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Discussion Starter #1
Time for another rant. So I've driven a few vehicles with paddle shifters and countless more with manual shifting modes. Mentally I feel like an idiot shifting a car on my own with paddle shifters. No matter how much you may enjoy using them. At the end of the day is the car not quicker to just leave in D and let the computer control it? Would you not have to be a moron to think that you can shift the car better, with more accurate timing than the ecu can?

I've driven a few 500+ hp automatic muscle cars, with manual shifters but not paddle shifters. Granted I've never driven a GTR but regardless. Is the GTR not the same? Why in all the videos do you see people manually shifting GTRs with the paddles when racing? Are they not making the car slower? Maybe it's somehow different with a 1000whp gtr and traction has something to do with it? Perhaps the car can't factor in wheel spin and may shift premature if you don't shift on your own but surely this isn't a problem in a stockish GTR?

The only car I'm aware of that requires the paddle shifters be used to shift 100% of the time is the Ferrari Enzo. Are there any others?

Are paddle shifters not just a gimmick 99% of the time? Please enlighten me.
 

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Supra OG
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I have paddle shifters on a high stall auto and quite frankly I think it's better to just let my transmission controller do the shifting.
 

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Interesting topic. Up until now I don't think that I've actually thought about it quite like that, but I see your point. I'm going to take it a few steps further too if you don't mind (while still trying to remain on topic). I think like most things in life, it was a necessary intermediary step that brings us one step closer to the inevitable. The inevitable being a time and place and state of mind that is the complete and polar opposite of what most of us car aficionados (and freedom of choice loving citizens) want. Jumping there in one giant leap (even if it was technologically possible) would of been met with massive resistance and rebellion, dooming it to failure from the start. But fate is smarter than that. Instead it inches it's way there slowly, incrementally, allowing people to get used to it without them even knowing it's there taking over. And gradually, over time what was once taken for granted and enjoyed is now forgotten and a new reality exists in its place. It's fairly scary stuff, automotively speaking of course, and there doesn't seem to be much we can do about it either. Who to thank for this mess is altogether another story, deserving a thread in and of its own.

So in conclusion, yes flicking a computer controlled paddle shifter (especially in a car with drive by wire throttle and brakes) does seem kind of silly now that you mention it :)
 

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2014 E63 S
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Its probably the biggest waste of money manufactures put on a car these days. So many cars come with them now, that dont need them, probably less than 5% of people use them. Particularly all the SUVs and even minivans these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Interesting topic. Up until now I don't think that I've actually thought about it quite like that, but I see your point. I'm going to take it a few steps further too if you don't mind (while still trying to remain on topic). I think like most things in life, it was a necessary intermediary step that brings us one step closer to the inevitable. The inevitable being a time and place and state of mind that is the complete and polar opposite of what most of us car aficionados (and freedom of choice loving citizens) want. Jumping there in one giant leap (even if it was technologically possible) would of been met with massive resistance and rebellion, dooming it to failure from the start. But fate is smarter than that. Instead it inches it's way there slowly, incrementally, allowing people to get used to it without them even knowing it's there taking over. And gradually, over time what was once taken for granted and enjoyed is now forgotten and a new reality exists in its place. It's fairly scary stuff, automotively speaking of course, and there doesn't seem to be much we can do about it either. Who to thank for this mess is altogether another story, deserving a thread in and of its own.

So in conclusion, yes flicking a computer controlled paddle shifter (especially in a car with drive by wire throttle and brakes) does seem kind of silly now that you mention it :)
Its probably the biggest waste of money manufactures put on a car these days. So many cars come with them now, that dont need them, probably less than 5% of people use them. Particularly all the SUVs and even minivans these days.
I think both of you are spot on. It's hard to believe how widely implemented this completely useless piece of technology is. I think the first company to use it in production cars was Porsche but literally every single car now has it. I find it particularly hilarious in examples like my wife's Altima or my parent's Crosstrek. Both of which are CVTs! You can tell me all you want how you think you can shift your GTR better than your ECU can (yeah right) but shifting your CVT is entirely defeating the purpose of this transmission's entire existence. You might as well tow a couple of cinder blocks behind the car for the performance increase.

I'd be curious to know how much additional money the average vehicle costs because of this option.

I wonder how much less popular the GTR would be if people couldn't shift it at all.
 

