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Some background:
Over the past fifty years all my various sports cars have had manual transmissions, except for a Jaguar XKR which was available only as an automatic. I also had a Sebring with a true auto-stick in which any gear could be selected and then shifted by moving the stick sideward in opposite directions. Some of my sedans and SUVs have had paddle-shifters, which to my surprise, the Sky does not!

Now my question:
How "manual" is the automatic transmission? In addition to placing the shifter in Drive and having a fully automatic transmission, can one place the shifter in first/low and then move the shifter up/down to select each gear, and how quickly does the transmission shift?

ajn
 

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Some background:
Over the past fifty years all my various sports cars have had manual transmissions, except for a Jaguar XKR which was available only as an automatic. I also had a Sebring with a true auto-stick in which any gear could be selected and then shifted by moving the stick sideward in opposite directions. Some of my sedans and SUVs have had paddle-shifters, which to my surprise, the Sky does not!

Now my question:
How "manual" is the automatic transmission? In addition to placing the shifter in Drive and having a fully automatic transmission, can one place the shifter in first/low and then move the shifter up/down to select each gear, and how quickly does the transmission shift?

ajn
The Sky's automatic transmission does not have any provision for manual shifting, and no one that I am aware of has installed paddle or other manual shifting capabiliy.

The "I" psition on the shifter is reported to be very good for spirited driving, but it is still fully automatic.
 

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I sold my manual transmission Sky last year, but to give you an anecdote, earlier this year I bought a Saab 9-3 Aero estate automatic because we needed more space for our dogs and I absolutely love the 9-3 Aero manual that I've had for years. The estate was very lightly used, from a private sale, and was offered at a great price. I thought to myself, like you, "how bad could driving an automatic be?" and let me tell you, it's absolutely awful.

This car even has the stupid paddle shifters, but they're honestly totally pointless, the shifts are slow and the gear ratios are still that of an automatic. Of course, the biggest problem is that with the torque converter it feels like you are always accelerating through mush and there is dramatically reduced throttle response, so it doesn't matter if you're manually selecting gears or not.

If you're used to driving manual and you buy an automatic Sky, you're going to absolutely hate it. Automatics are garbage, I don't understand why they even exist. (Sorry automatic drivers, it's true.)

When you do find the manual Sky, I can definitely recommend you get the DDMWorks short throw shifter. It really improved the shift feel, the stock linkage isn't too great.
 

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... Automatics are garbage, I don't understand why they even exist. (Sorry automatic drivers, it's true.)...
Because US drivers are lazy, simple. And that dictates the demand. Very, very few cars are available with a manual transmission anymore here stateside, even the imports. My older brother to this day has no idea how to drive a manual car nor cares to learn because he doesn't have to.

But since the US market has a large impact on vehicle manufacturers, even countries that didn't commonly have automatic vehicles are now becoming more common. Automatics just broke the 50% barrier last year of new car sales in the UK with 54%. However, autos aren't what they used to be even 10-15 years ago. Modern autos have made significant advances in technology. Most autos are now as good or better than their manual counterparts. Autos can now achieve 100 percent torque conversion through increased gear ratios, electronic controls, and lock-up torque converters.
Many come with 8 to 10 gears or CVT, which allows the engine to efficiently operate around a 1500 RPM at all speeds. Plus the system interfaces with engine controls more accurately than human drivers can tell when a transmission needs to shift. This is why autos almost always are slightly faster when accelerating than a manual in the same vehicle. A computer can simply make adjustments at the exact parameters faster than a human can react.
 

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While I won't refute any of your points, I just read it as "finishing first in the bedroom is better." 😉

New automatics might shift faster, accelerate faster, return better fuel economy. But they're still garbage as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't have another one if you gave it to me for free.
 

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While I won't refute any of your points, I just read it as "finishing first in the bedroom is better." 😉

New automatics might shift faster, accelerate faster, return better fuel economy. But they're still garbage as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't have another one if you gave it to me for free.
There is always someone ..... 🙄
 

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As I advance in age... I'm thinking that my dream GXP Coupe will have an automatic transmission. Think of the money that I will save!
 

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LOL

There are two reasons that automatics are preferred by manufacturers.
1) pollution controls. The on board systems can control how the car is operated to a great extent and do a much better job at operating it in low emission modes most of the time. It’s all about lowering fleet emissions so they can continue to produce higher power cars and still meet the federal governments mandates.
2) reducing the cost of warranty repairs. Again, when the manufacturer controls the way that power is delivered, they can ensure that no parts of the drivetrain are over stressed leading to costly repairs. They reduce their budget for warranty service significantly when they take the human foot off a manual clutch and control the shift points.

The above also is why you can’t buy a pickup truck with a manual transmission. One of the contributing factors to the higher load carrying capabilities of modern trucks is the automatic transmission greatly reduces the shock loads that are routinely experienced by manual transmission trucks.

Before about 1990 the reason to buy a manual was better mileage. After that period, as stated above the efficiency of slush boxes had reached and then surpassed the manual transmission. Also, in city driving, having to constantly stir the transmission and cycle the clutch was replaced with a more driver friendly point and drive style.

Automatic transmissions are here to stay and will continue to gain market share.
 

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Here is my personal evaluation of the manual versus automatic in the Kappa.

For reference, I was "into" the C5 Corvette between 2002 and 2013. I really liked the auto trans in that car because it's behaviors seemed just right working well with the power band and 50/50 weight distribution. Placing the trans in the back likely played a key role with that car.

My first Kappa experience was a 2007 GXP with a manual trans. It felt good, gear ratios and such.

My second Kappa experience was a 2008 GXP with an auto trans which compared to the C5 Corvette, a job well done by GM.

I had the opportunity to drive a base Solstice with an auto trans. The salesman was in the car with me so there was roughly 350 pounds of flesh in the car. I was very disappointed, the car lacking much with the driving experience. It felt like a basic commuter car.

Today I own a 2007 base with manual trans. I feel the manual trans is ideal for the base Kappa. Like the 2007 GXP with manual, it feels good, even with roughly 300 pounds of flesh in the car (my wife and me combined).

So I feel a GXP/RedLine turbo is great with either transmission, but the base definitely needs the manual trans to offer a "driving experience".

I also feel the driving experience with any Kappa is all about having the top put away. I really don't like driving the car with the top set up. I consider our base Sky a motorcycle with 4 wheels and a mountain of extra safety features and creature comforts.

Because of how I feel with the top set up, I really am not attracted to the Solstice coupe.
 

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I agree the Kappa like the Miata, S2000, Z4, Boxster is great with manuals. It's the joy of symbiotic automotive experience. I never even bothered looking at automatic Kappas regardless of condition. It's just an automatic hard pass! See how I did that? :ROFLMAO:
 

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No doubt! But those are really rare for me and I have other vehicles for such times.
There's a visceral satisfaction with rowing the gear lever through its gate in synchronization with my feet movement on the pedals as the car carves through the black ribbon of tarmac. It's a great feeling. No pedal shifter, automatic, DCT etc can ever replicate that.

Nothing wrong with folks driving automatics. Different strokes for different folks.
 
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