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Oh, Michael, about the automated rev-matching with manuals, as long as it can be switched off, then I have no objection to it. If it couldn’t be turned off, I wouldn’t want it. Yes, one of the things I enjoy about driving with a manual ‘box is rev-matching — doing it myself. No auto ‘box of any kind could ever provide the enjoyment and satisfaction — for me and many on this thread — of a perfectly executed heel-toe downshift done entirely by my hands, feet, ears and head. I like driving the car, not the car driving the car.
 
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It's my guess that it seems that Michael either does not recognize the enjoyable visceral/manual interaction with a machine (although I think perhaps he does), or more likely it is just not important to him. So be it. For the rest of us who do enjoy the process and action of shifting a manual up and down through the gears, we favor the interaction involved with controlling the car through actual physical input of hands and feet, appreciating the direct connection, utilizing the skills acquired for those actions to be completed properly (?), the machine responding directly, for bettor or worse, lol. The automatic subtracts from that in my own driving.

IMO, and my own experience, just because something is newer doesn't necessarily make it better, just perhaps different and/or more complicated, with features which may just be answers to questions no one asked. Many examples of that all around us.

Lol, do I reject everything which is newer? No, of course not, but it does have to be useful to me, satisfying my preferences for functionality and/or enjoyment/fun content. Otherwise, no sale.
 

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Using airplane analogy to eliminate the car bias effect.

I'm in a fighter plane for real? I want the latest technology.

I'm flying for fun I want a biplane with the wind in the wires.

Like British fighter pilots in 1940 I want a Spitfire and not a Gloster Gladiator.

Sure, I want the leather helmet too, but not in a modern car. Don't need stringback driving gloves either, I expect a heated steering wheel.

The bit I'm not getting is why anyone would want a Giulia with an olden days transmission.

I do indeed understand manual gearboxes. The double clutch synchronized downshift I learned on my very first car, with a mostly shot second gear synchronizer and a three on the tree. Getting first gear on a downshift absolutely required a double clutch exact rev matching shift, not synchronized. My 1982 GTV would not engage first gear on a downshift without it, and second gear was iffy. My track experience in an Australian super V8 with a Corvette V8 and a six speed manual ( RHD to boot) included an admonition not to heel and toe nor double clutch the downshift. The synchronizers were invented to obviate the need for these amateur driver skills. Just select the gear and let in the clutch, on a race track you shouldn't even need to think about whether full throttle is required. Yes it is unless you're on the brakes.

But truly guys the Giulia is a 21st century masterpiece ( and truly gorgeous just incidentally, I followed a bright white Q4 just today in my supercharged manual shift BRZ, that's a Sophia Loren rear end, guys). The brake by wire is a bit unrefined (according to the Euro press, I had no fault to find but then I didn't drive the ceramic brake option). The electric power steering is a bit digital but pretty darned good. The ZF 8 spd transmission is now 6 year old technology and by far the best modern aspect of this car apart from the computerized driver aids: abs stability control and traction control, which incidentally you cannot switch off.

It all comes down to context. You just do not want a jet engine powering your biplane. Trust me on this point.
 

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Your analogy is ridiculous!!

Why is it that everyone who’s driven a new manual Giulia wants one?

For complete visceral experience we should be riding motorcycles (which I do off road), but since I don’t want to be temporary Australian on the road I drive manually controlled four wheeled vehicles.

I wish you would just give up with your consistent harping as Alfa/FCA will survive without us manual lovers.
 

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Michael, you acknowledge that the bit you’re not getting is why anyone would want a Giulia — 21st century car that it is — with an olden days transmission. It’s simply that we enjoy it. It doesn’t matter that it’s old tech, and it still works quite well. I like the “mechanicalness” of the car, and there can’t be much debate that the driver is more involved in operating the car when it has a gear lever and a clutch pedal. Whether one likes that, and how much it matters, obviously varies among people. There is no right or wrong when it comes to which someone prefers. It is, though, a crying shame to be denied the choice, even in a 21st century car.
 

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The bit I'm not getting is why anyone would want a Giulia with an olden days transmission.
I don't think you're trying to understand either.

When I first drove a Guilia I liked it quite a lot. The things that impress me the most are the feel of the car on turn in, the handling of the chassis, and I'm impressed with the performance they get out of a 2L. After I drove the QV I really wanted one, and started thinking about trading in my current sedan, a BMW 335 with a 6MT. After thinking about it critically, I've come to realize that one of the things that really makes that 335 enjoyable to drive is the manual transmission. Rowing the gears just brings me joy.

So yes, it makes sense to pair the latest technology in engine performance and suspension/chassis design with a manual transmission.

Today is day 872 of me NOT trading in my 6MT BMW on a brand new Guilia.
 

