I drove a normal car yesterday

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Mick F
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I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby Mick F » 21 May 2019, 7:05am

Yesterday, I was driving Daughter1's car. It's a Ford B Max with a manual gearbox.
Good car, drove nicely, and was comfortable. No complaints whatsoever ............................. except ....................

Having owned and driven a Toyota Hybrid for the past couple of years, it's surprising to me that all cars don't have a modern automatic system like ours. Driving a manual car seems very old-fashioned, having to depress a clutch and move a gearstick to the correct gear. This day and age, it should all be automatically operated.

Driving our Hybrid, all you have is a Go pedal and a brake. Simple and easy, and I would never go back to a clutch and gear stick.

Why haven't gearboxes evolved? They are no different now to when they were first invented. Synchro, yes, even on 1st gear these days, but still basically the same.
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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby pwa » 21 May 2019, 7:20am

I think it is still true that driven carefully a manual will give better mpg than an automatic. And I use staying in a relatively low gear as a way of avoiding drifting over speed limits. Personally, I've driven both and have no preference overall.

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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby brynpoeth » 21 May 2019, 7:34am

Surely an automatic can be made to use the right gear at all times, unlike the average driver, so an automatic could use less fuel
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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby pwa » 21 May 2019, 7:37am

brynpoeth wrote:Surely an automatic can be made to use the right gear at all times, unlike the average driver, so an automatic could use less fuel

You would have thought so but I have not heard of that happening yet.

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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby PDQ Mobile » 21 May 2019, 7:49am

AIUI the reason an automatic is (was?) less efficient is to do with the less efficient transfer of power through a torque converter, rather than through a conventional clutch.
Though additional wieght is probably also a factor.

I am a lover of manual myself. Died in the wool.
An enjoyment of the interplay and use of clutch and gears.
For working vehicles in steep terrain, especially towing,the ability to select a gear in advance of certain situations seems an advantage.

In overtaking the ability to be in the lower gear in readyness rather than depend on "kickdown", with the attendant small delay, is also a plus.

But maybe modern "autos" are more refined.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 21 May 2019, 7:54am

Strictly speaking the Toyota system isn't an automatic - it's an epicyclic system, there are no gears to change, although from the point of view of the drivers right foot there's little difference.

My smart is an MMT system, and it's almost always left in auto mode. I might nudge it up and down occasionally on the open road, but generally I'm happy to let the car do the work. It makes no measurable difference to economy which mode it happens to be in. I gain no pleasure from driving a car, so don't miss any notional stirring of the loins that some commentators experience with a manual box.

Mrs Dopestrongs current car is a manual, but its replacement when it arrives in September is a new Volvo XC90 T8 and that's coming with an "auto" box. It'll be interesting to see how well it behaves managing 400bhp, although I only ever drive Mrs D's car when she's in her wheelchair.
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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby Tangled Metal » 21 May 2019, 8:19am

Years ago when looking for my Ford escort replacement a local village garage had Astra estates and Ford fusion mini MPVs for sale. The fusion cars were 2 autos and 1 manual. The garage owner told me that the performance figures for the auto were better than the manual. Ford designed it that way. Have no idea if true. I bought a really decent and reliable Astra estate instead.

I've driven a grand Picasso with their semi auto / manual system. Didn't like it. I think I like giving my left foot something to do. If I got an auto I would still is accelerator and brake with the right foot. That's too instinctive to change without effort. Besides the citroen semi auto box didn't do well with the hill I went up from standing start on my test drive. Put me off. Obviously other systems will be better.

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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby Bonefishblues » 21 May 2019, 8:22am

pwa wrote:I think it is still true that driven carefully a manual will give better mpg than an automatic. And I use staying in a relatively low gear as a way of avoiding drifting over speed limits. Personally, I've driven both and have no preference overall.

Not any longer with autoboxes like the Yaris', which are designed to keep the revs in the optimum range.

