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i have a 5 speed.. and ive never driven a car with the flappy paddle thingys (i am so hitech!) is teh SMT pretty fun to drive? can ya shift fast with it...

im just curious..
 

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i'd bet money on it that an experienced MT driver can shift faster than an SMT. however, there are those who think the SMT is as fast as a MT.

oh yeah, it IS FUN.
 

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Well, the biggest advantage to me would be the ability to brake with your left foot. I'd want to be able to clutch-in though. If it still had a clutch pedal, it would be badass.
 
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SMT is great if you're in traffic a lot....I used to have a stick shift before and I'd be sweating after a couple of hours in traffic. However, SMT is slower during upshift---it seems that when pushed hard, it pauses for about 1/2 a second before it decides to shift up, but down shifting is instantaneous.
 

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Yes, it is fun. Very different, but fun. I think the fact that the tech has made it to a car as inexpensive (relative to other cars that have SMGs) as the Spyder is neat - I originally was going to go traditional manual until I got a chance to drive an '02 with SMT. I placed an order for my '03 SMT shortly thereafter.
 

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I like my SMT. Downshifts are beyong flawless. Upshifts are 90% as fast provided you use the stick. They're a little slower with the buttons. They do have cruise control though.

Things that aren't as nice: Launching is basically impossible. I've done it before, but it's not really effective. Getting a turbo is a lot more of an ordeal because of special considerations for the SMT ECU. Getting a 2zz swap is not going to happen because of some clearance issues.

If I had to do over again, I'm not sure what I'd do.
 

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How can the upshifts be quicker with the stick rather than the paddles? aren't they just elecric switches? On or off? I've read before that some think the stick is faster. I'm not picking on you but doesn't seem possible with it being an electric switch shifting. (I don't have an SMT but have read a little on them)

Dave
 

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I agree that it doesn't make sense because it is fly by wire. But take a drive in one and tell me you don't feel it. There is no difference on downshifts though. Doesn't bother me much since I had a manual for so long that my hand naturally goes to the stick, but upshift with the buttons, and there is a noticable lurch.
 

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I'll co-sign Oilfield - the stick is *definitely* faster than using the buttons on upshifts.

I always use the stick as well, partially for this reason, and partially because it's just natural for me to reach for it still. I'll *occasionally* use the buttons, but not at all often.
 

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I guess since I own both I can offer something to this... It's true, the SMT shifts up slower than is possible with MT, but also, for daily driving the SMT is actually a little faster than my lazy shifts on the MT. I think part of the reason for my lazy shifts is that the Spyder's shifter is really clunky and notchy compared to other shifters. The Spyder is usually a two-step shift, from gear-to-neutral-to-gear, while every Honda I've driven is a one-step shift, it's a smooth movement from one gate to the next without a pause.

The SMT is a blast to drive around twisty roads. The downshifts are wonderful since it will do the heel-and-toe steps for you and you never have to worry about overreving your engine. It's safe, too, I know that I'll never misshift and blow up anything and if I try to downshift too soon then the SMT just beeps at me and stays in the same gear. Because it's easy to drive the SMT at the absolute limits of the engine, I can concentrate more on exploring the limits of grip and balance.

I've autocrossed both SMT and MT Spyders as well. There is little difference between the two for autocrossing because I usually don't shift out of second gear during the entire course. And launches certainly don't matter for autocross, you end up looking like a tool if you get excessive wheel spin at the start anyway.

I doubt that I personally could be much faster on the track with either transmission, I don't know, I have not taken either car to the track. That's a different story from autocrossing...

I am switching from SMT to MT because of the extra difficulties involved with modifying SMT's, so unfortunately, as much as I like the SMT I'm getting rid of it. It has its flaws (even after upgrading the SMT ECU, it is still relatively slow shifting and sometimes harsh), but probably worthwhile. Irregardless (without lack of regard), the only thing that is making my decision to move from one type of transmission to the other is the aftermarket modibility. If I weren't considering some major changes for the Spyder, I'd have a hard time picking between the two.

