Well considering Dorian has never driven one, he isnt qualified to say anything
My mate came over yesterday in his manual, and I took it for a drive. He has had his longer than me, but only has 2000 miles on the clock, so nowhere near run in, whereas mine is almost at 7000. I definately agree that the more miles you have, the faster the car is, while his car felt fast, mine felt a lot more nimble and responsive.
It was nice to feel that behind the wheel of a manual the car did actually free pretty much the same (I noticed it has red lights for the extended redline rather than red and orange like on the SMG, I guess for the change up sequence). It was great fun being able to use manual again, and you do feel like you have that little bit more control, because you do.
SMG is great for every day driving, and fun fast driving down lanes, you are able to change gears effortlessly and give yourself a big grin each time. The BARK that has been mentioned is wonderful as well, but you can get that on a manual if you want to.
If I were a trackday driver, then I do not think I would get SMG, so I agree with Ian's comments.. for traffic SMG is a godsend, having the best of both worlds from an auto box.
It does take time to get used to driving the SMG, you have to work out how best to drive it to your driving style, and everyones is different. The seat position is also very important.
The change up lights I think are a nice idea, but in practise are pretty pointless, you spend more time watching the lights than you do the road, and if your driving it hard, it should be pretty obvious when you should best change up anyway... so its a gimick I think.
SMG is not a great moderate driving tool. It is there for hard driving. Yes its ok for crawling around, and Auto is only good for using the mobile.
Its place is the track where IMHO its a much better system than a manual car. There is no way I could change gears as quick in a manual as in the SMG. It would be interesting to see what times people would set on a track in both Manual and SMG cars. Ok professional drivers might be similar, but us mere mortals would be quicker in the SMG car IMHO.
If manual was a better system for track driving, why do all the rally cars, F1 cars etc use sequential ?
I still wish I gone for a Manual M3, but since my car broke down, the replacement part seems to have make the box smoother. Think that might be in my head rather than a fact, but I am enjoying the SMG box more.
"If manual was a better system for track driving, why do all the rally cars, F1 cars etc use sequential ?"
It's got nothing to do with race cars really.
If you want to learn how to drive a car fast on the track, using a manual gearbox properly is one of the big learning curves and is an important aspect of the whole experience.
If you learn how to drive fast on the track in a car that does the mechanics of the shifting for you, you've only learnt 75% of what you can possibly learn. Step into a true manual car and then try and drive fast on a track and you're scuppered.
If you want to become a great track driver, learn in a manual first then buy an SMG, not vice-versa.
If you just want to have fun on a track, SMG is probably fine but still nowhere near as rewarding (from a learning point of view) IMHO.
If you want to learn a race circuit ride a bike around
SMG v Manual at track ? Gear change points are the same, as is braking etc and the only difference is in one you need to heel and toe (although this can be argued against) and the other is there is no difference.
Gearchanging on a track or anywhere else is just plain boring.
Track driving is only fun because it allows you to explore the limits of the handling of the car and improve your skill levels with regard to balance/adjustability etc. Gearchanging plays no part in this once you can heel and toe well.
PS I am going to be racing in the Renault Clio Cup this year (if the sponsor/finance comes through) in a manual, as I have no choice as to the transmission. If I did I would be using a clutchless system
I wasn't really disagreeing with you. You're absolutely right to say that race cars tend to have sequential boxes because they shift inherently faster, although don't confuse a true sequential 'box with SMG ... they're fundamentally different.
I only gave you my own personal reasons why I wouldn't choose SMG for the track. It's only my opinion and, having said that, it's probably in the minority of opinions