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I live in a crazy high traffic area also. It's better since the government outlawed most work, but still bad. I would get really tired of clutching for an hour and a half after work every day. Eventually, I'll have to drive that long again. Now it's an hour or slightly less.

Anyway, I've read that our cars are slightly faster with the slushbox, so from a Saturn Sky perspective, auto is quicker. I know most drag racers eventually went automatic for consistency. It can be setup to do exactly the same thing, every time.
 

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......
Anyway, I've read that our cars are slightly faster with the slushbox,
......
I think that most of that came from the early days because an NA redlines at 6800, which translates to 59.2 MPH in second gear. That means that it takes two shifts to run 0-60 MPH with a manual, making it "slower" than the auto.

You get a similar result with the RL, since you have a lower engine redline but a taller final drive.

Change the run to 0-55 MPH for either one and you get a different result.
 

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Ive driven...a LOT of different vehicles. Though i will agree "most" newer automatic transmissions will shift faster than "most" drivers can shift a manual trans...Your point is incorrect.
Anyone with any experience driving a stick will be able to shift faster than practically any automatic prior to the later 2000's. ive driven the automatic version of the car you described(the mercury, not the ford, but basically the same), and that trans would take a full second or even nearly 2 to engage when you floored it. It takes me a fraction of a second to shift in a manual.
113303


1997 Pontiac Grand Prix...auto...

1-2 shift time: 0.0026 seconds.
2-3 shift time: 0.0179 seconds.

I dare you to get anywhere near that in a manual. And for downshifts, 3-1 or 4-2 in around 0.02 seconds after you lifted of the gas and immediately depressed it to the floor again. I know these times because I logged and recorded them. The greatest driver of all time can't match these times in a traditional clutch and H-pattern stick manual trans.

If you drive in heavy traffic all the time I suggest you get an automatic. Otherwise get a stick.
Good suggestion though I drive in heavy traffic with a stick regularly.

Anyway, I've read that our cars are slightly faster with the slushbox,
I've generally seen it come down to shift time in the 1/4 mile. The better the manual driver is tough the smaller the gap becomes.
 

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I found out that a pressure shift works well when accelerating hard. If you apply the right amount of pressure on the shifter towards where you wish to shift, depressing the clutch will automatically release the gear shift to move into the intended gear.
 
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