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Shifting in V6 manual

I put the car in neutral even in stop-and-go traffic. Any time I stop for more than 2-3 seconds. For me, it is less tiring on the left leg this way.

QUESTION FOR Y’ALL: Do you also skip gears a lot? I often go from 3rd to 5th if I am done accelerating. Sometimes 1st to 3rd in slow traffic. Shifting down from 6th to 4th or 3rd to overtake. Etc etc.

What about double clutching? I got the habit from driving old tractors and trucks in Brazil. Not needed for modern cars, but I still do it when down shifting for no reason
I use neutral the same way. I used to skip gears thinking it was cool and more efficient. After nearly misshifting a few times I now make a habit of rowing through the gears no matter how many. I feel on track this is the best way to avoid any mistakes when at speed. I end up doing the same on the road. On some occasions I will skip a gear when it’s an odd situation, like coasting for a while when coming to a stop from very far away, but usually not.
 
I learned to drive in Brazil at a time when 99% of cars were manual. Only drove manuals for the first decade of my driving life.

I shift down in situations in which the engine brake would help. So, yes, typically down to 3rd. Reducing to 2nd is a bit of a hassle given the more distant gear ratio. And usually when you are already that slow, the engine brake is not as needed.

It is also a good habit to shift down according to speed because, if a situation arises that requires a quick acceleration, you are already in a good gear for power (i.e., not doing 30 mph in 6th gear)

Braking while at lower gears/ higher rpm also keeps the vehicle more grounded and stable in my perception.

I also shift down because it is fun and part of driving a manual.

If you are concerned about clutch wear by shifting down under normal driving speeds and braking, you probably need to practice your clutch work and rev matching more. It should put very little strain in the system if done properly. After thousands of shifts, you can learn to feel exactly the relations between gears and how much to rev up or down.

When I was in Brazil driving cheap cars, my friends and I would even practice changing gears without pressing the clutch. If the engine is slight breaking the car or in neutral acceleration, you can take the car out of gear without the clutch. And if you get the rpms right, the transmission will pop into gear without the clutch too. I am not suggesting you learn to do this with an Emira, but just saying: you don’t need to be afraid of using the transmission to save your clutch! Just need to practice. That is all the fun and additional control of owning a manual car!

I got to say it... This is one helpful thread. I am no stranger to manuals, but this has been very informative. Driving is a passion of mine, as is learning. I think I found my tag line "Student of the Emira".
When I spoke with a Lotus engineer at an Emira reveal, he said
'it will make a better driver out of you. '
 
I only put it into neutral when I'm coming to a stop, as in a stop sign or traffic light. There are plenty of opportunities to downshift and enjoy that fun otherwise. Being an old guy, my first car was a 1964 Triumph Spitfire, and I have had clutch issues, as well as trans issues on some of those older cars. I developed the habit of taking it out of gear when coming to a stop back then, and it's just an old habit. I'm sure today's cars are built with much better components, so the clutches and transmissions are probably not as they used to be.

Heel and toeing and rev matching are one of the fun things about manual transmission cars, I agree, but I personally enjoy that the most when cornering, not if I'm just coming to a stop. However to each their own. It's your car; drive it the way you want to.
This, in retrospect, was crazy, but in 1989, in December, I drove my very affordable Spitfire From Denver to San Francisco because my future wife worked for the airlines. How I made it driving 1200+ miles in winter conditions, only stopping for gas, I don't know. No Cell Phone, No GPS, a pretty good janky radio, and some blankets. This was not a smart idea, but I made it. So I will always have a soft spot for spitfires. What I think is a car to experience is the hard top GT6 version. I only rode in one once, but whoah, the experience was incredible. It was way faster than such a car should have been. The idea that I now get to drive an Emira is just stunning because just how far we have come. Lotus "sketchy"? Take a spin in an old spitfire, and your perspective will change. What I can say is it was very temperamental, but some ducktape and chewing gum would fix most problems. I loved that car.
 
I drove the Emira on a few occasions, and each time I had to slow down or stop for a light, I found myself downshifting from 4th to 3rd (with a light throttle blip), and then braking until engine RPM was down to 1000RPM or less before going to neutral. I also would occasionally downshift to 2nd (also with a throttle blip) because it was fun and sounds so cool.

On my Cayman, I do basically the same, though I normally downshift to second (or just keep it in second between lights since that gear will easily operate between 10-70mph, and brings out the sound of the engine in the process). I usually blip the throttle myself, though I will occasionally allow the auto rev match to do the work for me if I'm feeling lazy (obviously not an option on the Emira).
 
I put the car in neutral even in stop-and-go traffic. Any time I stop for more than 2-3 seconds. For me, it is less tiring on the left leg this way.

