transmission or traditional automatics (some even with paddle shifters) then you really have no idea what's going on in the modern performance car. There's a reason Ferrari doesn't offer manual transmission on the 458, and the only reason other sports car makers still have manual is to assuage traditional buyers.

From the article: "Take a current Nissan GT-R to a race track and drive it as fast you can. Then tell me it would be better with a manual gearbox. It just wouldn't be. Your corner speeds will be slower, your straight-line speeds will be slower, and your lap times will be slower. If you drive a GT-R on track and don't feel engaged, well, then you just aren't going fast enough."

Welcome to the 21st century.


Exactly. These clutch guys sound like those moronic audiophiles who only listen to vinyl.
 
2012-10-22 02:36:19 AM  
I learned to drive stick on an old dump truck with, like, 20 something gears. I prefer an auto as I have a hard time not revving the nuts off of it and speeding if it's a manual. All the supposed MPG gains are not a factor for this lead foot.
 
2012-10-22 02:36:40 AM  
I also don't churn my own butter. Progress, ftw.
 
2012-10-22 02:37:07 AM  
FTA: The point of driving a car quickly, either on a race track or a road, is to make it from the start to finish as fast as humanly possible.

No. The point of driving in a race is to make it from the start to finish as fast as humanly possible. The point of driving on the road is to go somewhere and hopefully have fun. The point of driving on a track when you're not racing is to not go somewhere and hopefully have fun. The latter two can be accomplished with an automatic, a manual, or a flappy-paddle (which really amounts to a semi-auto transmission). If having fun means you just want to go, get an auto. If it means you want to feel like you're doing something, get a manual. If it means you want to feel like you're on a racetrack all the time, get a life.
 
2012-10-22 02:37:16 AM  

Shadow Blasko:

I've got 131,000 miles on mine, and she still pulls great. No problems. (you know, aside from that mileage thing) but the price was right, so I can't complain.

The Renesis Rotary (Next gen from the RX-7) fixed the apex seal issues, and they seem to last pretty well.

It is a boon to rotary enthusiasts that they have a reputation (previously earned, but not so much anymore) for failing early, as you can buy a good RX-8 with 50k miles on it for less than 8 grand now.



That's good to know. I stand corrected. And for $8K that seems like a steal for the power! Do they still make them? Convertible?
 
2012-10-22 02:39:48 AM  
My Pontiac has a 4-speed automatic transmission and a supercharger. Today, two motorcycles beat me all to hell off the line. They were worthy. Most other cars out there aren't ;)
 
2012-10-22 02:39:49 AM  

whidbey: Ogre840: Art of Manliness: Every Man Should Know How to Drive Stick

Oh so it's a manly thing now.

Wow, the ideologies people come up with to ritualize such anachronistic technology.


Drive whatever you want. I hate automatics. I hate pretty much everything about them. I hate the technology of the toque converter. The newer electronic transmissions are less terrible efficiency wise but the standard toque converter in an automatic transmission amounts to up to 15% HP loss and commensurate loss in fuel economy as well as thermal degrade of materials due to the friction. Practically, in terms of energy efficiency, standard automatic transmissions are a loser. I could see past that if they actually offered something in terms of reliability or lifespan to the vehicle, instead they do the exact opposite. I've fixed a 45 y/o manual gear box with a pipe wrench and a hammer on the side of the road. I wouldn't even bother trying to fix an automatic, just buy a new one.

Automatic transmissions are useful to some people and in some very limited circumstances they can be beneficial, but to call manual transmissions outmoded is much the same as calling steering wheels and rear-view mirrors outmoded. They're relatively simple applications of technology that could be replaced by grossly over complex applications of technology to serve the same purpose, although no where near as efficiently or reliably.

Oh, and flappy pedals makes it feel like you're driving a go-cart or playing a video game. It doesn't feel like driving, it feels like playing a rather silly driving sim. And it doesn't matter how fast you're going.
 
2012-10-22 02:41:04 AM  
Let me tell you what I'm looking for in a farking car: Four farking wheels that roll when I put the car in drive and push the gas pedal. This does NOT require a decades-outdated manual transmission.
 
