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"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".

Exactly. My 1991 164S has been my enjoyable DD to the store among other locations since 1994. Just more fun than driving an appliance such as a Toyota Camry, lol.
 

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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.
I understand that. Yes on those ****s! I agree with you 100%. For me the manual is choice. The giulia for me is not mundane at all. But that's my own opinion which means squat. If anyone here cannot have fun driving to the grocery store in this thing then don't buy one (yes it is clear your not). Plain and simple. No point in debating a car that none of you own that has no manual that you want? lol Even if it did, as mentioned we are debating a car with BBW and DBW that should have a manual. If Alfa were smart they'd offer a limited edition with manuals for those who want one. You know, the automatic is great though, you can mess with the infotainment system more without too much distraction playing your digital MP3 music! hahaha Oh and btw a lot of the industry does look at motorsports for mainstream production hence the use of this transmission and paddle shifters, BBW and DBW which was all used in motorsports.

I suppose with new technology we need to re-learn to drive. Lucky for the guys who learned to drive a manual (myself included) we have to learn to drive this kind of vehicle because at some point there will be no option for anything else...maybe...!? I suppose this is a "different" skill if that is the right word? I want a manual but there is none to be had unless I figure a way later to install one from a EU car.

I want hydraulic brakes as well and drive by actual wire but that's impossible too. I also want a CD player in my car because all the electronics are too much for me but that's not doable either. So what to do? Buy a older car. But I also want a new car. Dilemma city! My 164 for example had all that. But that was not the car to take the family on a long trip anymore in my opinion (becoming more unreliable) and had confidence to make it there and back without something to repair. I got tired of that.

So a car that is solid with a warranty and unfortunately without a manual is not the end of the world but hey it has an Alfa logo on it. I also enjoy driving it. More time with the car the more I learn how to drive this type of car.

I think there will always be folks who think new alfa's since the 164 are not alfa's. Maybe so. But is that not nostalgia in many ways? Anyway, that's all I have to say about it.
 

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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.
 

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...debating a car with BBW and DBW...
The BBW and DBW should be seamless to the driver and function the same as if they were manual. The BBW on the Guilia does need some work in that area.

I think the DBW (probably more accurate to say throttle by wire) on the Multiair engines is pretty interesting. It uses a combination of the throttle plate and variable valve lift to control how much air is available to the engine. The system works fairly seamlessly to the driver with the position of the accelerator determining the percentage of airflow to the engine just like a manual throttle would. I've also driven some pretty terrible throttle by wire cars, so not all systems are equal.
 

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So the conslusion is that sporty drivers prefer the manual, those who dont care about sporty driving they prefer Automatic.

Thats how it always have been, nothing new!

When I am going to Nürburgring I would drive a manual, and when driving in big cities and grid lock I would have Automatic. That simple! Need two cars.
 

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The BBW and DBW should be seamless to the driver and function the same as if they were manual. The BBW on the Guilia does need some work in that area.

I think the DBW (probably more accurate to say throttle by wire) on the Multiair engines is pretty interesting. It uses a combination of the throttle plate and variable valve lift to control how much air is available to the engine. The system works fairly seamlessly to the driver with the position of the accelerator determining the percentage of airflow to the engine just like a manual throttle would. I've also driven some pretty terrible throttle by wire cars, so not all systems are equal.
The multi air is even more interesting than one might think. FIAT is very close to the holy grail of reciprocating engines: completely variable valve timing and lift with one cam profile. It combines the fixed cam profile with a very special development of hydraulic lifters. Those latter trickster devices were originally intended to quell valve noise and eliminate valve clearance adjustments during the life of the engine FIAT Powertrain engineers realized the oil pressure in the adjustable piston could be exploited to in effect float the valve lifter on an oil cushion of variable height to add to the cam profile. Astoundingly clever and works as quickly as the steel cam does directly, unlike pneumatic actuation.

As for manually shifted gearboxes using a foot pedal clutch you do indeed benefit from having two cars these days if you still like to push that third pedal. One with and one without.

It is a shame that anyone might refrain from buying the new Giulia because it offers no manual transmission. Even on the 'ring it is an astonishingly capable car even with the automatic.
 

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Michael, Jaguar uses even the more advanced version of Multiair. JLR purchased Uniair technology from Schaeffler and made it more technically advanced.

P.S. Multiair 2 allows to keep intake valves closed during the accelerator pedal off mode.
Multiair 3 switches the engine to Miller cycle under some conditions.

As I know the main restriction of the FCA Multiair is an exhaust camshaft which works not only as an oil pump for the Multiair but has also intake cams that restrict the lift of the intake valves. Another problem, the system does not work with the revs over 7500 rpm.
 