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I have thought about this particular issue a great deal over the years as automatic transmissions continued to improve. The advance made by ZF with their Mechatronic computerized transmission module first seen in their 6 spd version was the change that put automatics into the lead. Prior to that there were no automatics delivering as satisfying a drive as a well engineered manual (an important qualifier since a number of available manual transmissions were not good to drive either because of the clutch, the gearshift or both). A quick Google gets you this commentary from probably the best car magazine currently available, in English anyway:

https://www.evo.co.uk/reviews/17702/alfa-romeo-giulia-quadrifoglio-review-is-this-the-alfa-weve-all-been-waiting-for

I too refused to buy an automatic equipped car until 2008.

I understand what I look for in the engineering of any car. In 2008 the manual transmission ceased to offer any advantage over a ZF automatic. I still preferred manual shift to the DCT type. Now the DCT has also caught and surpassed the manual shift.

In addition to this issue there remains the problem of lack of demand perhaps adversely affecting the engineering of the most up to date manual gearboxes. I know Jaguar had problems with their decision to introduce a ZF 6 spd manual in the F Type for example.

Is the shift quality of the ZF manual transmission in the European Giulia actually any good? Does a heel and toe downshift even work well? The steering is essentially digital in that the actual movement of the rack is effected by a computer controlled electric motor. The steering wheel is merely an analog input device to the steering computer. The brake pedal is essentially digital, analog foot pressure converts to digitally controlled line pressure exerted by and controlled completely by the ABS system.

Indeed, it is more surprising that this purely electronic braking system is acceptable but an automatic transmission that can be controlled by the driver is not. All you are missing is the pedal activation of the clutch, which as I have pointed out is an on/off switch when the manual transmission car is driven correctly, apart from moving off from stationary.
 

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Electronic aides are just substitutes for the real thing, why can all the aides be switched off for those who want to do the job themselves, because some can do the job better!

Anyway ease up folks, here a substitute for the real thing: (for Electric cars)

 

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"All you are missing is the pedal activation of the clutch"

Oh no, it's much more than that, and the fact that you say that demonstrates to me at least that, perhaps, you do not get what we are talking about, the enjoyment of the total mechanical interaction of driving a manual transmission car, the hands on, mind active, process.

Lol, would you want an automatic horse to ride? Most likely not for sure. It's the interaction of the ride, the horse reacting to you, your physical and verbal input, and the feeling through your "seat of the pants" of this real time interaction, a bonding of movements and reactions between you and the "vehicle", so to speak. That's the interaction people really like about riding a horse, and sort of the same as the enjoyment we get interacting with the vehicle when driving our style of car.

You might be happiest with an automatic driverless car.

BTW, have to laugh, as I remember my mother mentioning one day that when as child she rode her horse to school or to town in North Dakota, she could just say home or town, nudge the horse to start in that direction, and the horse would take her there with no additional direction or interaction. A "driverless" vehicle! Maybe your kind of horse.

But, as usual, peace.
 

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Michael, you clearly don’t get why we prefer a manual. That’s fine, or rather it would be if you didn’t continuously tell us we’re flat out wrong (which you’re doing less now). You seem to favor technical ability over physical interaction with the car. If an automatic changes gear more efficiently, you prefer it.

I GREATLY prefer the feel of a good hydraulic steering rack to ANY electrically assisted system. If Alfa gave me the choice of having a straight hydraulic brake system — without the electronic interpretation — I’d be thrilled. As it is, I think it works well EXCEPT at low speeds, as you are nearly stopped. At that point, it starts varying the braking, which makes it almost impossible to come to a completely smooth stop. I HATE that.

But... you wonder why we’re not screaming about the EPAS and the electronic brakes like we are about wanting a manual ‘box. Here’s my theory: With the steering and the brakes, you do the same as before — you turn the steering wheel and you step on the brake pedal. The feel of those controls isn’t as good as it used to be, but you do the same thing. With the gearbox, what you do is very different. What you do with a manual gearbox is much more fun than the very best automatic there is. Or ever will be.
 

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Paddle shift means super fast gear changes, but you are not making them. No challenge or skill required.

Equates perfectly with buying a 500hp Alfa Romeo in automatic form. Sure it's faster than a manual gearbox equipped version, but if I was that worried about performance over enjoyment, while the heck buy the Alfa in the first place. So many other cars will be faster.

People buy Alfas because they are irrational purchases where driving pleasure comes first, not performance, and yet utterly ridiculously the stupid company has taken some of that away. They have in one stupid decision reduced their own cars marketability.

If they cannot understand that, they should not and do not deserve our continued support. So yes, Alfa Romeo do not make cars for Alfisti anymore. It's just a badge for FIAT to F with.
Pete
 

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They should have brought the manuals to the US, period. Maybe they will smarten up and make them available on all models. When they do, I will switch over. I agree with everyone here. Manual is really the only way to fully drive. Although this Zf is fun, it does not have that mechanical feel, such as knowing exactly where the clutch engages as though you can see the splines and clutch moving in your head. There is none of that with with that auto, I have to transfer that feeling to the steering wheel and my body with how the car feels. BBW and throttle by wire also eliminate the feel. At least with a Manual, you would still have most of the connection with the car and driving. I have to say I am still feeling connected just not complete. I do like the car but it does have it's flaws as all cars do. I will say it's great in stop and go traffic which most of us deal with on a daily basis. lol

I vote Alfa offers manuals. Otherwise I might have to go a different route at some point.
 

