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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
All "previews" of the Solstice seem to mention the "close ratio Aisin 5 speed". The Chevrolet Colorado has an Aisin, but it's ratios are pretty wide and oddly spaced: 3.75, 2.26, 1.37, 1.00, 0.73.

So, what do you think "close ratio" means, or if GM were to allow you to pick your own gears, what would you want?
 

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All previews of every car with a manual transmission have "close ratio" #-speed transmission.

It's like fore/aft adjustable seats, or side windows that lower, or power steering and power brakes.

Google up "close ratio" and you get 58,000 pages of

The TR6 has a close ratio ...

The VW bug has a "close ratio"...

Heck, even the 84 fiero had a "close ratio" 4 speed manual trans...
 

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Yeah, its mostly just marketing speak. Likely GM will match the first 4 gears for decent acceleration, with the 5th being a highway overdrive gear.

Thats fine with me. I know there is a lot of rage lately on putting 6 speed manuals in sporty cars, but unless they are bolted to engines with very limited powerbands, they become overkill. If you have a good powerband, the extra shifting just becomes uneccessary work! I wouldn't want ratios too closely spaced for that reason.

A 5 speed for the Sol should be great!
 

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Many road race cars have 1st gears in the 1.8:1 range and a 5th gear of 1:1, with all the other gears falling in between. That's truly close ratio and unusable on the street because they are a bear to get moving and too close for wide powerband cars.

All close ratio refers to is the spacing between the gears, and yes as Formula says, too close is bad and results in too much shifting
 

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My sister had a '72 Corrona (like the beer) with a 1200cc engine and a two speed automatic! Was scary as Hell getting on the freeway! OK from zero to twenty, then is shifted into high and everything slowed down. Bet zero to sixty was close to twenty seconds! Got blown away in a drag race with a VW bus!
 

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Very well said

The quote below is very well said. The more you shift on most engines the poorer the overall performance. Thanks for a simple explaination to a costly choice.

Fformula88 said:
Yeah, its mostly just marketing speak. Likely GM will match the first 4 gears for decent acceleration, with the 5th being a highway overdrive gear.

Thats fine with me. I know there is a lot of rage lately on putting 6 speed manuals in sporty cars, but unless they are bolted to engines with very limited powerbands, they become overkill. If you have a good powerband, the extra shifting just becomes uneccessary work! I wouldn't want ratios too closely spaced for that reason.

A 5 speed for the Sol should be great!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
"Heck, even the 84 fiero had a "close ratio" 4 speed manual trans..."
Those ratios don't impress me, however, the '85 5 speed looks good.

"Likely GM will match the first 4 gears for decent acceleration..."
I hope so, but I feel that the 1st two gears will be selected to provide the best possible 0 to 60 times, 3rd will be stretched out for a good 1/4 mile time, 4th will be direct drive but the 3-4 spread won't concern the engineers, and 5th will be crazy tall to maximise the EPA highway estimate.

"...road race cars have 1st gears in the 1.8:1 range and a 5th gear of 1:1..."
Which is as irrelevant as NASCAR cam tuning.

For me, bad spacing between the gears is a no-go. I won't buy a car with a gearbox which demands a long pause in the 2-3 shift to drop rpms and requires either winding out 3 or shifting 3-4 rapidly. It doesn't feel right.

With luck, this sportster won't be boat-anchored by a truck box.
 

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I agree that even steps up through the first four gears can make a big difference in day to day drivablity.
"Heck, even the 84 fiero had a "close ratio" 4 speed manual trans..."
I guess that's different from the 4 speed in Grandpa's Pickup where first is so low that the engine was wound out at 10 MPH so you always started in second. First was called a "Stump Puller or Granny Gear". Think they started using the phrase, close ratio, in the mid sixties to differentiate between truck 4 speeds and sporty trannies. Eventially the phrase will go the way of "Balloon Tires". Strange though that no one anymore says "lock-up overdrive automatic transmission". Guess "Close Ratio" is only use to impress "Gear Heads". :smile
 

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"Which is as irrelevant as NASCAR cam tuning"

Not when the question is what is close ratio. If you knew what it meant, why did you ask?
 
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