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More distressing than the passing of a manual shift clutch pedal is the significant change in the character of the engine caused by two developments: direct fuel injection and turbocharging.

Driving my aging 164 today reminded me of one significant area of appeal: the "springiness" of the engine response. More modern engines have lost that endearing character.

No doubt both Giulia engines are masterpieces of their type but something endearing has been lost forever in the way engines used to gain rpm.
 

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Wait. A. Minute. Was that Michael appreciating the appeal of something less perfect??? ?
 
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Wait. A. Minute. Was that Michael appreciating the appeal of something less perfect??? ?
Definitely. In the real world perfect is always relative.

Perfect for what is also an important question.

Officially my 164 is now for sale as surplus to requirements. However, I haven't got around to advertising this fact to the public at large. It's a manual shift and it is possible the clutch will go before the t belt. Getting the burnt toast aroma when driving con brio, but that could just be the brakes of course.

The 12 valve Busso V6 remains one of the all time great petrol engines, I've owned two cars powered by this engine: 1982 GTV6 (also a manual shift) and my current 164. I still love driving my 164.

The new Giulia is tempting but I currently daily drive a Jaguar XF 3.0 supercharged with the ZF 8 spd automatic. My "second car" is a manual shift Subaru BRZ that somehow acquired an Edelbrock supercharger (same size as the one on my 3.0 litre Jaguar engine!!!). That's a manual shift but it has a truly awful clutch as several Japanese engineered cars do. That's a bit weird because the Japanese build really good manual transmissions and then install poorly actuated clutches. The automatic BRZ would drive better if only Toyota had permitted their excellent 8 spd to be properly modified for this application. Instead they just took out two gear ratios and left the transmission with far too tall gearing for the remaining 6 ratios. Weird.

We were very tempted by the Giulia TI but it is so much bigger than the 164 when you consider interior room relative to exterior dimensions. That's the unpleasant legacy of cars engineered for crashing rather than for driving. That development is by far the biggest single enemy of the car intended for serious driving pleasure and the trend is ever downwards. The EU just announced they are looking into automatic and universal speed control. Software that will be required in every new car sold preventing it from ever exceeding the posted limit. If so, the limits won't need to be posted as the maximum permitted speed can simply be pre-programmed into the GPS based car controller. Similar systems are already in place as part of "smart" cruise control.

Kind of puts this automatic v manual conversation into a whole new light don't it?
 

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Kind of puts this automatic v manual conversation into a whole new light don't it?
Yes of course, but thats only the start of it. Combustion engine cars are going to disappear from the industrialized world, replaced by electric cars. Here already the share of electric cars in our capital city is 14% and most of even the smallest combustion engine cars have Automatics. So nobody of regular car buyers actually cares about the manual car any longer. I dont think we will see Electric cars with manual shift either!

What this means for Alfa is that their new and wonderful Giulia is already obsolete and they have to develop hybrid and electric versions. A 5-700Hp Electric Giulia here for the price of half of the price of the 500Hp petrol version would be a hit here, but I dont see it coming! :)

Anyway I see this debate here as a bit of nostalgia for the manual shift and the pleasure of driving it still, just before it will disappear altogether.
 

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Electric cars in Norway are evidently popular now because of the really great purchase incentives and other perks, etc. Don't know if it can be sustained, according to the WSJ among other news sources.

Our Norwegian exchange student learned to drive here on an automatic, and poopooed my stick shift cars. However, after she got her Norwegian license and first car, she could only afford a stick shift, automatics being pretty expensive in comparison, and then she emailed us to say that the stick was much more fun, didn't know how anyone would want to drive the boring automatics, lol.

When we drove in Norway a couple of times, we decided that in general, they were not the most skilled drivers, the allowable speeds, policing, etc, being such that we concluded that little skill was actually learned, regardless of the licensing requirements, such as learning to drive in the winter.

In the US anyway, there will always be a group of owners/drivers who will opt for manual transmissions, the population being large enough, as compared to say Norway, ie, not all that uniform, to allow that.
 

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Yes its so that if you take your drivers License in an Automatic you can then only drive Automatics. If you take license in a manual you can drive both types.

Also the government here wants a green change to zero emission cars and finances the loss of taxes from electric and hybrid cars, so for electric cars there is no VAT and import tax, also no road toll. This is an arrangement allowed by EU for a couple of more years. After that they have to increase the taxes again, but the low price for the electric cars is financed by the taxes for the combustion engine cars.

So anyway manufacturers will not be able to sell new coumbustion engine cars from latest 2030 but possible as early as 2025 as some want! So there is as strong incentive here to buy electric cars because they are only subsidised for a couple more years and also soon the combustion cars will not be allowed any more! Things happen fast here!
 

