But race cars have paddle shifters. I’ve been a lifelong manual snob and I do lots of track days and some amateur racing. I had a chance to drive an M3 with the DCT recently and I gotta say, I didn’t dislike it. Popping off lightning quick downshifts on the brakes going into a corner like Lewis Hamilton actually felt pretty cool, and it doesn’t creep in drive like a normal slushbox. You actually have to drive it like a manual, just without the 3rd pedal. I’m not sold yet but I can see the appeal, and I wouldn’t hesitate to take a DCT to the track and have a good time.
That said, I think even DCTs are dying, and the new Supra I assume is getting a ZF slushbox like everything else is nowadays. I’ll have to drive one to see if it has the same appeal.
No. I last drove a 911 years ago (and didn’t care for the clutch - ha).
I’m not opposed to trying it. I do find the paddle shifters awkward myself. It may be that I have smaller hands and have to reach too much. I have the option to switch over to a manual mode and use the shifter (no clutch - just change gears up or down). I think if I practiced a bit more that might be close.
Nothing is more disappointing than driving a super powerful car with a lame auto tranny. It seems only the Germans and Italians have truly figured out that the dual clutch automatics are the way to go to get shifts to rip off with alacrity, whether while in “D” or using the paddles.
I drove an automatic Corvette recently. Left to it’s own devices the auto was just okay, but the paddle shifts were awful. Just so slow to respond, which can actually be dangerous at speed through a turn if you mis-time a downshift because the response time is so laggy.
I’ve never driven a car with paddle shifters so I don’t know how they physically feel to operate. Is there “travel” in them and a sense of the gear engaging that can be physically conveyed through them to the hands operating them, the way the same is true of a manual car with a clutch?
No, in a DCT car, the shift is damn near instantaneous, as quick as maybe 50 milliseconds in the most aggressive cases. The paddles are just electronic switches, so no mechanical feel or anything like that.
As much as I am a die hard manual transmission guy, the DCT options are far and away better from a performance aspect. And there is definitely gratification in banging up and down through the gears like an F1 driver.
Both of my BMWs have ‘traditional’ six-speed auto transmissions (Steptronic) with paddles for when in sport mode. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how quick and positive those shifts are. That setup doesn’t give up much to a true DCT anywhere but at the track. Shift time is given as 100 milliseconds there, so clearly no slouch.
When I sold my Lotus, I was dead set against having an automatic, but the real-world stepped in and provided me with a brutal hour long stop and go commute. My hand was forced.
Sounds like I probably wouldn’t bother with them. I totally hear you about manuals in stop and go commuter traffic - but if I were to ever conceivably buy the kind of car that had paddle shifters, it would be as an expensive toy, not a daily driver - and I already have a large comfortable automatic SUV for my daily driver. If I’m gonna be dropping that kind of money on a ‘fun’ car, I would want it to be fully manual.
To me the whole point of the feature is that you are physically, mechanically, shifting something. YOU literally become a mechanical component of the car. An electronic switch is not going to do it for me.
This. FOR A SPORTSCAR I’d rather have a temperamental manual (looking at the Mk1 MR2) than a velvety smooth automatic with a staggeringly high midichlorian count. And frankly, clinging to a steering wheel with one hand in a tight corner while selecting the proper gear is part of the satisfaction of the spirited driving experience. I don’t want something to make it easier, I want to be part of the machine negotiating that curve. [insert BRZ/86/FRS sales pitch here]