2012-10-22 02:41:51 AM  

carnifex2005:

Exactly. These clutch guys sound like those moronic audiophiles who only listen to vinyl.


I don't think it's a snob thing really... well maybe for some. I just enjoy the feedback a manual transmission gives me. It's just fun to drive and, I think, keeps you very engaged with the driving experience.

Everybody has their preference and that's cool. Most of my friends drive automatics and I don't look down on them or anything. They do their thing and I do mine.

I just wish there were more vehicle options for manuals.
 
2012-10-22 02:42:05 AM  
You know, people talk, but it's weird to really think about -- the whole Gawker network has turned into sensationalist garbage.
 
2012-10-22 02:42:51 AM  

SlappyKincaid: Shadow Blasko:

I've got 131,000 miles on mine, and she still pulls great. No problems. (you know, aside from that mileage thing) but the price was right, so I can't complain.

The Renesis Rotary (Next gen from the RX-7) fixed the apex seal issues, and they seem to last pretty well.

It is a boon to rotary enthusiasts that they have a reputation (previously earned, but not so much anymore) for failing early, as you can buy a good RX-8 with 50k miles on it for less than 8 grand now.


That's good to know. I stand corrected. And for $8K that seems like a steal for the power! Do they still make them? Convertible?


The last RX-8's sold in the states was the 2011 model. There is no convertible.

Although, if you trust him.. this will help you make up your mind. (This also happens to be the same model and year as mine, but not right hand drive) Top Gear on the RX-8

Jeremy's only complaint at the end was the fact that it was skittish on wet roads... well.. yeah.. after he burned all the tread off the tires.
 
2012-10-22 02:43:03 AM  
I drive 90% in the city and 100% in either city or NJ highway/suburban areas that are often decently high traffic, so no, I'm gonna go ahead and say that manual is objectively terrible for me.

As always, I find this whole "everyone should use what I use and if they don't they're a bad person" thing tiring. It's just as tiring with Mac vs. PC or Xbox vs. Wii vs. Playstation as it is here. Shut the fark up and just use what you enjoy and quit bothering other people about it. You use manual? Wonderful. You use automatic? Great. Use what you prefer and what works best. But unless other people switching to what you use will cure cancer or some shiat, I really don't give a damn if you think that what I prefer is inferior. That's why I'm using it and you're not.
 
2012-10-22 02:44:15 AM  
Other useful technologies for drivers who prefer to drive a stick:

Personal computer:
www.aerojockey.com

Pen:
www.aerojockey.com

IPod:
www.aerojockey.com

Laser pointer:
www.aerojockey.com
 
2012-10-22 02:44:22 AM  

7FARK7: Let me tell you what I'm looking for in a farking car: Four farking wheels that roll when I put the car in drive and push the gas pedal. This does NOT require a decades-outdated manual transmission.


I hear you. The only reason I have a car in the first place is so that I can go some place and then come home.

The fact that my current car is fun to drive was an accident ;)
 
2012-10-22 02:44:34 AM  

SpinStopper: My Pontiac has a 4-speed automatic transmission and a supercharger. Today, two motorcycles beat me all to hell off the line. They were worthy. Most other cars out there aren't ;)


Your Pontiac wouldn't be able to take a motorcycle of any real caliber. The power to weight on a bike makes it faster than pretty any car on the road. I ride bikes and you'd be amazed at how fast you can get to in seconds.

I've had friends with very power Italian sports cars that just can't keep up when we used to go and play... before we got all old and serious. :)
 
2012-10-22 02:45:24 AM  
Oh for Fark's sake, just drive what you prefer and that which is best suited to your style of driving.
 
2012-10-22 02:46:54 AM  

Shadow Blasko:

The last RX-8's sold in the states was the 2011 model. There is no convertible.

Although, if you trust him.. this will help you make up your mind. (This also happens to be the same model and year as mine, but not right hand drive) Top Gear on the RX-8

Jeremy's only complaint at the end was the fact that it was skittish on wet roads... well.. yeah.. after he burned all the tread off the tires.


Cool, I'll look into that. I do trust Top Gear. I think their reviews are rather honest. As someone who has tracked every vehicle he as ever owned (except an SUV), I find their commentary direct and very good.