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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby Bonefishblues » 21 May 2019, 8:25am

Lance Dopestrong wrote:Strictly speaking the Toyota system isn't an automatic - it's an epicyclic system, there are no gears to change, although from the point of view of the drivers right foot there's little difference.


Indeed, and nor is it a CVT as often called, but I've given up on the niceties. The terminally dull (form an orderly line behind me) should google the hybrid drivetrain integration of the Prius, Yaris et al - it's fascinating stuff, and as Mick came in saying, makes manual stick-waggling feel primitive.

F1 outlawed automatic shifting (CVT IIRC) because it was so much better than the humans' efforts. :D

ETA
Of course two pedals are on their way out, too...
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... nd-braking

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Mick F
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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby Mick F » 21 May 2019, 8:31am

Lance Dopestrong wrote:Strictly speaking the Toyota system isn't an automatic - it's an epicyclic system, there are no gears to change, although from the point of view of the drivers right foot there's little difference.
Yes, this is correct.
The car drives as an EV, a combined EV/Engine, and just Engine.
The engine swaps from Otto Cycle to Simulated Atkinson Cycle as required and the engine revs at the optimum at all times.
The driver has no control of these things and just drives the car.

Even round here with all the hills, we're getting 55mpg just driving locally. It's capable of 60-70mpg on main roads.

The brakes are a combination of Regen, Regen and rear only, and Regen and all four brakes.
Again, the driver has no control over these, and just brakes to retard the car.
This is a digression though. :D I'm not suggesting that all cars should be Hybrids, but it wouldn't be a bad idea at all.

I feel that "normal" gearboxes are an anachronism. The standard manual gearbox system should be consigned to the museum and better systems should have been commonplace by now. Typical of the motor industry!!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby PDQ Mobile » 21 May 2019, 8:34am

Bonefishblues wrote:
pwa wrote:I think it is still true that driven carefully a manual will give better mpg than an automatic. And I use staying in a relatively low gear as a way of avoiding drifting over speed limits. Personally, I've driven both and have no preference overall.

Not any longer with autoboxes like the Yaris', which are designed to keep the revs in the optimum range.

But nothing to stop the driver doing that?
And my point upthread about efficiency abd power transference are not addressed by this.

Auto drivers form an orderly line in the dust of the skilled manual driver!
F1 nothwithstanding. Ask Mr Lauda!
Only joking.

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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby Bonefishblues » 21 May 2019, 8:35am

...or the consumers' acceptance of them, as perhaps evidenced to a degree on this thread?

I'd go back to a Prius in a heartbeat - a Plug-In for preference.

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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby Bonefishblues » 21 May 2019, 8:35am

PDQ Mobile wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:
pwa wrote:I think it is still true that driven carefully a manual will give better mpg than an automatic. And I use staying in a relatively low gear as a way of avoiding drifting over speed limits. Personally, I've driven both and have no preference overall.

Not any longer with autoboxes like the Yaris', which are designed to keep the revs in the optimum range.

But nothing to stop the driver doing that?
And my point upthread about efficiency abd power transference are not addressed by this.

Auto drivers form an orderly line in the dust of the skilled manual driver!
F1 nothwithstanding. Ask Mr Lauda!
Only joking.

They just can't do it as well as the tech., that's the point.

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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby PDQ Mobile » 21 May 2019, 8:47am

Bonefishblues wrote:They just can't do it as well as the tech., that's the point.

But out on real roads and not driving in circles on short and perfect surfaces, there are advantages to a manual system.

Mick's hybrid is something of a different case in that it is to all intents and purposes an electric vehicle. The properties and torque deliverance of such have rather different requirements.

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Re: I drove a normal car yesterday

Postby PDQ Mobile » 21 May 2019, 8:51am

Bonefishblues wrote:...or the consumers' acceptance of them, as perhaps evidenced to a degree on this thread?

I'd go back to a Prius in a heartbeat - a Plug-In for preference.

Too heavy for hilly terrain and for it's size.
Wasted energy lugging those batteries around
And truly dreadful in snow.
Terrible towcar.