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Over on the giulia forum I think this guy makes a solid point.

"Manuals used to be for performance oriented people who wanted the control and better performance afforded but by the manual because the autos were power sapping and too dumb to know when and where to shift correctly all the time. Then semi-autos came out and put all those issues to rest by being faster than any human could shift and still giving you control. Motorsports, where nostalgia is often anathema and weakness, moved right into the semi-auto train. Now in modern cars where the automatics have gotten increasingly more effiecent, smart and fast all the performance advantages of manuals has evaporated essentially leaving nostalgia as the main reason to like he autos. Well maybe also the undefinable feel people like in them, I do too, but unless I’m buying a car as a weekend toy I don’t really want to live with a manual day to day either." ~JerryNY

I tend to agree for the most part but I would still get a manual if available over the auto for nostalgic reasons we all discussed. I will also say that the auto is great in traffic which is what I believe most of us drive in on a daily basis. Plus the fact that we are debating manuals with BBW/DBW systems seems off a little too. Like I said before, keep your analog cars if that is what you want because there won't be anymore of those unless Alfa becomes the company it use to be which is doubtful, it's all about selling cars now. The digital cars and thus this Giulia are still fantastic cars but nothing like analog. I can't say for others. Nice to have a new Alfa though. Now on to find a 105 giulia! ;)
 
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Over on the giulia forum I think this guy makes a solid point.

"Manuals used to be for performance oriented people who wanted the control and better performance afforded but by the manual because the autos were power sapping and too dumb to know when and where to shift correctly all the time. Then semi-autos came out and put all those issues to rest by being faster than any human could shift and still giving you control. Motorsports, where nostalgia is often anathema and weakness, moved right into the semi-auto train. Now in modern cars where the automatics have gotten increasingly more effiecent, smart and fast all the performance advantages of manuals has evaporated essentially leaving nostalgia as the main reason to like he autos. Well maybe also the undefinable feel people like in them, I do too, but unless I’m buying a car as a weekend toy I don’t really want to live with a manual day to day either." ~JerryNY

I tend to agree for the most part but I would still get a manual if available over the auto for nostalgic reasons we all discussed. I will also say that the auto is great in traffic which is what I believe most of us drive in on a daily basis. Plus the fact that we are debating manuals with BBW/DBW systems seems off a little too. Like I said before, keep your analog cars if that is what you want because there won't be anymore of those unless Alfa becomes the company it use to be which is doubtful, it's all about selling cars now. The digital cars and thus this Giulia are still fantastic cars but nothing like analog. I can't say for others. Nice to have a new Alfa though. Now on to find a 105 giulia! <img src="http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" />
It’s not just nostalgia. I was barely old enough to drive when the first food manumatics came out. I will drive manuals until the internal combustion engine is over.
 

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Not just nostalgia for me either. I live in the Metro NY area, so there’s no shortage of heavy traffic, sadly. I’d rather have the manual even for a daily (I’m speaking from lots of experience). Besides, it gives you something to do in traffic! I simply enjoy a manual more. Always.
 

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I agree with you both and I will repeat, keep your analog cars. May not be just nostalgia but it's a huge part of it. There is a part of all of us who grew up with manuals not to change, claiming there is no skill in automatics and not being one with a piece of metal. ;) All of this is true but that all said I still love manuals but the auto is a nice as well. I still grab the "stick" in this new giulia trying to shift and accidentally putting into N because this is all NEW to me too. I am still not familiar with all the electronics and so forth. I may have to give this car up soon for an oldie. ;) Drives me nuts but it's also neat and something I just need to learn. Nice thing is, you can have your cake and eat it too. You can own a manual analog and auto digital car. :p
 

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Over on the giulia forum I think this guy makes a solid point.

"Manuals used to be for performance oriented people who wanted the control and better performance afforded but by the manual because the autos were power sapping and too dumb to know when and where to shift correctly all the time. Then semi-autos came out and put all those issues to rest by being faster than any human could shift and still giving you control. Motorsports, where nostalgia is often anathema and weakness, moved right into the semi-auto train...
We're not talking about motorsports. Ultimate performance has no bearing on a street car; unless you're one of those ****s that does 40 rolls on the highway.

What's important is all the little things that make your grocery getter more fun to drive on a daily basis. For many of us having a manual transmission is a significant one.

For what it's worth, my favorite car to drive on the track has a DCT so I "get" the performance side of it. My daily drivers have manuals, which makes mundane driving much more engaging.
 
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