Thanks for the link.
 
2012-10-22 02:47:54 AM  

Hand Banana: I wonder if people had this much trouble letting go of crank starters?


Funny you mention that. I once met a guy who claimed to be an ex-engineer for General Motors. He asked me if I knew the reasons behind the invention of the electric starter. I said I did, because of the son of Cadillac's CEO who died from an would he received when the crank stuck to the shaft and flew around and hit him in the jaw on a winter morning. He said that was a true story, but not the real reason why. Car manufactures are norotrious for avoiding recalls that have cost people their lives, so it's not like they were being noble in the first place.

Before the electric starter, vehicles were notoriously difficult for the average person to start. You'd have to flip switches to engage your electrical circuit for the dyno, open the valve for the fuel supply, etc. It was difficult because people were stupid. Cadillac knew as well as others that there are more stupid people willing to part with disposable income than there are smart people. So if they could find a way to simplify the starting and operation of an automobile, they could sell more cars by opening up sales to segments of dumb people who otherwise couldn't/wouldn't have bought one previously. So it goes with automatic spark adjustment, electric choke, and of course automatic transmissions.

If you can understand that, then you can understand how the automotive industry operates, and why it always has been that way. But more importantly, what's the big demographic as well that hates stick shifts to the point where they refuse to learn how to operate them?

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-10-22 02:49:22 AM  

SlappyKincaid: SpinStopper: My Pontiac has a 4-speed automatic transmission and a supercharger. Today, two motorcycles beat me all to hell off the line. They were worthy. Most other cars out there aren't ;)

Your Pontiac wouldn't be able to take a motorcycle of any real caliber. The power to weight on a bike makes it faster than pretty any car on the road. I ride bikes and you'd be amazed at how fast you can get to in seconds.

I've had friends with very power Italian sports cars that just can't keep up when we used to go and play... before we got all old and serious. :)


I agree completely. I just thought it was cool to have an excuse to hear the high pitched whine of the supercharger while the to bikes flew right past me ;)
 
2012-10-22 02:50:28 AM  
www.atariage.com
 
2012-10-22 02:50:45 AM  

SpinStopper:

I agree completely. I just thought it was cool to have an excuse to hear the high pitched whine of the supercharger while the to bikes flew right past me ;)


lol fair enough!
 
2012-10-22 02:52:23 AM  
Is this a shifter car? I cannot drive a shifter car, alright, so we got a little situation here. I can't drive these kinda cars! What the fark is goin' on! You think that's funny? Would you like to know, smartass? Would you like to know why I can't drive this kinda car? I'll tell you why, I'm used to luxury cars. Have you ever heard of a luxury car? You know what luxury means? Ever heard of Cadillac, Cadillac Eldorado? That's what I drive. I drive cars that shift themselves.
 
2012-10-22 02:52:55 AM  

Hand Banana: I wonder if people had this much trouble letting go of crank starters?


Crank starters caused injuries. Electric starter motors were not a radical increase in complexity, and they didn't affect the way the car was driven.

Automatic transmissions are unnecessary complexity in the system. They are there for convenience only. They do not inherently improve safety or performance. Some people prefer the convenience to simplicity. Others prefer the mechanical simplicity to the convenience.
 
2012-10-22 02:54:41 AM  

Soupysales: Is this a shifter car? I cannot drive a shifter car, alright, so we got a little situation here. I can't drive these kinda cars! What the fark is goin' on! You think that's funny? Would you like to know, smartass? Would you like to know why I can't drive this kinda car? I'll tell you why, I'm used to luxury cars. Have you ever heard of a luxury car? You know what luxury means? Ever heard of Cadillac, Cadillac Eldorado? That's what I drive. I drive cars that shift themselves.


Billy Brown ftw!
 
2012-10-22 02:54:41 AM  

Lenny_da_Hog: Crank starters caused injuries. Electric starter motors were not a radical increase in complexity, and they didn't affect the way the car was driven.

Automatic transmissions are unnecessary complexity in the system. They are there for convenience only. They do not inherently improve safety or performance. Some people prefer the convenience to simplicity. Others prefer the mechanical simplicity to the convenience.