QUESTION FOR Y’ALL: Do you also skip gears a lot? I often go from 3rd to 5th if I am done accelerating. Sometimes 1st to 3rd in slow traffic. Shifting down from 6th to 4th or 3rd to overtake. Etc etc.

What about double clutching? I got the habit from driving old tractors and trucks in Brazil. Not needed for modern cars, but I still do it when down shifting for no reason
No, I paid for them, I'll use every dang one of them! Seriously, though, the only time I skip a gear is if the rpm is low and I want to get power quickly. I might downshift directly from 6-4, or 5-3. On upshift I'll just pop through all the gears quickly. I'm sure it's ok to skip a gear, just feels and sounds weird to me.
 
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I drove the Emira on a few occasions, and each time I had to slow down or stop for a light, I found myself downshifting from 4th to 3rd (with a light throttle blip), and then braking until engine RPM was down to 1000RPM or less before going to neutral. I also would occasionally downshift to 2nd (also with a throttle blip) because it was fun and sounds so cool.

On my Cayman, I do basically the same, though I normally downshift to second (or just keep it in second between lights since that gear will easily operate between 10-70mph, and brings out the sound of the engine in the process). I usually blip the throttle myself, though I will occasionally allow the auto rev match to do the work for me if I'm feeling lazy (obviously not an option on the Emira).
Ok... so another question.. Why blip the throttle? And when you say blip the throttle you mean tap the gas pedal to increase the rpm slightly?

Again don't flame me. I am just trying to learn here. :)

Ryan G
 
Tangentially related, I grew up being taught you never Downshift into first. Then I saw a driver downshifting into first using auto rev matching while canyon carving. Apparently you can do it if you rev match really well but it was so cringy to me. Felt wrong. I can’t do it without grinding gears. I only use first to get the car going from a stop.
 
Ok... so another question.. Why blip the throttle? And when you say blip the throttle you mean tap the gas pedal to increase the rpm slightly?

Again don't flame me. I am just trying to learn here. :)

Ryan G
Exactly right. It's only needed on a downshift. Rev matching is the process of 1) clutch in and downshift, 2) blip throttle, 3) clutch out.

If done correctly, you'll blip the rpm's slightly above what is needed for the next lower gear, then as the revs begin to fall you'll release the clutch. That way there is no zing on the engine, and no power going through the clutch to wear it. The reason you go slightly high is that if the revs are lower than needed you'll upset the car balance through engine braking. If slightly higher, then it'll adjust the minor speed difference without any undue effect on engine or balance of car.

EDIT to above: The process is the same when downshifting while braking, you just need to use your right foot to manage the brake and throttle simultaneously (heel and toe method).
 
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Tangentially related, I grew up being taught you never Downshift into first. Then I saw a driver downshifting into first using auto rev matching while canyon carving. Apparently you can do it if you rev match really well but it was so cringy to me. Felt wrong. I can’t do it without grinding gears. I only use first to get the car going from a stop.
It's hard to do on most cars, including the Emira. If you double clutch it'll slide right into first. I also only use first when coming to a stop. Way too low for actual driving.
 
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Regarding throttle blipping, or rev matching I find it slightly more difficult to be perfectly smooth in the emira than other cars. I suspect it is because of how the supercharger works.

I’m still figuring this out but I notice at freeway speeds the supercharger is not on with light throttle but comes on with more throttle load. This is great for MPG but interesting for driving. I think there are times I’m driving with lighter throttle then blip the throttle to downshift and it engages the supercharger giving me too much power and not a smooth transition. In this situation I find myself being much lighter on the throttle blip than i am in other cars.

Or more accurately little throttle blip when not really hustling but when I’m driving hard bigger throttle blip. Anyone experienced this?
 
Regarding throttle blipping, or rev matching I find it slightly more difficult to be perfectly smooth in the emira than other cars. I suspect it is because of how the supercharger works.

I’m still figuring this out but I notice at freeway speeds the supercharger is not on with light throttle but comes on with more throttle load. This is great for MPG but interesting for driving. I think there are times I’m driving with lighter throttle then blip the throttle to downshift and it engages the supercharger giving me too much power and not a smooth transition. In this situation I find myself being much lighter on the throttle blip than i am in other cars.

Or more accurately little throttle blip when not really hustling but when I’m driving hard bigger throttle blip. Anyone experienced this?
I don't think it's the supercharger, probably just the nature of the engine/throttle/ECU. The supercharger is controlled through a mechanical valve related to intake vacuum. When you blip, the vacuum drops and the valve opens the supercharger. The blip is so fast it will open the supercharger intake, but the supercharger shouldn't have much, if any impact on the rev.

