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9spd vs 8spd

Wlepse

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NNJ
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2018 Regal TourX Essence
I've driven manual trans, I know how to drive a manual trans, but I'm not one of those guys who things EVERYTHING needs a manual. (I do however lament the death of manual transmissions on pickup trucks, true sports cars, and the DCT replacing them in places you'd usually find one.)

Driving the TourX a few days ago, basically after 5 months of ownership, I feel as if it would be improved by one and for me the current console and armrest are set up perfectly for one.
I am somewhat opposite of that. In sports cars the new dual clutches are pretty damn good at providing fast shifts and you feel the torque available. It is cars like this and other cheaper cars where I miss the direct connection with the engine. When lower powered cars are coupled through a traditional auto you lose that feel of power. This car it rated to have more torque than my tuned Audi but on the road it feels like less. Even comparing it to the tuned Subaru which would have been comparable torque numbers (manual vs auto) there is a big difference.

So while I like the sports cars with dual clutch setups, I think the less power you have the more you need that direct connection.
 

GermyShoe

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Richardson, TX
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Regal TourX
I was 28 before I bought a daily driver that WASN'T manual transmission. Have only had one Manual since, a G35, but mostly due to the fact that you can't really find them anymore. Also, my wife can't drive one and she needs to drive my car from time to time.
 

mike69440

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I was 28 before I bought a daily driver that WASN'T manual transmission. Have only had one Manual since, a G35, but mostly due to the fact that you can't really find them anymore. Also, my wife can't drive one and she needs to drive my car from time to time.
Can't or will not learn? My wife can run a backhoe.
 

PrincipalDan

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2018 Regal TourX
Hmmmmm my wife taught me to drive a manual transmission. She had a manual transmission Vibe when we met and wanted to be able to share the driving duties. I was 32 and she was 25 at the time.

My Dad had access to lots of manual trans vehicles (mostly farm type stake trucks etc) but was always too busy to teach me.
 

jclin4

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Regal TourX
My wife can drive a manual but she prefers automatics. Her Mazda3 automatic makes the exact same gear selections and timing I would make if it were a manual...it’s uncanny.

I passed my manual Volvo C30 on to my daughter. Had to teach her how to drive a manual this summer. I think it took a few years off my life but now she says she loves it.
 

Jack GS

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Metro Detroit
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2019 Regal GS
...Off-throttle the torque converter maintains pressure to give a stronger feeling of engine braking...
This was the first driving characteristic I noticed about the car. In my old car I would coast a lot (approaching a red light, down a hill, etc.). Since the 9-speed in the GS is insistent on engine braking upon letting off the accelerator, I tend to coast a lot less. I kinda just assumed it was inefficiency in the driveline.

It's taking me some time to get used to it. I could manually shift up if I wanted to coast but that's a bit more involved than it should be. I think I would prefer the free-wheeling nature of the 8-speed for regular day to day driving.

The engine braking certainly isn't helping fuel economy and there are no battery packs to regenerate so I wonder what the purpose of it is? Is the sacrifice in economy a more responsive transmission? Makes sense for the GS but not necessarily the rest of the line-up.
 

1500cc

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The engine braking certainly isn't helping fuel economy and there are no battery packs to regenerate so I wonder what the purpose of it is? Is the sacrifice in economy a more responsive transmission? Makes sense for the GS but not necessarily the rest of the line-up.
If you look at your instant fuel economy read-out when coasting, you'll see that most of the time it's 0.0 litres/100km (or whatever the Imperial equivalent is). Meaning the computer completely shuts off the fuel when coasting. Perhaps the 8-speed powertrain isn't programmed the same way? Also, this just a guess, but the computer could be putting the alternator on full charge during coasting so that it has to run less whilst under throttle, thereby gaining a little extra fuel economy.
 

Jack GS

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If you look at your instant fuel economy read-out when coasting, you'll see that most of the time it's 0.0 litres/100km (or whatever the Imperial equivalent is).
In freedom units, coasting produces a "99.9 MPG" read-out. Basically the inversion of the metric system.

Meaning the computer completely shuts off the fuel when coasting.
The fuel is still on, else the car would die. Unless you're just talking about the fuel calculations performed by the computer shutting off.


Also, this just a guess, but the computer could be putting the alternator on full charge during coasting so that it has to run less whilst under throttle, thereby gaining a little extra fuel economy.
That's as good a guess as I could come up with!
 

1500cc

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The fuel is still on, else the car would die. Unless you're just talking about the fuel calculations performed by the computer shutting off.
No, the fuel is shut completely off during coasting. Fuel injected cars have been doing this for a while. The car has plenty of inertia to keep the engine spinning.
 

Jack GS

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No, the fuel is shut completely off during coasting. Fuel injected cars have been doing this for a while. The car has plenty of inertia to keep the engine spinning.
Thanks for enlightening me! I just did some brief reading on Decel Fuel Cut-Off (DFCO).

Since I think it's interesting, I will reiterate. While DFCO is active, the fuel injectors stop supplying fuel and the torque converter is locked, providing a direct link between the engine and tires. Like you mentioned, the momentum of the car keeps the engine rotating. In some applications, the exhaust bypasses the catalytic converter. Once throttle is reapplied, or the engine reaches idle conditions, fuel is injected like normal. The aim is to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions. More on DFCO: Google Patents Decel Fuel Cut-Off.

