Published at Saturday, 18 April 2020. manual car. By Melville Bourdin.
Cars need transmissions because of the physics of the gasoline engine. First, any engine has a redline — a maximum rpm value above which the engine cannot go without exploding. Second, if you have read How Horsepower Works, then you know that engines have narrow rpm ranges where horsepower and torque are at their maximum. For example, an engine might produce its maximum horsepower at 5,500 rpm. The transmission allows the gear ratio between the engine and the drive wheels to change as the car speeds up and slows down. You shift gears so the engine can stay below the redline and near the rpm band of its best performance.
Up shift indicators have been around for a long time, but such fuel-saving minders are the bane of enthusiasts who enjoy revving their car’s engine a bit. However, a different readout in modern manual-equipped cars — the gear-position indicator — is a bit more useful, especially as manuals have added forward gears in recent years. Like the previously mentioned 911, the Chevrolet Corvette offers a seven-speed manual with a gear-position indicator in its instrument panel. It’s a helpful reminder of the gear you’re in.
Porsche is one of the few high-performance automakers that still offers manual transmissions. But for the first time in years, Porsche has expanded the manual 911 variants to include the high-performance GT3. That’s big news for Porsche fans because the GT3 is one of the most potent and perhaps the purest models it sells. The GT3 packs a 4.0-liter flat six-cylinder in its tail that makes an even 500 hp way up at 8,350 rpm.
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