Question of the Day: Dual-Clutch Flappy Paddles or a Good Stick?

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
question of the day dual clutch flappy paddles or a good stick

Everyday it seems more and more manufacturers are turning to DSG-style solutions for cog-swapping. Just yesterday Farago reported that Porsche is finally getting into the dual-clutch game (and seeing as how they pioneered the technology back in the day, why not?) But, why? Automatic transmissions make most of the people happy most of the time. However, if "performance" is the second, third or even fourth metric you consider when purchasing a car, slushboxes suck. By giving the people the means to shift for themselves, a bit of that suckage is mitigated. Up until the semi-widespread adoption of dual-clutch systems, manumatics have always been a major let down. Clutchless manuals have been even worse (I'm looking at you, Maserati). Both Farago and Berkowitz have been unrepentant in their love of Volkswagen's DSG solution, yet I still think it pales in comparison to a stick and a clutch. It's fast, sure, but where's the feel? Where's the art? Plus, I didn't spend years perfecting heel-and-toe downshifts for nothing, did I? Anyhow, what do you think?

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  • Bytor Bytor on Apr 24, 2008

    Ultimately electric drive is the future. Soon the transmission will be obsolete so the Flappy Paddles may not even outlive the manual. My goal is to have no transmission at all, if it isn't manual. But I figure I have another 10-20 years of manual shift cars. Eventually my main vehicle will likely be electric drive, but I will keep an old manual for Sunday drives and scaring the youngsters. :-)

  • LUNDQIK LUNDQIK on Apr 25, 2008

    Thankfully I have the advantage of two vehicles: one an auto and one a manual. The 2nd car is the first auto I’ve ever owned and I have to admit it is nice to relax and drive it some days. But for the most part I’ll always have a manual and given the choice between the two I’ll opt to go with the 3rd pedal. I need to be in control of the shift points and I do like to skip gears. Hell who am I kidding, it’s just more fun.

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Apr 25, 2008
    konaforever : April 24th, 2008 at 12:46 am I swear. This is fighting a losing battle. DSG/DCT doesn’t have a D or 1, 2, 3. It has the same gearing as a manual, except there is no clutch pedal. There is an automated clutch. Doesn’t anyone know the difference between a DSG transmission and automatic with the ability to change gears? Sorry, I really shouldn't have commented before actually trying one. I thought you simply told the DSG when to shift; I didn't know you had a conventional stick shift with it. I assumed it was like an F1 or Ferrari transmission. Now I'm curious. I've got to try one of these things! How fast can you move the stick from one gear to another? Does it ever grind if you do it really quickly or really slowly? EDIT: The Audi TT 2.0T with DSG shown in the picture I'm looking at (C/D June 07) has a shifter that definitely does not directly mechanically shift the gears inside the transmission. It looks like it only has up or down. It seems like this transmission could be programmed to shift gears without my input if I wanted to use it like a conventional automatic. It also looks like there are paddles on the steering wheel, which would confirm that the gear shifting is not actually physically done by the driver. Can someone clarify how this transmission actually works for me? It still seems like the act of shifting it yourself would be similar to shifting through the gears of a conventional automatic (but without the torque converter mushiness), contrary to what konaforever is telling me.
  • Zeitgeist Zeitgeist on Apr 29, 2008

    Anything without a clutch.