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I do feel in some cars they are needed . A car/truck with 6-10 gears seems like it's always searching for a place to be when you know exactly where you want it to be . Say for instance in my mdx I'm going 55 and want to go 65 it's either press the gas lightly and you'll eventually get up there or go 30% throttle and it kicks down 3 gears car jump like your racing for what . And for no reason should you be in 5th gear doing 30 mph , imagine doing that in your supra . I haven't driven many automatics but when I do
I'm not a fan , I feel you have a lot more control when your in a gear .
 

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It depends on what type of transmission you are referring to. A true automatic with torque converter I feel it is unnecessary unless it's a high stall / race type vehicle - for example, don't let your built auto tranny Supra shift into second while doing a burnout.

For a dual-clutch or SMG type tranny, I think it's an absolute necessity. I've driven many BMW's, Ferraris, Audis, etc where it makes sense for the computer to shift up/down, but in reality you're in the wrong gear. Just think about a decreasing radius turn where the computer will want to shift.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It depends on what type of transmission you are referring to. A true automatic with torque converter I feel it is unnecessary unless it's a high stall / race type vehicle - for example, don't let your built auto tranny Supra shift into second while doing a burnout.

For a dual-clutch or SMG type tranny, I think it's an absolute necessity. I've driven many BMW's, Ferraris, Audis, etc where it makes sense for the computer to shift up/down, but in reality you're in the wrong gear. Just think about a decreasing radius turn where the computer will want to shift.
I can see that being good. What about on the street or running a 1/4 mile? Can we agree all the guys roll racing gtrs should be leaving it in d?
 

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Still don't know if I agree, you could still be spinning and the engine will want to up shift, and you'll bog.

I actually leave my 360 in auto mode until I'm driving more aggressively, counter to what you are saying
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well this is the debate. Would advanced traction control on these types of vehicles not overcome this? I'd be very curious to see some timed testing done on the same few vehicles in both auto and manual mode. If anyone has any links I'd love to read them.
 

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I think you're missing the real benefit of paddle shifting. First let me say that "D" is better on the street, and if you do insist on drag racing, "D" would be better for that too. But you're thinking one directionally -- that is -- upshifting. The true benefit of paddle shifting is realized on the road course, and mainly for downshifting. Regardless of shifting mechanism (mechanical linkage like on the V160, or electronics on an automatic), only the driver who is approaching a turn knows exactly what gear the car should be in by mid-corner or corner exit. The road course driver who has paddle shifters can blip down 2 or 3 gears very quickly while threshold braking, and go straight from the brakes to the gas mid-turn (trailbraking) without worrying that the car will downshift (or upshift) mid-corner when you do NOT want to upset the balance of the car.

Yes, you can do all of this with a center console shift lever. But that requires you to take one hand off the steering wheel. Therefore, the advantage of paddles is that you can keep both hands on the wheel while turning and shifting.
 

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^ yes it's mostly for the road courses where so you don't have to heel-toe and can concentrate on other-than-transmission thoughts around the turn.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Alright I'll agree to that theory. Makes sense. We'll lump it in the same category as carbon ceramic brakes. Costs a fortune and completely useless unless you're on a track.

I'm curious chnco, although obviously not the case with a GTR, the 360 would have been available with a manual transmission. Presuming you don't often get stuck in traffic with your 360 and you don't have a disability which prevents you from operating a manual vehicle. Are you satisfied with your decision to get the F1 transmission? I don't know the values of 360s with the F1 transmission vs the 6 speed. Presuming they are comparable values would you buy the same vehicle again with the F1 Transmission or after having experienced it would you rather the 6 speed?
 

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Double clutching when you should have been paddle shiftin'

drove a macon turbo the other day, and in sport mode it seems to help with the speed, but also paid attention to the shift points when to hit the paddle.
 

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I think both of you are spot on. It's hard to believe how widely implemented this completely useless piece of technology is. I think the first company to use it in production cars was Porsche but literally every single car now has it. I find it particularly hilarious in examples like my wife's Altima or my parent's Crosstrek. Both of which are CVTs! You can tell me all you want how you think you can shift your GTR better than your ECU can (yeah right) but shifting your CVT is entirely defeating the purpose of this transmission's entire existence. You might as well tow a couple of cinder blocks behind the car for the performance increase.

I'd be curious to know how much additional money the average vehicle costs because of this option.

I wonder how much less popular the GTR would be if people couldn't shift it at all.
I'm curious as well. Except for pure sportscars, I would make all paddle shifters an option and cut the cost of the car. But I dont know if thats $1000 or $100. I think its just a fad ,and they will slowly start filtering away in the next few years.
 