Automatic transmissions allow elderly drivers to mow down farmers' markets.
 
2012-10-22 02:58:01 AM  

Soupysales: Is this a shifter car? I cannot drive a shifter car, alright, so we got a little situation here. I can't drive these kinda cars! What the fark is goin' on! You think that's funny? Would you like to know, smartass? Would you like to know why I can't drive this kinda car? I'll tell you why, I'm used to luxury cars. Have you ever heard of a luxury car? You know what luxury means? Ever heard of Cadillac, Cadillac Eldorado? That's what I drive. I drive cars that shift themselves.


I love that flick inspite of it's weirdness. Mayve it's because it's the best Christina Ricci has ever looked.

scribereblog.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-10-22 03:00:50 AM  
In Deutschland everymann has to learn manuell and drives manuell. Jawohl.
 
2012-10-22 03:01:53 AM  

Verlorenes Metallgeld: In Deutschland everymann has to learn manuell and drives manuell. Jawohl.


Pfft. You didn't capitalize your nouns.
 
2012-10-22 03:02:26 AM  

lokidecat: When my manual went and I had to replace my clutch, it cost me a weekend a few hundred bucks (and a case of beer.)
When my automatic went, it cost me $3100 to get replaced. Stupid mysterious piston/channel-driven piles of crap.

I have my preference...


Exactly....


Lenny_da_Hog: Automatic transmissions are unnecessary complexity in the system. They are there for convenience only. They do not inherently improve safety or performance. Some people prefer the convenience to simplicity. Others prefer the mechanical simplicity to the convenience.


I have nothing further to add, here, everything has already been stated by others. I prefer simpler, more cost-effective things.
 
2012-10-22 03:04:40 AM  

Claude Ballse: I love that flick inspite of it's weirdness. Mayve it's because it's the best Christina Ricci has ever looked.


She was adorable in that role, but I think I might prefer her Black Snake Moan incarnation:
i.ebayimg.com
 
2012-10-22 03:04:59 AM  

Chariset: Manual transmission is so much more fun, but I'd rather have automatic in the city.

(Though I hate feeling my engine 'argue' with me when I tell it to accelerate)


My 2012 Outback has a CVT. The car is *always* in the right gear. They give you a flappy paddle shifter, but I have yet to improve on either fuel economy or performance trying to outsmart the computer.

And considering that most of my miles are ariubd the Beltway in DC, if I was still driving a stick shift, I'd be on the shoulder with a deer rifle by now.
 
2012-10-22 03:05:41 AM  
Wow, I had no idea the "Manual vs Automatic" split could be such troll fodder. I'll have to remember that. File it with:

Chicago vs New York pizza
Student loans
Tipping
Beer snobs
 
2012-10-22 03:09:08 AM  

dickfreckle: Shadow Blasko: I *do* think that as long as there are manual transmissions, it should be considered a life skill to learn how to drive one.

Agreed, but a friend of mine made an interesting point. "I want my son to learn to drive a manual, but where the hell do I find one? Unless you have a friend's manual you can borrow for an afternoon, teaching kids how to drive one is going to be a hassle. Not impossible, but a hassle when you and your wife's cars are both automatics. This is true in America, at least. In Europe and many other places, the 11 year-old paper boy already knows how to drive a stick.

I learned from a friend in high school, but this was in the early 90s when manuals were still somewhat common.

CSB alert: About a year ago I was out with some friends, and this one girl got too drunk to drive. So I offered, having a friend follow to take me back. She asked if I could drive a stick. When I got to the vehicle, I was honestly shocked that it was a brand new Saturn Vue, or similar small SUV/crossover whatever. When I smiled and complimented her for driving a stick she said, "I had to wait three weeks to get one with a manual. I farking hate automatics."

As you can presume, I fell in love right on the spot. We dated for a few months.


Let me guess, the relationship stalled out after a series of missteps.
 
2012-10-22 03:11:03 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: Aw, look... the people who are most likely overcompensating for some other shortcoming are coming out to talk about how they need a big stick in their hand to feel manly.

Manuals are for alright for racing, I guess. Otherwise, they're pointless.


