Nissan 370Z's Trick Tranny – F1 Style Shifting For The Rest of Us

Wednesday December 24th, 2008 at 10:1212 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Is this even fair? Am I just being too much of a purist? Who knows, I’ll let you, and the people that buy Nissan’s new, uprated 370Z decide.

In addition to the (slightly) bigger engine, styling tweaks (the less said about those headlights, the better (but boy are they hideous)) the newest Z has a trick transmission that I had only just heard about.

Called the Downshift Rev Matching by Nissan, it’s essentially a mechanical version of what a good racer would do out of force of habit: it automatically matches the revs, so the engine speed is correct when you let off the clutch and you’re into your new, lower, gear. Flocks of gear box and rear wheel sensors match up the revs with each downshift, no matter how fast you do it or the velocity you’re traveling at, and, according to the people who’ve driven it, it’s flawless.

The traditional (i.e. old) way of doing it was called heel-and-toe, and required a great deal of patience to learn, as well as having more than a bit of Fred Astaire/Gene Kelly/Sid Charese in your DNA. Basically it involved hitting all three pedals with two feet, and you can go look it up, because I don’t want to give out that sort of info, have somebody out there shred their synchros, and blame us for it (and no, don’t ask me what happened when I tried to learn it myself).

To a certain extent, this is sort of half a semi-auto box you can get in Ferraris, for much, much cheaper. You still have to stir the gears yourself, but when down shifting, a lot of the hassle is taken out of the picture.

And that, of course, means that any of us (any of us with enough money to buy a new Z) can now down shift just as good as Sebastien Loeb.

Source: BoingBoing





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