Every single day advancements are made in the automobile world especially as regards cars.
Every car needs a source of power and a means of controlling and regulating this power properly; and timely sending the power to the tires so that propulsion can take place. This smooth transmission of the power to the tires necessitates the need for a gearbox or transmission.
In the beginning, cars came with manual transmission but which was soon automated to ease driving and also help the disabled drive.
More improvements were added to this type of transmission such are Tiptronic, Sequential Manual Gearbox, Continously Variable Transmission, Semi Automatic or Manual/Automatic aka Manumatic or the manual shift mode etc.
This latter type is simply where an automatic transmission also has the feature that allows the driver to manually select the gear of his choice depending on the driving conditions and is usually represented by the sign M on the automatic gear lever, on shift-paddles where equipped and on the gear mode icon on the dashboard though some cars won’t give you the M sign but only a + or a – sign.
There are two main types of using this feature, either by using only the gear lever to push up or down into either a higher or lower gear and having shift-paddles on the top of behind the steering wheel.
When this feature was introduced it was a wow feature as people who loved automatics for their comfort and ease of operations but loved manual transmissions for their more sporty feel could now have the best of both worlds. It was also portrayed to help conserve fuel as the driver will be more in control of the car and determine when to shift up or down. This shifting of the gears is achieved without the use of a clutch hence the name …Semi-Automatic.
Then the race began as nearly all the car makers jumped on this for nearly all their models especially the top of the range models.
Personally i went gaga for this feature and looked forward to when i could lay my hands on one (i was much younger when it came out).
Fast-forward several years later and presently i drive a car equipped with this feature and i have tried several times to use it but each time i use it i don’t use it for more than 30 mins.
I drive both manual and automatic transmission cars very well even switching between both without issues but this Manumatic is a different ballgame entirely.
I realized that it needs getting used to as you will at most times forget to either upshift of downshift at the right times especially downshifting. The good thing is that the developers knew this would always happen so they programmed the car to take over once it detects an anomaly in the operations so that the gearbox doesn’t get damaged.
I have used the car for three years now but am i now in love with this feature? Nope. I actually try to use it as often as possible but it is not the same as a full manual transmission that has a clutch. The funny thing i noticed is that i have never come across anyone using this feature in their cars.
Really, it looks dope in any car but i think it serves more as a bragging feature for many car owners.
But there are some good uses it can be put to. For instance sometimes we get stuck on areas we need only the 1st gear, it becomes easier for a good driver to lock down the gear to the needed gear. Also when a car enters limp mode and the transmission won’t function effectively, it’s easier to use this feature to drive the car for sometime to get to a repair shop.
Do you use this feature in your car?
What do you think of it?