In the distant future my next sports car is likely to have a sequential transmission (again), I hear they are improving significantly - both faster and smoother (BMW's SMG II is generating a decent amount of buzz it seems).
 

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don't you think it just feels faster? I mean, hands on wheel, push a button, wait for the thing to work instead of move you arm, pull the lever, the switch activates, you still pull on the lever, in the mean time, the SMT have started to change, you release the lever, move back your arm to the wheel...

I never noticed any difference on my '03... :?

I used to think it was more efficient to ease a bit on the gas pedal when shifting (because it was doing something while the hydraulics were doing wonders!)...

we're talking about milliseconds here, not more...
I do think, if you have a stock MT and take care of it, you're not shifting quicker than a SMT. if you don't care about your care and/or have quickshifter, you may be a 10th of a second or two quicker...

about launch control... just think about the new BMW M5... the SMG II launch mode only allows you to do it when the car is ready. this means, in real life only one launch every 45 minutes or so. just because of the stress applied to all the mechanical parts...

the SMT option for the MR-S is about 2000$... compare to a F1 or e-gear on more expensive and sportier cars... around 10000$...

I, sometimes, on the wet, for fun, launch the SMT: pedal to the floor in neutral and in the same time switch to S... lots of wheelspin... on the dry, it's just lots of clutch smell


SMT is not for racing between traffic light, once it's understood, life with it is just great 8)

Originally posted by sanosan34
I doubt that I personally could be much faster on the track with either transmission, I don't know, I have not taken either car to the track.
I can remember a japanese video showing both around a track and, after a lap, the difference was only a 1/10th of second (for a lap around 1 minute 30 IIRC).
 

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Originally posted by dreambackup
I can remember a japanese video showing both around a track and, after a lap, the difference was only a 1/10th of second (for a lap around 1 minute 30 IIRC).
Note that the SMT was the updated model, which is a lot faster. I thought US didn't get this faster SMT, but I could be wrong and I'm sure someone will correct me 8)

Here's the vid you probably mean:
http://koti.mbnet.fi/temmeke/vids/mlk_f1_BestMotorJan03.mpg

Here's a vid about US SMT and manual on 1/4mile:
http://koti.mbnet.fi/temmeke/vids/Jared%20vs%20Willem.mpg
 

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I was courious about the percieved difference in shift spewed between the shifter and buttons. I've been around electric over hydralic controls before and can't see how one electrical switch is faster than another electrical switch. Thats why I put percieved in there. Thedifference in the lenghth of the wire would be negligable. It would have to be a different perception of speed of the shifting. The switch speed on an electrial switch would have to be the same.

Dave
 

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Originally posted by grumpy
I was courious about the percieved difference in shift spewed between the shifter and buttons.
Dave
I personally never noticed any performance difference between the lever and the buttons, but I didn't use the buttons much. There is a big disadvantage to using the buttons for most types of driving in my opinion - if you have to shift during autocross it's damn near impossible since you turn the steering wheel so much. Same thing with daily driving.

I think that to use the buttons effectively your thumb and finger need to constantly be touching them, you have to be too precise. I like using the lever because it doesn't move around on you!

Maybe it's good to use on the track since track driving hand positions dictate that your hands always stay at 9 and 3...
 

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I can't tell any difference in upshift times using either buttons or stick. And I doubt that there is any proof to the contrary, although it is something that is completely subjective. Everyone is going to have an opinion but no good proof. I've done numerous G-Tech runs to compare the differences between the two methods of shifting with no discernible nor positive results showing the one was faster than the other. I do believe that one may think the stick is faster due to the fact that there is more going on mentally throughout the shift process.
I've Auto-crossed the car a couple times and love the fact that both hands can remain on the wheel and left foot braking is a plus for me. Although I do use the stick for downshifts when your hand get into an awkward position going thru a corner.
 
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US models get same SMT as everyone else, so yes, they got newer software as well... Toyota used SMT experience to develop MMT transmission for Corolla which also has an automatic mode, unlike SMT, and according to some reports works very well with diesel engines...
 
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