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  1. #11
    Guest

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    Dom,

    I'm actually right with you on the manual transmission. I like the control you get with the shifter as well. It's just that that it may be a thing of the past.

    As far as cost goes: Once the demand goes down and the supply goes up, and the the car companies fully admit that the electric part of the drivetrain is the most powerful and efficient, a strong, full hybrid will be much cheaper than any pure ICE vehicle. It's cheaper since it can:

    - eliminate the transmission altogether
    - reduce the size of the ICE
    - reduce the complexity of the ICE (no need for sophisticated timing and emissions controls)
    - reduce maintenance to minimal amounts (no brake changes, fewer oil changes and tune-ups)

    However the control/fun factor CAN still be present in a strong hybrid since there are several factors that can be tweaked to optimize performance, speed, and economy, similiar to what one can do by shifting today.

    These are:

    - adjust the strength of the regenerative braking
    - adjust when you use ICE -vs- when you use EV only based on anticipation of hills and state of battery charge.

    The EV1 had a switch on the 'shifter' that allowed you to engage or disengage the regenerative braking. It did not offer any ability to adjust the amount of regen but by switching it on or off, I could adjust my deceleration as I was coasting off the freeway, similiar to using engine braking with a manual transmission or how I use the clutch on our HCHM5 today.

    For acceleration, once you've felt smooth EV acceleration from zero to 60 in 4 or 5 seconds, you'll never really feel any urge to want to pause the exhilaration to shift. Today's wimpy hybrids clearly don't provide enough EV acceration for anyone to be able to appreciate this.

    Right now, the manufacturers are trying to make the hybrid drivetrain as transparent to drivers as possible. Perhaps, with enough feedback, as drivers become more familiar with the hybrid drive, they'll start providing more hooks to be able to control the drivetrain and squeeze a little more performance (speed and economy) out of it.

    On the other hand, you can wonder if; had the automatic transmission preceded the manual; would auto manufacturers ever have provided manual transmissions? Would they have been afraid that they would scare drivers away? Remember that there are very few cars made in the US that even have manual transmissions today.

    Either way, I'm with you though. Today's hybrids should have a manual transmission option.

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  3. #12
    Guest

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    Yeah, that's what I've been afraid of - that "it's a thing of the past", as you put it. However, I still have hope, because how long has the automatic transmission been around? The manual transmission is still with us, so maybe it'll last a little longer.

  4. #13
    Guest

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    I'm sure manuals will be around for a long long time. They've definitly got their place, and are the best transmission option for a number of things.

    However, pairing one with a hybrid drivetrain just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The type of "typical" driving that a hybrid is designed for is generally not the type of driving that really requires a manual transmission. On top of that, if you're putting in all this hybrid technology to increase efficiency, and that technology needs a new type of transmission device to work best, why put in a manual tranny?

    It's like upgrading your stereo system with a top of the line head unit and amps, but running it through the base model OEM speakers.

  5. #14
    Guest

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    Won't those cvt's be expensive to repair? Remember the Subaru Justy with the eCVT?

  6. #15
    Guest

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    qq,

    One of the main reasons that car companies don't like EV's or hybrids is that the electric drive threatens to obsolete the transmission. This isn't very popular if you run or work in the transmission division of a car company. However, the 'holy grail' of the transmission engineers has always been the CVT since it allows an ICE to perform as smoothly as an electric. Unfortunately, the CVT has trouble handling heavy startup loads as has been seen every time in the past when they have been introduced. The electric assist, however, eases the load on the CVT, thus allowing the transmission interests to put their 'baby' into the car.
    The CVT in the Prius is also quite different from the sliding belt types used previously so it should be much more reliable anyway.

  7. #16
    Guest

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    Dom,
    Glad to see that someone understands what I'm saying.

    I am aware of the reasons why companies would rather make a hybrid that isn't a manual... but I don't really care. I want one. And it's not that difficult to make one (obviously, since they already exist.)
    There are four things I never compromise on when it comes to the cars that I buy:
    1. safety
    2. good gas mileage
    3. power
    4. manual transmission

    My current car, an Acura Integra, has all of these components... so it is perfectly reasonable to expect all of these, even in a hybrid.

    I love my car to death... but for both moral, enviromental, and political reasons... I'm thinking it's time for a hybrid in the near future. Once a company actually makes one that has everything I need in it, that is. I was hoping that maybe one of you would know of one. Guess not, so for the moment I'll have to be patient.

  8. #17
    Guest

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    They can also add an extra gear: six-speeds yield more mileage (and performance) than five-speeds, which were used on the Honda hybrids. Also, even the five-speeds got better mileage than their CVT counterparts. THe six-speeds will beat them even more.

  9. #18
    Guest

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    Also:

    My need for a manual isn't just for the "fun" factor. It's mainly for safety. There isn't a lot of info on how hybrids handle accidents and bad weather conditions, and I don't entirely trust the few studies that have been done.
    I want as much control over my vehicle as possible, especially during rain and in the winter months. At age 18 I almost died due to a car malfunction in February. I will do anything in my power to avoid that happening again. And the only way that I'll feel completely under control is with a manual.
    I don't really trust other drivers to always make the right decisions, so why should I trust a car to do that as well? At least if I am making the decisions, I don't have to worry about any surprises.

  10. #19
    Guest

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    Lilly,

    If you're looking for proven technology then a manual hybrid isn't really any better than any other hybrid. The addition of the additional drivetrain will undoubtedly add new nuances that ?may? affect handling in extreme situations. I doubt, however, that these will be significant.
    Remember also that the CVT in hybrids acts much differently than an automatic transmission, expecially in snow and ICE. I haven't done or seen any studies on how they perform however.
    Most accidents, however, aren't caused by the drivetrain. It could also, of course, be said that by having to take both hands off the wheel to shift could be seen as a safety flaw in manual transmissions.
    Personally, I think that the subject of safety is pretty complex and nearly impossible to definitively say that a manual hybrid is any more or less safe than the CVT.
    Besides, if we keep our dependence on oil and causing global warming and pollution, the certain problems we will face will be much worse than a few little uncertain automobile safety issues.
    We've got to continue to move forward even if their is a slight risk of unknowns.

  11. #20
    Guest

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    All these reasons for putting CVTs in hybrids instead of manual transmissions are fine. HOWEVER, Lilly and I are consumers, and our satisfaction as a customers is or should be a company's top prority. So if we want a hybrid with a manual transmission, then give it to us. I don't care if the engineers or whoever think it's not the best transmission match for a hybrid. But I also realize that like Lilly and myself are probably a minority when it comes to hybrid drivers/buyers, and I will be surprised if our options get much better. Which is why I will probably buy a diesel car instead, where a manual makes sense and is readily available. It may not have as much gee-whiz factor, but I think it is also a good alternative to a regular car. It is a proven technology at that. Now perhaps when it's time to replace my wife's car, maybe she can get the hybrid, since she doesn't care for a manual...

    Bottom line for me - give me options so I can choose what I want, not be force-fed certain car/transmission/technology.

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