Who Says a Slush Box Can’t be Fun? Motor Trend Tests the Auto Z06 Corvette

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Automatics in the performance industry are known to be utter piles of horse manure, and thought of poorly by us motoring enthusiasts. There’s even a whole t-shirt line describing a manual transmission as having a “man pedal.” However, the new breed of automatic transmissions — things like Porsche’s PDK, VW’s DSG, and even BMW’s SMG — are all turning the world on its collective head by being just as good, or, dare I say, potentially better than the manual versions.

With that in mind, Motor Trend decided to see what the differences are between the new Z06 manual and the 8-speed. What they found out is definitely interesting.

When Chevy’s team began benchmarking what they wanted the new Z06’s transmission to feel like, the obvious choice was Porsche’s PDK. And the team insists that the transmission in the new Z06 is faster than the Porsche unit.

Second, while pro hot-shoe Randy Pobst achieved a faster time in the manual version of the Z06, Motor Trend believes that the slightly faster time (it was only a few tenths of a second) was due to Randy learning the car while driving the auto Z06 first.

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Third, the Z06 still has an issue with heat soak, and tends to go into limp mode after a few hot laps, something that happens with both the manual transmission and the auto.

However, it’s the decision they came to last that really should stick with you. If it were up to Mr. Pobst, he’d take the auto Z06 over its manual counterpart:

“‘Automatic ’cause I have fifth gear,’ he said. ‘If I’m at a track where I don’t need fifth, I might prefer the manual because I like the level of control.’ Pobst’s issue with fifth gear was repeatedly hitting the dead space between fifth and seventh when attempting a four-five upshift at race speed with the manual transmission.”

That’s right, according to the pro, the auto Z06 is the better car. While I’m not sure if everyone will agree with that, it just goes to show you how far automatics have come in the last few decades.

Read the rest here.

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via [Motor Trend]

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