2007 Sol NA (work in progress)
our kappas have a zf 5spd automatic.they have i-drive setting for twisties,lots of fun to be had.I grew up learning how to drive with manual transmissions. Had to pass a hill climb test on an old Datsun 510. The examiner would put a cigarette butt on the rear tires and tells me if it flattens, I fail everything. I saw so many young men and women left that slope in tears.
I would say 80% of my car ownerships have been manuals. Autos have their place and today our family hauler is an automatic. The ZF8 speed in our BMW is so efficient and fast that it will out shift most manual drivers and get back to laid back smooth shifting.
Alas, in the context posted by @wspohn, there's nothing like having a good manual sports car as a partner to hit the a set of sinewy countryside black ribbon. It's not about outright performance, it is about driving experience and connection. Mazda coins it "Jinba Ittai". I feel an automatic takes a significant aspect of that human/car interaction away. I still revel at the pleasure of heel 'n toe shifting at every chance I get. For a weekend pleasure vehicle I wouldn't consider automatics especially with the Kappa's 4-speed auto. Looking at used sports cars values, the manual versions usually command higher prices ie. Ferraris, 911s, M3 etc. I believe Porsche just came out with a commitment to keep producing manual versions of their 911s as their buyer demographics support it.
For me, this seemingly arcane form of driving is a proverbial middle finger to an era of sedentary cuckolded automotive society.
Well I hit a snag. The windshield wipers won’t come off. Took off cap and the nut, but wipers are really stuck.
As it turned out I didn't have any problems, just thought it would be better to learn one new thing at a time.I didn't have any trouble with driving in England with a stick...except the roundabouts which made me have to really think about where I was going and where I wanted to come out (nothing to do with which trans I had).
Country roundabouts were nothing compared to negotiating the circle at the Arc de Triomphe, a 12 lane traffic circle where cars entering the circle have the right-of-way and those in the circle must yield. Parisian drivers navigate the circle like a comet circling the sun — making a parabola. And they sense any hesitancy on the part of a tourist and take advantage of it with horns blaring, whether they are in the right or not. Turin at rush hour is supposed to be bad (every male driver seems to think their manhood depends on getting into a corner first) but it was nothing compared to Paris.
Strange, I have found that Italians tend to be pretty good drivers, and the secret to driving there seems to be to understand and practice the giving of way to faster drivers. Most of the Italians that i know that have driven here are terrified of the un-disciplined and relatively incompetent drivers that proliferate in the US.Problem is that every Italian man thinks their last name is Andretti and that POS Fiat they are driving is actually a Ferrari in disguise.
What the Kappa has 5spd automatics? The gear lever D4IL led me to believe it was 4spd slushbox. I've been duped! If I only knew back then I would've........ still pass.Umm, that would be a 5-speed automatic.
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There's 1-4 plus "D" for highway driving.
The Kappa autos are not by ZF. A bit of search indicates the automatic is a GM sourced unit. This 5L40E is used in CTS, SRX and STS to name a few. It's also found in BMW e46 and the Z3.our kappas have a zf 5spd automatic.they have i-drive setting for twisties,lots of fun to be had.
This is very true! Just went on the hunt for my second Sol at the beginning of the year.Kappa’s are 5 speed automatics! In year of manufacture the automatic kappas outsold the manuals. Therefore for the stick shifty enthusiasts find it harder to find available used cars.
I've driven in a Fiat Panda manual tranny around Tuscany. Despite driving the underpowered Panda, I even enjoyed rowing its limp wristed shifter while negotiating bends after bends. But driving in Florence during rush hour was a butt-clenching exercise. I think the key to driving is being assertive and not be afraid to use the horn. Their view of the horn is a communication device ("Hey I'm here!" or "Thank you") whereas in North America, it is usually denoted as aggressive or an invite to getting one's head blown off.I haven't driven in Paris, but Rome was pretty entertaining. Narrow streets with illegible signs that seem to date back to the Romans, and three cars plus a couple of scooters using a two-lane road. We ended up navigating out of the city with a compass insteadof a map.
Strange, I have found that Italians tend to be pretty good drivers, and the secret to driving there seems to be to understand and practice the giving of way to faster drivers. Most of the Italians that i know that have driven here are terrified of the un-disciplined and relatively incompetent drivers that proliferate in the US.
Same as me a 1938 Ford Ferguson tractor. 3 speed low for plowing. 2nd for running around in the field and 3rd for use on the road. Throttle was hand operatedI was driving tractors at about age 11 or so. My mom gave my first and only lesson. It lasted about 5 minutes, that is the clutch, put it in second gear, slowly let the clutch out and that is when she stepped of of the back and let me on my own. I did have 140 acers to practice on.
When it was time to get first cars for my kids they got manuals. They learned real quick and bought sticks for themselves later on.
When I bought my Firebird the best one I could find in my budget was an automatic. It got converted to a 5 speed.
I didn't even consider an auto when looking for my Solstice.
For me I just feel more like I'm one with the car with a manual. I have had rental cars with paddle shift. It is a little better than just putting it in drive but no where near a manual transmission.