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Now...Whitesupra94
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The obvious case of handling balance has already been mentioned...so I'll supply a few others.

First: On road cars, most of them are useless to most people. They're either not very responsive or people just don't care.
But: I actually like using the sport shift(shift lever on the center console, not paddles) in my Elantra for a few reasons.

1) I get bored in automatic cars and I've found it responsive enough to use enjoyably

2) Gas mileage. As any of us who have had an Air/Fuel gauge in a car would know, downshifting while slowing down uses considerably less gas then letting the clutch out and idling to a stop. At idle, your A/F ratio is 14.7:1. While in gear slowing down its off the gauge (well over 100 parts air to 1 part fuel). Slowing down in gear saves gas.

3) No automatic knows exactly how you want to drive. My eEantra has a really aggressive shift pattern in sport mode, and even eco mode is more aggressive and shift happy then I'd like. I'll routinely upshift myself right at 2k in every gear and then lock it into 6th on the highway so it doesn't shift when I don't. When I'm doing this from a stop, the heads up gas mileage display shows that I'm using less gas than the automatic mode, and I by combining points 2 and 3 I can sometimes gain mpg while in stop and go/slow moving traffic.

I routinely get 1-2 mpg better because of the last two points, I'm less bored driving, and since I have a 10 year warranty I'm really worried about excessive wear from engine braking, so it's a win for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The obvious case of handling balance has already been mentioned...so I'll supply a few others.

First: On road cars, most of them are useless to most people. They're either not very responsive or people just don't care.
But: I actually like using the sport shift(shift lever on the center console, not paddles) in my Elantra for a few reasons.

1) I get bored in automatic cars and I've found it responsive enough to use enjoyably

2) Gas mileage. As any of us who have had an Air/Fuel gauge in a car would know, downshifting while slowing down uses considerably less gas then letting the clutch out and idling to a stop. At idle, your A/F ratio is 14.7:1. While in gear slowing down its off the gauge (well over 100 parts air to 1 part fuel). Slowing down in gear saves gas.

3) No automatic knows exactly how you want to drive. My eEantra has a really aggressive shift pattern in sport mode, and even eco mode is more aggressive and shift happy then I'd like. I'll routinely upshift myself right at 2k in every gear and then lock it into 6th on the highway so it doesn't shift when I don't. When I'm doing this from a stop, the heads up gas mileage display shows that I'm using less gas than the automatic mode, and I by combining points 2 and 3 I can sometimes gain mpg while in stop and go/slow moving traffic.

I routinely get 1-2 mpg better because of the last two points, I'm less bored driving, and since I have a 10 year warranty I'm really worried about excessive wear from engine braking, so it's a win for me.
#1. I'd estimate that even if you combined conventional automatic transmissions with CVTs and dual clutch transmissions that probably 1% of the total owners actual use the shift lever/paddle frequently for driving enjoyment. It's probably more like .01% on conventional automatics/CVTs which would be the much larger total number. I'm not sure that .01% of the owner base dictating a higher price tag for the other 99.9% makes sense. As previously mentioned I haven't driven a dual clutch transmission vehicle with this option but I personally find any conventional automatic/cvt vehicle is just too sloppy and slow to be enjoyable shifting manually.

#2/3- 1-2mpg better is negligible enough of a difference to say there is no difference. Too many variables in open world testing like how long you idled in traffic for that day or the air temperature outside. Mentally it may help you justify your efforts but I'd argue that your car and the millions of dollars spent engineering it know better than you do in 99% of real world driving as to when to shift. Just because the car downshifts doesn't mean you are always getting worse gas mileage. Remember a vehicle makes its peak hp at x rpm. Your vehicle knows exactly what this rpm is and based on the variables applied, throttle %, load, etc it is going to shift accordingly. 10% throttle at 3000 rpm will likely use less fuel than 75% throttle at 2500rpm.
 

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Now...Whitesupra94
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#1. I'd estimate that even if you combined conventional automatic transmissions with CVTs and dual clutch transmissions that probably 1% of the total owners actual use the shift lever/paddle frequently for driving enjoyment. It's probably more like .01% on conventional automatics/CVTs which would be the much larger total number. I'm not sure that .01% of the owner base dictating a higher price tag for the other 99.9% makes sense. As previously mentioned I haven't driven a dual clutch transmission vehicle with this option but I personally find any conventional automatic/cvt vehicle is just too sloppy and slow to be enjoyable shifting manually.