This explains a lot of the coasting characteristics I have experienced in the Regal. It is the first vehicle I have owned with this technology and I could never quite put a finger on why it felt like it had drag/engine braking while coasting. Considering everything that is taking place, or in this case is not taking place, it's a very smooth system. Thanks again @1500cc.
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L J

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Thanks for enlightening me! I just did some brief reading on Decel Fuel Cut-Off (DFCO).

Since I think it's interesting, I will reiterate. While DFCO is active, the fuel injectors stop supplying fuel and the torque converter is locked, providing a direct link between the engine and tires. Like you mentioned, the momentum of the car keeps the engine rotating. In some applications, the exhaust bypasses the catalytic converter. Once throttle is reapplied, or the engine reaches idle conditions, fuel is injected like normal. The aim is to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions. More on DFCO: Google Patents Decel Fuel Cut-Off.

This explains a lot of the coasting characteristics I have experienced in the Regal. It is the first vehicle I have owned with this technology and I could never quite put a finger on why it felt like it had drag/engine braking while coasting. Considering everything that is taking place, or in this case is not taking place, it's a very smooth system. Thanks again @1500cc.
In what application does it bypass the cat. converter? Never seen a pipe that bypasses it on any car.
 

Ctrcbob

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I was reading an article in Car and Driver where they had tested both the Sportback 2.0T and the GS V6, both with the 9 Speed Automatic. Said that the gear ratios for 3rd and 4th are so close together, that the transmission will often bypass 4th and go directly 3rd to 5th. Also will bypass 4th when accelerating hard otherwise car would shift from 3rd redline to 4th redline. Have not seen it myself as I have the 8 speed Aisen transmission.

Not the first car I’ve had that “skips” a gear. My Mercedes E350 with the 7 speed normally would not use 1st gear. Normally started off in 2nd. If I remember correctly, only started out in 1st if I tromped on it.
 

greenne

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Albany, NY
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2019 Regal TourX
I was reading an article in Car and Driver where they had tested both the Sportback 2.0T and the GS V6, both with the 9 Speed Automatic. Said that the gear ratios for 3rd and 4th are so close together, that the transmission will often bypass 4th and go directly 3rd to 5th. Also will bypass 4th when accelerating hard otherwise car would shift from 3rd redline to 4th redline. Have not seen it myself as I have the 8 speed Aisen transmission.

Not the first car I’ve had that “skips” a gear. My Mercedes E350 with the 7 speed normally would not use 1st gear. Normally started off in 2nd. If I remember correctly, only started out in 1st if I tromped on it.
Even the 8spd could skip first and start in 2nd under normal load...light throttle. I find the 1-2 shift a little more "course" the 2-8 upshifts.
 

jclin4

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Some automatics with “Winter” mode will start in 2nd gear: tires less likely to spin out from a dead stop.
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Jack GS

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In what application does it bypass the cat. converter? Never seen a pipe that bypasses it on any car.
I don't believe our cars have any sort of cat bypass. I don't know of any specific examples, it was just something that was mentioned in the patent I provided.

Said that the gear ratios for 3rd and 4th are so close together, that the transmission will often bypass 4th and go directly 3rd to 5th. Also will bypass 4th when accelerating hard otherwise car would shift from 3rd redline to 4th redline.
This is 100% true with the 9-speed. While accelerating, aggressively or not, and using the manual shifter, you basically have to double tap the shifter to get past 4th. I have also found that if you stay at redline for too long (at least in 1st gear) the computer cuts the throttle. It happened right as I was going to shift into 2nd and the nose just absolutely dipped because of the engine braking... I never knew it was possible to miss a shift with an automatic transmission, but I managed to 🤦‍♂️
 

Sporty

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2019 Regal GS
My GS is the first auto-transmission car I've had in 10 years. Had a Grand Prix back in the early 2000s that, if memory serves me correctly, was programmed to automatically shift into neutral instead of engine braking... and that was terrible. The 9-speed in my GS seems to do a reasonable amount of engine braking compared to that, but there is really nothing like being fully in control by shifting your own gears. I miss my Saab 9-3! Luckily, I donated it to my son when he turned 16 earlier this year, so I still get to drive it on occasion.
 

1500cc

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My GS is the first auto-transmission car I've had in 10 years. Had a Grand Prix back in the early 2000s that, if memory serves me correctly, was programmed to automatically shift into neutral instead of engine braking... and that was terrible. The 9-speed in my GS seems to do a reasonable amount of engine braking compared to that, but there is really nothing like being fully in control by shifting your own gears. I miss my Saab 9-3! Luckily, I donated it to my son when he turned 16 earlier this year, so I still get to drive it on occasion.
I had a Grand Prix from that era, I really liked that car. But it definitely didn't shift into neutral when coasting, that'd be a huge safety issue. I don't remember its coasting behaviour, but perhaps its torque converter partially disengaged when coasting, which would sort of feel like being in neutral.
 

Red_X

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2018 TourX
I was reading an article in Car and Driver where they had tested both the Sportback 2.0T and the GS V6, both with the 9 Speed Automatic. Said that the gear ratios for 3rd and 4th are so close together, that the transmission will often bypass 4th and go directly 3rd to 5th. Also will bypass 4th when accelerating hard otherwise car would shift from 3rd redline to 4th redline. Have not seen it myself as I have the 8 speed Aisen transmission.

Not the first car I’ve had that “skips” a gear. My Mercedes E350 with the 7 speed normally would not use 1st gear. Normally started off in 2nd. If I remember correctly, only started out in 1st if I tromped on it.
Sounds like a thing GM had called CAGS that, oddly enough, worked with manuals. The transmission was programmed to go from 1st to 4th under lighter acceleration to save gas.
 
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