Having said that, I agree to the fact that it's sensitive and harder to match revs at low RPM. I think it's starts to match really easily if you keep the revs higher. So, I usually am downshifting in the 3-4k range. If you're running in the 4-5k range it's just perfect.
 
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This, in retrospect, was crazy, but in 1989, in December, I drove my very affordable Spitfire From Denver to San Francisco because my future wife worked for the airlines. How I made it driving 1200+ miles in winter conditions, only stopping for gas, I don't know. No Cell Phone, No GPS, a pretty good janky radio, and some blankets. This was not a smart idea, but I made it. So I will always have a soft spot for spitfires. What I think is a car to experience is the hard top GT6 version. I only rode in one once, but whoah, the experience was incredible. It was way faster than such a car should have been. The idea that I now get to drive an Emira is just stunning because just how far we have come. Lotus "sketchy"? Take a spin in an old spitfire, and your perspective will change. What I can say is it was very temperamental, but some ducktape and chewing gum would fix most problems. I loved that car.
LOL so now I know I'm not the only crazy one. In 1973 I drove from southern California to Salt Lake City in my second Spitfire, which was a 1968, to visit a girl I had met in southern California. She had gone up there to go to school. It was unbelievably risky, but I was young and confident then and did it anyways. This was during the so-called gas crisis, and gas availability was sketchy. I was lucky to make it. It turned out there was only one gas station open between Las Vegas and Salt Lake, and that was at St. George Utah. I remember arriving at the station in St. George in the middle of the night, and there was a line of cars in both directions waiting to get gas. A lot of people had parked their cars and turned them off, and gotten out and were walking around talking to each other. I did the same, going to the people coming down from upstate, only to find out they had come down from Salt Lake and this was the first station they had found that was open. They weren't happy when I told them there wasn't anything open between there and Vegas. Those were the days when American cars were big and heavy, and guzzled gas. I had tuned my car and it actually got over 30 mpg on the highway, which back then was unheard of.

It took awhile to get gas, and I was worried the station would run out, which was something that wasn't unusual at that time due to gas restrictions. It was also expensive if I remember correctly. Fortunately my car only needed 10 gallons to fill up, and I was on my way. It was heavy overcast the whole way up, so there was NO light anywhere except where my headlights shown, and headlights in those days were not very bright. There were no radio stations available either, so I'm driving in total darkness for hours, no radio. I saw nothing for hours; no cars, no lights, nothing. It was like being in the Twilight Zone. I was doing about 65 if I recall, and the shift lever would buzz at that speed. I took one of my shoes off, and hung it over the shift knob to stop the buzzing lol. By the time I got to Salt Lake, it was freezing cold and I had been driving for about 16 hours.

This girl had told me before I left, that she was staying at her grandparents farm, however when I got there, that turned out not to be true, and she was actually staying in a dorm at BYU with several other girls. I was so exhausted I fell asleep on the floor, hoping no one would care (they didn't). It also snowed that day, so when I wake up, all I can see of my car is just the top half. I had to dig it out to get into it, and needless to say it was like a freezer inside. I had worn driving gloves on the way up, and when I tried to put them on they cracked and broke; they were frozen stiff. Same with my sunglasses which were sitting on the dashboard. When I tried to open them, they broke, so I'm holding a freezing steering wheel and squinting from sun glare on the snow when I go to leave to come home.

To make a long story short, by the time I drove home, I'm sliding around on tires that weren't the best to begin with, and certainly not snow tires, trying to get to the highway. Looking back I can't believe I did that, and made it!
 
Regarding throttle blipping, or rev matching I find it slightly more difficult to be perfectly smooth in the emira than other cars. I suspect it is because of how the supercharger works.

I’m still figuring this out but I notice at freeway speeds the supercharger is not on with light throttle but comes on with more throttle load. This is great for MPG but interesting for driving. I think there are times I’m driving with lighter throttle then blip the throttle to downshift and it engages the supercharger giving me too much power and not a smooth transition. In this situation I find myself being much lighter on the throttle blip than i am in other cars.

Or more accurately little throttle blip when not really hustling but when I’m driving hard bigger throttle blip. Anyone experienced this?
When I started driving the Emira, I felt similarly that my blips were sometimes bringing the revs too high. It may have to do with the supercharger, or maybe it is just a fast revving engine.

What I have found works for me is to give it two smaller blips instead of one (<0.5s apart). So the first blip gets me 60% to the right RPM, then I finesse with the second.

Didn’t do this deliberately. It just started happening intuitively.
 
When I started driving the Emira, I felt similarly that my blips were sometimes bringing the revs too high. It may have to do with the supercharger, or maybe it is just a fast revving engine.

