favourite type of car transmission?

Manual   4 votes - 33 %
Traditional Automatic   5 votes - 41 %
Semi automatic/Dual Clutch/Tipotronic   2 votes - 16 %
CVT   0 votes - 0 %
None of the above, I don't drive   1 vote - 8 %
12 Total Votes
Transmissions by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon May 16, 2016 at 11:12:53 AM EST
The best transmission is no transmission. Tesla's complete lack of a transmission means at least one major failure point is missing. Also a car that has enough torque to spin the tires at low speeds and go all the way to high speeds without changing gears certainly means something.

The next best is likely the Prius/Volt scheme. While I really don't know how neutral works or even if it is included (some automatics have towing limits, implying they use a clutch), it looks like once the gears are meshed at the factory and never need unmesh. About as close to "no moving parts" as you can make spinning gears. No idea what the torque limitations are, probably fixed to the "gear motor" and a multiplier.

Manual: fun, cheap to make, rarely need to fix. Also almost impossible to find in America. Note that my claims of "can't drive an automatic" are pretty much a joke in the US. Hard to believe that such exist in UKia. I hope the "no transmission" becomes easily available before the manual goes away in the US.

After this, expect plenty of compromises.

Double clutch: obviously a great racing engine, but what is it doing on the road? Two questions about the fundamental design (which presumably varies by car): First, how does it start? I'm assuming you slip the clutch, but can you tell how long? And for how long as you creep forward toward the light/drive in the parking lot are you slipping that clutch?. Second, how harsh are the gear changes on the engine/transmission? Do they rev-match? (I think some Nissan manuals do, presumably it would be trivial in a double clutch, but that doesn't show in reviews and acceleration numbers do).

CVT: Seem to work, I've driven one that seemed to automatically adjust to the driver: it was perfectly happy to keep the revs low and drive efficiently for me, but would always happily rev the engine into the "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" for its owner while driving around residential neighborhoods (at the very low speedlimit). The big problem is complexity and price of repair. I'm not sure they have proven themselves reliable. Also the mileage returned when keeping the rpms low is pretty meh (compared to when manuals do similar). There must be plenty of losses in those things.

Old fashioned automatics: still there. Often with a huge number of gears. Considering the way they tend to mesh two or so gears in the 8-9 speeds, I'm somewhat surprised nobody seems to have slapped two old-fashioned planetary sets in series, bicycle style. Note that these things still have a tendency to break (especially if my father is attempting to control one), and are nearly as complicated as the rest of the car put together. I'll definitely stick to my manual over this one.


Double clutch by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon May 16, 2016 at 12:07:57 PM EST
Not that (double clutching is a technique). The Dual Clutch Gearbox is in lots of VW's (my Beetle TDI has it) and other German cars.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
isn't the german by wumpus (4.00 / 0) #4 Mon May 16, 2016 at 01:41:42 PM EST
Doppelkupplung? I could have sworn that the Porsche 928 (or something else they made in the 1980s) used such a beast, but google insists otherwise. It certainly isn't double clutching, that would be an asynchronous beast and be down at the bottom of "don't buy these". Exception: that funky Nissan system could presumably automatically do the double clutch for you (presumably as soon as the clutch fully engaged) in an even weirder mix of auto and manual. Presumably this would have less parts, be stronger, and more efficient.


What was wrong with the Cruze, anyway? It seemed to be the only manual with a serious overdrive, but the only owner I know (you) seemed to hate it.

[ Parent ]
The Cruze was a lemon by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue May 17, 2016 at 06:42:19 AM EST
Intake manifold cracked (not exactly a wear item) at 15k, key fell off the fob at 40k, and the (manual) tranny went out (lost third gear) at the same time. Figured I didn't want to be driving it when the warranty ran out.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Double clutch by Herring (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue May 17, 2016 at 01:40:45 PM EST
Given that VAG use one on the Veyron, I reckon they've solved the torque issues. It's also used on the RS6 but that's only 500bhp or so (still want an RS6).

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
From the auction by jump the ladder (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon May 16, 2016 at 12:21:02 PM EST
90% of subcompacts or smaller (in US terms)  were manual transmission. I have driven manuals most of my life, it's just the automatic UK driving test is slightly easier but you can only drive automatic are which are rarer in the UK.

[ Parent ]
DCT and clutch skipping by Phil the Canuck (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue May 17, 2016 at 08:21:01 AM EST
DCTs use wet clutches (oil-bathed, generally) to reduce the wear you'd see from creeping in a traditional single-clutch setup.

[ Parent ]
WIPO by Herring (4.00 / 0) #5 Mon May 16, 2016 at 04:41:36 PM EST
Hire car.

They go almost any speed in almost any gear over almost any terrain.

When I used to put the Audi in the official dealers for servicing, they lent me an A4 3.2l V6 Quattro with the flappy paddles. That thing was fun. Massive torque and massive grip. Plus easy to change up or down mid-roundabout and challenge the ESP.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

A hire car, earlier today by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon May 16, 2016 at 06:01:32 PM EST

And they would've got away with it if it hadn't been for that meddlesome CCTV

[ Parent ]
WIPO: depends on the use by lm (4.00 / 2) #9 Mon May 16, 2016 at 07:21:04 PM EST
Driving for fun on twisty back roads: manual.

Commuting in the city: automatic.

Driving for fun on racetrack: semi-auto.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Well by jump the ladder (4.00 / 0) #10 Tue May 17, 2016 at 04:44:03 AM EST
A £550 road tax car is probably a wee bit too powerful for a nervous learner driver.