#2/3- 1-2mpg better is negligible enough of a difference to say there is no difference. Too many variables in open world testing like how long you idled in traffic for that day or the air temperature outside. Mentally it may help you justify your efforts but I'd argue that your car and the millions of dollars spent engineering it know better than you do in 99% of real world driving as to when to shift. Just because the car downshifts doesn't mean you are always getting worse gas mileage. Remember a vehicle makes its peak hp at x rpm. Your vehicle knows exactly what this rpm is and based on the variables applied, throttle %, load, etc it is going to shift accordingly. 10% throttle at 3000 rpm will likely use less fuel than 75% throttle at 2500rpm.
1) I don't doubt that most people never use them. You may consider them a gimmick, but there was a time where these types of things signal technological prowess and innovation, and they boosted a company's image. You're discounting that when you take things into account. Also... They are two paddles, two sensors, and two springs, and some wires. The rest is software. You perfect that over time and the cost of reuse becomes super low, so I'm not sure that the cost is even that relevant after this many iterations on most vehicles. That's probably why their in so many vehicles at this point

I do agree that most are sloppy. I tried using it in a Jeep Cherokee and it was hilarious. But there are a few out there that are enjoyable.

2) The only thing I will concede on this point is that there are a lot of variables over an entire tank of gas. That is true. But lets consider a few things:

my eco mode shifts at 2500-3500 rpm and I manually shift at 2k. I doubt I need to convince you that that uses less gas. The car will never make that choice on it's own. So no, the default is not always better just because a company spent millions of dollars on it.

As far as deceleration: AFR's are mathematical ratios. I have empirical evidence that (at least my) cars slowing down in gear have a much leaner AFR than cars at idle. Any time I drive my supra I observe this. Idling down in gear results in a ratio of at least 7x leaner. Granted...idling down from 6k rpm would be different from keeping the car in gear at low rpm and slowing down to just above idle speeds.

All a company can do is hope to appeal to the masses. A car company would be crucified if they programmed their car to always shift at 2k rpm. It's dog slow like that, BUT it works great is stop and go traffic when I can then leave the car in gear and idle down with a leaner AFR. I also prefer to be in gear more often than not, so I can use that gear immediately when I need to move and not wait for it to engage.

Bottom Line: A car will NEVER be smart enough to know exactly when I want to shift all the time. It'll never know when I want to hold a gear through a turn and when I don't. It'll never know to shift from first to third and then third to 5th because I just dont need those other gears all the time. On top of that, it won't ever know to do that only sometimes when I feel like it. And that is because all of that is dependent on my mood. Until cars are plugged into my brain, the best it can do is provide a generally good experience for most people. what they spend millions of dollars on is determining what that 'best experience' is. And even then, you'll have people who don't use it that way.

You asked what these types of shifters are you for and we're very clearly only focused on straight line, full throttle upshifts. We've given you examples and it really seems like you're downplaying them for the sake of your argument. It's clear you have a bias against them, and that's ok, but there are legitimate uses

-road courses
-better balance, holding a gear through a turn
-more control of shift patterns
-potentially better gas mileage (if you understand how to achieve it*)
-holding a gear so you don't have to wait for it to engage

* If you feel like trying to disprove me on number two, go buy an OBDII scan tool and calculate based off of the sensors how much gas is being used in both situations, or buy one that has a mpg calculation built in. Idle down your street at 5mph in gear and out of gear. Try a few different speeds. Feel free to report your findings
 

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Now...Whitesupra94
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Well this is the debate. Would advanced traction control on these types of vehicles not overcome this? I'd be very curious to see some timed testing done on the same few vehicles in both auto and manual mode. If anyone has any links I'd love to read them.
You're questioning the cost of adding paddle shifters, but then want to add in the cost of advanced traction control that is only placed on a few select cars. I'll say one thing...My right foot is pretty damn satisfactory as traction control ::lol::

F1 drivers probably have advanced traction control...Do they drivers use autos? :)
 

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Master Shit Fixer
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2) Gas mileage. As any of us who have had an Air/Fuel gauge in a car would know, downshifting while slowing down uses considerably less gas then letting the clutch out and idling to a stop. At idle, your A/F ratio is 14.7:1. While in gear slowing down its off the gauge (well over 100 parts air to 1 part fuel). Slowing down in gear saves gas.
Sorry, I have to call BS on this. When you slow down in gear, the engine's intake stroke is sucking in a little more air than when you're clutched out and idling. In both cases, the throttle is at idle, using the exact same amount of fuel. The only reason your AFRs are high when slowing down in gear is the extra air moving through the engine...not less fuel.
 
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