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5-Speed or 6-Speed w/ price increase

  • 5-Speed

    Votes: 19 47.5%
  • 6-Speed

    Votes: 21 52.5%

  • Total voters
    40
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Discussion Starter #1
AeroDave said:
I had to vote for the 5 speed, but I like the idea of a 6 speed. I intend to use my Solstice as a daily driver so 6 gears seams like alot of shifting in traffic. I would like to try a 6 speed though, maybe I can be convinced, and if the motor has enough torque to alow skipping gears, then that would be the best of both worlds. Is that practical? I have never driven a 6 speed.
I've had two six speeds, the first in a Toyota Celica GT-S and now in my SE-R Spec-V and I'm kind of in the middle between wanting a 5 spd and a 6 spd. I will say that in the Spec-V it is easy to go from 3rd to 6th on the interstate if you've accelerated up to speed through 3rd then throw it in 6th to keep the speed.
 

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Why not a 6-Speed Tranny in the Solstice the MazdaSpeed Miata has a 6-speed tranny in it i would pay more for it and i think that a lot of people on this forum would also pay for it.
 

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Personally a 5spd is sufficient. It all comes down to gear spacing and a 5spd typically is enough for a street car. A 6spd would be advantageous if geared for a certain type of driving like having a tall first gear and closely spaced gears above that for running at the track. Most OEM 6spds I've seen are not done that way. They are usually just and additional OD. A 6spd is also beneficial on high HP cars that can push well above 150mph, but how typical is that?
 

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I guess as a niche vehicle with limited production that an automatic would be out of the question? (He-he-he.)

Seriously, on the 5 vs 6 question, I've been reading the Miata reviews and it seems that most of the discussion seems to revolve around the 'feel' of the shifter. They seemed to like the way the 5 speed shifter felt in use as compared to the 6 speed.

For the Solstice, would there be two different tranny makes if there were a choice? Or does the Aisin (?) tranny have both a 5 and a 6 speed available?
 

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I would like a 4-speed personally, I like the 4-speed Muncie in my Fiero great, first 2 gears are great on acceleration up to about 55 mph, then 3 gear makes a great and aggressive passing gear on 50-65 mph highway, then 4th a is geared plenty low enough just to stomp on the gas and just flyby on the expressway. The top speed of the car uses all the motor and gearing at 6000 grand redline, floored in 4th gear at about 140 mph. For those say a Fiero can't do a 140, well I did this speed on a hill, I get about 130 in a flat area and a long enough stretch. The only thing I don't like the 4-speed is expressway driving when 70 mph is about 3 grand and 80 is about 3600 on a 6000 - 6500 redline. Sorta of high winding for that motor. Anyways in the end I would pick 5-speed for a better behaved motor on road trips but 4 speed is ideal just for bopping around town and a 55 mph highway cruising.
 

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I'm sure that the 5-speed decision had a lot to do with concerns about keeping the cost of the base vehicle at $20,000.
 

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s1n4m1n said:
Howabout just a 4 speed manual? There was something about that gear spacing on my 77 Malibu that was just magic.

:smile

Ken
That should be the same as an equivalent 5spd just without the OD.
The only real reason to have to have a 6spd is if the gears are closely spaced because the motor is tuned for a narrow band of high rpm HP.
 

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I agree, the 5-speed is almost surely sufficient, at least for the base motor. Perhaps a 6-speed for the S/C version, or the rumored 300 hp version if that happens. I would see the latter being almost a Boxster/S2000 fighter, so a 6-speed would probably be helpful in terms of performance, as well as add to the vehicle's image.
 

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Yea i agree that the 6-speed would not really be necessary for the 170hp version but when the S/C comes out i think that it would be a nice thing to have
 

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Have had a number of manual trans cars and the best gate I have seen is a five speed with first down and reverse up to the left past a detent and second through fifth in a "H". This is the best for spirited driving particularly with a low first used only for starting.

The next best is fifth up and reverse down in the far right again with a detent. This is good with a really long fifth (O/D) that is only reached in Interstate cruise.

No matter what you do with a six speed this requires four gates and can be confusing in a fast-changing environment (unless you have electronic paddle shifting with pre-selector as in F1. Then the gate does not matter). Suspect in the end, a paddle 5-spd (or 4+lock) automatic might be the fast way around.

In general you need more gears to make the most of a narrow torque band and with variable valve timing the band should be very broad.

The other alternative is a ratchet shifter but these can be annoying particularly if you want to skip a gear (often did for relaxed driving both in Fiero and Sunbird V-8).

For autocrossing, the fewer shifts the better. In the Sunbird I usually started in 2nd gear to avoid a shift 15 feet out of the gate and it only had a four speed "Muncie by Saginaw" (B-W 5 speed was not rated for the torque). Even so it had AWS at will - front with steering and rear with foot.

BTW considering reality, I would be very surprised if there is a production engine that puts out over 200hp. 300hp from a 2.4 is strictly for the race track and not on 87 PON with a 50,000 mile emissions warrenty.

Keep in mind that HP may determine the top speed but not how fast you will get there. For autocrossing what you want is a very broad and flat torque curve, something that variable valve timing can give you. Something else you get is greater tolerance for low octane gas than typical, and with a 3.50" bore (does anyone have the B/S of the 2.4, I could not find it but is probably the same long stroke as a 2.2 so increase is probably in piston diameter) VVT is probably a big piece of 10:1 compression since it has the ability to restrict flow at low rpm/high load. (optimization is not always for maximum flow).