No.

Have you looked at the costs for rebuilding a slushbox? My mother's car had to have it rebuilt recently. $4,000. My cousin bought an expensive luxury car and he spent $3,000 for an extended warranty because a transmission rebuild is $14,000.

I paid just over $15,000 for my car, new.

I can replace my clutch for about $500 and 10-12 hours of labor. If I had a slushbox in my model, I'd be looking at about $4,000 for a rebuild.

I could give fark all about lap times and the quarter mile. I don't race. I drive a stick because it's easy and cheap to repair. That's it.

Further, let me know when a flappy paddle or ordinary slushbox can look a few hundred yards up the road and shift to deal with upcoming road conditions.

The tinfoil hat part of me thinks that car manufacturers are pushing the slushbox because fixing one is never a DIY proposition and a rebuild means a fat profit to a dealership.

There's no machismo, either. I'll happily teach anyone how to drive a stick in my car. A clutch is easy. I can teach anyone to drive one in under an hour. Buy me a six pack and we'll call it even.
 
2012-10-22 03:14:57 AM  

Shadow Blasko: weave: Luthien's Tempest: Of course, I've never learned to change a tire, either

1-800-AAA-HELP

You're welcome

September 17th, 1999. 19:30 A HOT sticky friday night.
Driver is 9 mos pregnant. Blown tire, just north of I-275 on I-71 in Cincinnati. (Suburban Area)
(I mention she was 9 mos pregnant because that is why she did not change her own tire)

AAA Response time. 3.5 HOURS

You go ahead and call AAA if you wanna. The rest of us have stuff to do, places to go.

Last fall I broke a lug nut lock changing a tire on my RX-8. The nearest AAA center to me is less than 5 miles. The one they dispatched was over 25 miles away. It took over 2 hours for them to dispatch the wrong truck (I told them it would take a flatbed, they didn't believe me, so they had to dispatch ANOTHER truck from another location) and it was 7 hours before my car was at a shop... which was less than 4 miles away.

Screw AAA


I sort of suspect that is precisely why Subaru offers their own roadside assistance. Everything they make (save one model) is all wheel drive, and thus needs a flatbed.
 
2012-10-22 03:15:17 AM  

TheTurtle: OK, try this simple test: climb a 20-degree hill in the snow.

In summer tires.

Before 'traction control.'

I have a friend who runs a towing company; he'll collect your shiat at the bottom of the hill while I laugh at you from the top in my 4-speed-equipped '68 Volvo, because I could put that car in 3rd gear and crawl up with the absolute minimum torque necessary. Automatics don't understand the concept of "let's put almost no power on the ground." You don't always want to lay down rubber.


I've done it in my automatic a few tikes when Seattle has been hit with nasty winter storms. Automatics DO have those lower gears, you know, and you can control your speed and torque on ice almost as well as you can with a manual.

Of course, almost no one who drives and auto actually knows what the 2 and the 1 positions are for, or that the little overdrive disable button on the gear shift basically forces a downshift when you want more power for a hill or for passing.
 
2012-10-22 03:17:14 AM  

Dead for Tax Reasons: Automatic transmission is to driving as masturbation is to sex


Wait, I thought automatics didn't involve playing with your stick.
 
2012-10-22 03:18:18 AM  

fusillade762: Wow, I had no idea the "Manual vs Automatic" split could be such troll fodder. I'll have to remember that. File it with:

Chicago vs New York pizza
Student loans
Tipping
Beer snobs


NAILED IT
 
2012-10-22 03:22:15 AM  
So I'm assuming that "slushbox" is the automotive equivalent of "crotchfruit"? A nice pithy term that encapsulates your disdain? Even though it generally comes with a four paragraph rant about why. I get it. "I can control mine, so you should damn well control yours."
 
2012-10-22 03:24:19 AM  
Last year got my first automatic in years and love it. Cause in Germany you spend 90% of the fookin time stuck in bumper to bumper stop-n-go.
 
2012-10-22 03:32:01 AM  
I don't care what you guys drive, the bus I catch is big enough for me not to care.
 
2012-10-22 03:39:50 AM  
i53.tinypic.com
 
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