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Transmission makers like ZF already have market ready automatics with hybrid drive included as part of the lockup clutch and torque converter function. The multi purpose electric motor/generator replaces those two components. This is a drop in transmission taking up exactly the same space as the current versions. In theory this device can also replace the foot operated clutch in a manual shift transmission, except of course as everybody contributing to this thread now understands, there are no customers for a manual shift car without a proper clutch pedal. Oh the irony of that!
 

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Discussion Starter #715
As a human race we are proceeding down the road of ‘Dumbification’.....

My view is that if all cars were powered by the latest generation of petrol engines (manual and auto) and deleting diesel engines completely we would remain environmentally viable in the future. It appears that people seem to forget where their electricity comes from! In Australia, the main bulk of our electricity is generated from coal burning power stations and there is no renewables that can match their output and by increasing the demand for electricity in the future will only exacerbate the problem.

Note that we always need to consider the end source of our power supply.

Now if we all went nuclear, which is the most efficient producer of Bulk electricity, then electric cars would be the viable option.

Now back to my original thread point......Manuals Forever ��
 

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Instead of pushing cars, public transport is the go.

The concept of sitting in a traffic jam in an electric or petrol car, self driven or not, is equally horrid. Lets finally accept that the world's human population has reached a level where personal car ownership is causing more problems than benefits. Every bus or train carriage takes ~40 cars off the road, if not more AND there is equally significant environmental/energy use benefits. Car manufacturers should move to making buses, as yes we need that work force to doing something to earn a wage ... otherwise the right will want them quietly got rid of, or the left will have to pay more taxes for them.

The car is a luxury of past times when we had half the population. Since we spend (IMO waste) way tooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much money finding different ways to have children, instead of investing in the children that have already been born, our population problem is not going to go away.

Interesting times
Pete
 

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Michael, I saw the Euro government-control-of-new-car-speed news. I’m sure some politicians will propose the same in the US, probably in a minute or two. Hopefully, in the US (and elsewhere), there will be a widespread and loud repudiation of such horrifying and massive governmental control over freedom and our lives. I will NEVER buy such a car. NEVER.
 
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Electric cars are nowhere and cannot compete with petrol in the foreseeable future. The factor to watch, as always, is government interference in your life.

Without very aggressive subsidization, massive penalties on petroleum fuel or outright bans no electric car can compete with petrol for convenience and cost.

Market penetration by electric power is tiny. Without subsidies or other regulatory advantages market penetration is negative: without cost subsidy of some sort even people who like EV sell them.

Hybrid power of the sort I describe solves 99% of the perceived problems with petrol power at very low cost.

Ever more restrictive regulation of your freedom to drive is the problem. Note that manual transmissions were not banned or regulated out of existence or even cost penalized....except for one very insidious factor: CO2 restrictions. It is the computer control of automatics which gives that gearbox the edge over manual shift cars, but only on the official cycles. Like turbo engines nobody actually drives these cars in that manner but the insidious subsidy effect of emissions regulations discriminates against the manual shift. Car makers need a high proportion of automatics to meet these ever more restrictive CO2 regulations. That's the number one negative pressure on availability of manual transmissions: the fact that they are controlled by unpredictable and irrational drivers rather than nice predictable computers.
 

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Electric cars are nowhere and cannot compete with petrol in the foreseeable future. The factor to watch, as always, is government interference in your life.

Without very aggressive subsidization, massive penalties on petroleum fuel or outright bans no electric car can compete with petrol for convenience and cost.

Market penetration by electric power is tiny. Without subsidies or other regulatory advantages market penetration is negative: without cost subsidy of some sort even people who like EV sell them.

Hybrid power of the sort I describe solves 99% of the perceived problems with petrol power at very low cost.

Ever more restrictive regulation of your freedom to drive is the problem. Note that manual transmissions were not banned or regulated out of existence or even cost penalized....except for one very insidious factor: CO2 restrictions. It is the computer control of automatics which gives that gearbox the edge over manual shift cars, but only on the official cycles. Like turbo engines nobody actually drives these cars in that manner but the insidious subsidy effect of emissions regulations discriminates against the manual shift. Car makers need a high proportion of automatics to meet these ever more restrictive CO2 regulations. That's the number one negative pressure on availability of manual transmissions: the fact that they are controlled by unpredictable and irrational drivers rather than nice predictable computers.
What happens in Europe is a big factor because we are are a continent. And big work is going on in direction electric and hybrid. When future solutions are shown here to work, US and rest of the world will follow by legislation. Electric and hybrid cars will be a big factor in reducing pollution, so only outback will need to use the combustion engine.
 

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@Skechl Well said.
 
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