As to the s/c version. First I should say that IMNSHO the place for supercharging is about 20,000 feet. That said it is very popular today and if the electronics can adjust for burn rate of the gasoline (what octane measures) then I would not be surprised to see the same engines used in the Chevvy Cobalt in the Solstice.

That means the 2.0 s/c engine, not a 2.4. EPA certification is expensive and the Solstice will be piggybacking on other car's certs whenever possible. You also do not need the complexity of DOHC for a s/c engine and boost tuning might take the place of the variable valve timing. Bottom line: particularly for autocrossing, I'd rather have the N/A engine & manual or paddle trans. Suspect the s/c might be available only with automatic.

One other thing to remember: the General never puts all of the goodies on the table at once. '65 Riv was what the '63 should have been. Fiero didn't get the V-6 til 85, the five speed til 86.

Even though Americans (and Europeans though they hide it) prefer automatics, the first cars will probably be all manual trans and the same color (remember the Judge ? Reatta ?), Resale Red outside and grey or saddle inside. Options limited to abs, a/c (might be standard) and sound. Possibly leather though GM cloth wears like iron, is cooler, and sticks to your pants better (serious autocrossers will install harnesses first thing - good harness can make 1/2 second difference in a run). Would like to see a Saf-T-Track option, would make up for the extra weight and make AWS easier.

There may be the reason for the suprisingly high weight: same EPA class as the Cobalt. Might also mean that there will be some easily unboltable but weighty items like the coctail shakers in a Corvair.

Just some thoughts.
 

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Just noticed something I had missed before - the 6-speed is an extra cost option for the GTO. If that carries through to the Solstice and the general follows through with past practice (boosted engines are not available with manual transmissions) then the likely intro is n/a 2.4 with five speed and s/c 2.0 (maybe 2.2 by then) with paddle automatic.

Has anyone driven the new GP with TAPshift ? How responsive is it ?

Something else I just noticed on the GP page is Electronic Throttle Control on boosted engines. This may be the answer to detonation. You see spark retard on knock is really a kudge, the problem is cylinder pressure, not spark advance and retard just makes the engine less efficient (hour-long introduction to combustion omitted).

Thirty years ago when compressions were lowered to tolerate unleaded/lower octane gas and help emissions there was a nut theory going around about a reverse cruise control that could limit cylinder pressure at low speeds by not letting the throttle open all the way. Ford tried something similar with variable vernturi carbs but got into troulble with choked (sonic) flow when velocity got too high.

Obviously in 1973 electronics were in their infancy so it never went very far but by limiting peak pressures at low engine speeds you could run low octane gas in a high compression engine. The secret was if you never droped under about 5" manifold pressure you cold run a 11:1 engine on regular.

With electronic throttle control, roll on/roll off could be controlled (which would help emissions and replace DFCO) and allow pulling back on the throttle slightly when detonation is sensed which is really better than spark retard. Could do the same thing on wheelspin. Would also allow a reduction in the injector shot without excessively lean excursions which would burp NOx. Staged response would also limit shock loads which trigger warrenty bills.

Now for autocrossing both TAPshift and ETC could be a blessing or a curse depending on how well the PCM program is developed. Will just have to see what happens when the flag drops.
 

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6speed is extra on the vettes, too.

TAP shift works fine. current gear is displayed on the HUD, a nice touch. but, id rather have batman paddles than two small buttons. its no different than reaching down and yanking the lever, tho.

i dont want ETC on any car i drive. no matter how well programmed, it'll be too intrusive. there are much better ways to kill knock than restricting air into the engine.
 

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Bizz said:


i dont want ETC on any car i drive. no matter how well programmed, it'll be too intrusive. there are much better ways to kill knock than restricting air into the engine.
:thumbs
 

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Well running the engine and charge temperature much cooler helps also. F-16 FBW (fly by wire) has always had ETC (well not by that name). Went full digital control in the 1982 AFTI demonstrator.

Fast way to reduce detonation is to chop the fuel but as mentioned an excessively lean mixture results in something the EPA and the engine does not like. Can have almost the same effect by going way rich or add water/alcohol injection to cool the charge but same-same. This is why we have spark retard instead. Worked in the 1970's and things that work are not often changed.

If the general decides to drop the throttle cable and put in a rheostat instead we will not have a choice other than a massive retrofit. Could give "parental control" a whole new meaning.

Nothwithstanding the cinema, real racing means no sudden moves. You load the susension before turning hard (can use late braking to do this) and slow hands are the rule. In autocrossing sometimes being fast demands gross overpowering to cause a controlled spin through a gate but that is the exception. A sudden cross lock means something is very wrong.

When driving really fast (there is driving that feels fast to most people, a region no one can drive in, and a brief very fast plateau where the driver is really just along for the ride. Everything that is going to happen *here* was decided *back there*. Not many people can consistantly stay on the plateau and then to an onlooker, it appears slow and the car just seems to float through the turns. Ever drive on ice ? That is what it feels like) any sudden move is reflected in the lap time.

However it might be nice to be able to switch to regular gas for long Interstate/high vaccuum cruising. Wonder if it would accomodate higher octane as well.

And for someone who knows how to reprogram the computer...
 
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