Published at Tuesday, 14 April 2020. manual car. By Suzette Dubois.
One of the first things I was taught when learning how to drive a manual was to always let up on the gas pedal while shifting gears. That rule, however, doesn’t apply to the Cadillac ATS-V and its six-speed manual. The performance coupe’s no-lift shift feature lets you change gears without taking your foot off the gas, which avoids any power interruption from the car’s twin-turbocharged V-6 engine. The 2019 model year is the ATS-V’s last, and it’s unclear whether no-lift shifting will migrate to a future manual-transmission Cadillac. If you’re interested in this technology, a used ATS-V might be your best bet.
Not only do modern manual transmissions have smoother shifters that pair with more forgiving clutches, but many examples pack technologies designed to improve performance, boost efficiency and enhance the driving experience.
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.
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