Join Date: Sep 2007
Apparently the manual is desired for the QV with the Ferrari V6 version. Otherwise the four cylinder is automatic only unless it's a diesel, which is odd since the automatic is ideal for the diesel. Alfa fits the ZF 53 because of the diesel heavy torque load. This is a very old manual gearbox also found on BMW. Jaguar made do with the lower spec version and technically so could Alfa for the Ferrari V6 version. The heavier manual is only about 6 kg lighter than the ZF 8 spd automatic if you include the weight of the clutch. 175 lbs plus at least 12 lbs for the clutch and all it's controls against 189 lbs for the ZF automatic. Just incidentally the ZF 6 spd manual is a drop in fit for the ZF 8 spd automatic as the boltholes and total length are identical.
I forgot to mention the torque vectoring computer controlled lsd on the Giulia QV. To get an analogue mechanical lsd you have to get the four cylinder. Another interference with that Kansei sensation Mazda introduced to our lexicon (a passing reference to horse riding, which I confess I do not understand at all).
The ZF automatic has a wet plate friction clutch which is activated with the paddle or gear selector to operate concurrently with and automatically during the gearshift. You can easily sense this clutch operating, it's what gives the paddle shift the direct feel of a manual shift. How far you have to move the lever to select the desired gear seems a small thing to deliver the vital sensory experience described in this thread. The ZF automatic in full manual mode delivers the same sequential manually controlled shift as a manual shift motorcycle transmission or, for the lucky few with money to burn, a mechanical sequential transmission such as the FIAT 500 or Ariel Atom can deliver in the correct very expensive specification.
Incidentally, Mercedes builds a planetary automatic with no torque converter using a dry plate version of the computer controlled lock up friction clutch to disconnect and reconnect the gearbox to the engine during a ratio change.
To be clear, I am fully familiar with the experience of driving a manual shift car. Until 2008 I drove nothing else unless forced to by a car rental agency (European car rental companies are rightly sceptical about renting a manual car to anyone speaking with a North American English accent). The ZF6 in my Jaguar XF converted me away from manual shift in any modern high performance car. Heck even modern econoboxes are fun to drive with the latest automatics. The final nail in that coffin was delivered by a McLaren MC12 which is offered exclusively with their excellent DCT.
When Porsche put rev matching on their manual shift GT3 the game was finally up.
1991 Alfa Romeo 164L 5 spd
White on grey leather 230K km, owned from new
Last edited by Michael Smith; 04-09-2019 at 07:38 AM.