What I have found works for me is to give it two smaller blips instead of one (<0.5s apart). So the first blip gets me 60% to the right RPM, then I finesse with the second.

Didn’t do this deliberately. It just started happening intuitively.
Shades of Ayrton Senna!
 
Tangentially related, I grew up being taught you never Downshift into first. Then I saw a driver downshifting into first using auto rev matching while canyon carving. Apparently you can do it if you rev match really well but it was so cringy to me. Felt wrong. I can’t do it without grinding gears. I only use first to get the car going from a stop.
Same. I downshift just about any chance I get, but will not do so into first.

Maybe there are folks that have mastered this, but it’s the only downshift that feels abusive to me.
 
Same. I downshift just about any chance I get, but will not do so into first.

Maybe there are folks that have mastered this, but it’s the only downshift that feels abusive to me.
There is one practical application of double clutching to downshift to first:

When you have the car almost stopped (let’s say <3mph) and you realize you need to move. It is too slow for second. However, with the car still slightly moving, first gear is difficult to put in.

Blipping the throttle on neutral and then pressing the clutch in, allows an easy shift into first without stopping the car. Makes sense?
 
There is one practical application of double clutching to downshift to first:

When you have the car almost stopped (let’s say <3mph) and you realize you need to move. It is too slow for second. However, with the car still slightly moving, first gear is difficult to put in.

Blipping the throttle on neutral and then pressing the clutch in, allows an easy shift into first without stopping the car. Makes sense?
This I do!
 
Tangentially related, I grew up being taught you never Downshift into first. Then I saw a driver downshifting into first using auto rev matching while canyon carving. Apparently you can do it if you rev match really well but it was so cringy to me. Felt wrong. I can’t do it without grinding gears. I only use first to get the car going from a stop.
Depending on when you grew up (or even when the person teaching you to drive grew up), you may have learned never to downshift to first because up until the 70s there were still some vehicles in which the first gear was unsynchronized, which would make the downshifting very difficult to master.

Or it may just be the practical reasons that 1) there is a big ratio step between 1st and 2nd which means you need to blip the revs higher, 2) because you need to blip revs so high, you may effectively be already close to rev limiter, 3) I have found that in big old tractors or trucks, by the time you have managed to sync into first, the vehicle has almost stopped anyway, since you are losing speed in the process, particularly if pulling something, going uphill etc.

I don’t think there is a technical reason today against downshifting to first. Just impractical and unnecessary is most situations.

Oh also the Porsches have long gears, right? To work on Autobahns. So maybe that Porsche you mentioned had a relatively long first gear. The Emira seems to have short gearing.
 
Depending on when you grew up (or even when the person teaching you to drive grew up), you may have learned never to downshift to first because up until the 70s there were still some vehicles in which the first gear was unsynchronized, which would make the downshifting very difficult to master.

Or it may just be the practical reasons that 1) there is a big ratio step between 1st and 2nd which means you need to blip the revs higher, 2) because you need to blip revs so high, you may effectively be already close to rev limiter, 3) I have found that in big old tractors or trucks, by the time you have managed to sync into first, the vehicle has almost stopped anyway, since you are losing speed in the process, particularly if pulling something, going uphill etc.

I don’t think there is a technical reason today against downshifting to first. Just impractical and unnecessary is most situations.
Only time you'll ever need first is at a stop or ultra slow traffic. I still downshift to first while stopping with a quick double clutch. I guess I could wait until I'm stopped, not sure it makes much difference. I just like to be in gear in case I want to go immediately without needing to get it into first.

Fun fact: Some states may still carry the old law on the books about it being illegal to sit at a light in neutral. I think it had to do with not having full control of the car in an emergency.
 
Depending on when you grew up (or even when the person teaching you to drive grew up), you may have learned never to downshift to first because up until the 70s there were still some vehicles in which the first gear was unsynchronized, which would make the downshifting very difficult to master.

Or it may just be the practical reasons that 1) there is a big ratio step between 1st and 2nd which means you need to blip the revs higher, 2) because you need to blip revs so high, you may effectively be already close to rev limiter, 3) I have found that in big old tractors or trucks, by the time you have managed to sync into first, the vehicle has almost stopped anyway, since you are losing speed in the process, particularly if pulling something, going uphill etc.

I don’t think there is a technical reason today against downshifting to first. Just impractical and unnecessary is most situations.

Oh also the Porsches have long gears, right? To work on Autobahns. So maybe that Porsche you mentioned had a relatively long first gear. The Emira seems to have short gearing.
It was a Porsche cayman GT4 that was driving in first and second gear because of the long gearing. It was sad. That’s no way to enjoy the canyons.
 

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