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Old 09-09-2011, 08:06 PM   #1
Buggy51
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Paddle-Shifters

Probably not the most popular topic to talk about (and I might be releasing a can of worms or worse...), but I still am interested in the paddle-shifters that Toyota/Subaru will employ. I really don't want to bring up the topic of manual vs. automatic (in fact, isn't it great that there's choice?), so we can hopefully avoid that and just stick to the topic (Ha!).

From what we know (based in the United States), we have this press release by Scion: http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases...-auto-show.htm

"The flat-four can mate with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The manual offers quick and precise shifts with a short-throw, while the automatic transmission features aggressive, sporty shifts that are initiated by steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Power is distributed effectively via a limited-slip differential. "

So for certain that the automatic transmission will have paddle shifters; however, they are highly unlikely to be semi-automatic, if the interview with Tetsuya Tada holds true.

"The FT-86 has about half of the computing power that is dragged around in a modern day car. The preferred shifter is a stick. An automatic is optional. The slushbox is nothing fancy. 'No DSG or anything of that kind,' says Tada, and is proud. Sure, the automatic has a computer, but the shift points cannot be changed – at least not at the flip of a switch in the dashboard. Computers want to keep you on the straight and narrow, but some FT-86 owners want that car to go sideways. If you need nannies, go down to the children’s hospital."

The only problem with most of the quoted paragraph is that well... there's a bit of hyperbole thrown in the interview with the interviewer's interpretation, but most likely he's correct.

Currently, I do not recall any information regarding Subaru's version but I wouldn't be surprised that they offer similar transmissions.

Now the discussion/question that I have with regards to the automatic transmission with the Paddle-Shifter is how well it will perform in comparison to other previously-made Paddle-Shifters by Toyota and Subaru. Will they use similar parts from their previous line-up and how do these parts compare? I admit that I haven't ever driven a car with paddle-shifters so I'd like to have some insight from others that have.

From the current Toyota cars that do offer paddle-shifters straight from the factory, we now know that the 2012 Camry SE will feature paddle-shifters: "The SE’s sporty front seats provide thicker side bolsters, and the exclusive three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel offers paddle-shift control for the six-speed automatic transmission." Do you think the Lexus-IS series' paddle-shifters/automatic transmission would be implemented? How do they work?

I must confess I do not have much knowledge of the history of Toyota's and Subaru's products but I do want to learn. Any information provided/discussed would be welcome!

Last edited by Buggy51; 09-10-2011 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:25 PM   #2
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My guess is as good as yours in terms of shift times, but I'm betting the car isn't getting a high-dollar, high performance automatic like you see in sporty cars that are only offered with the auto trans. That is, unless people want the auto to be a 2000 dollar option.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:33 PM   #3
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I'm hopeful that:
1. the paddle shifters are mounted on the steering wheel column instead of the steering wheel so that they don't move with the steering wheel
2. the "manual" mode is truly manual and will not automatically downshift at its own will
3. the manual mode will blip the throttle on downshifts
4. it uses the IS-F's "Sport Direct-Shift" transmission, which uses a special lock-up clutch for improved responsiveness, and upshifts in a super quick 0.1 second

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Old 09-09-2011, 08:50 PM   #4
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Do not like Paddle Shifters. :/ They feel so.... strange. Lol
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ydooby View Post
I'm hopeful that:
1. the paddle shifters are mounted on the steering wheel column instead of the steering wheel so that they don't move with the steering wheel
2. the "manual" mode is truly manual and will not automatically downshift at its own will
3. the manual mode will blip the throttle on downshifts
4. it uses the IS-F's "Sport Direct-Shift" transmission, which uses a special lock-up clutch for improved responsiveness, and upshifts in a super quick 0.1 second

lol not gonna happen. Yes, that doesn't mean, you can't dream about it... but realistically looking, not happening
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:05 PM   #6
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lol not gonna happen. Yes, that doesn't mean, you can't dream about it... but realistically looking, not happening
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:06 PM   #7
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lol not gonna happen. Yes, that doesn't mean, you can't dream about it... but realistically looking, not happening
OK I shoulda said "I'm wishful that..." then.

Last edited by ydooby; 09-10-2011 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:45 AM   #8
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toyota uses two types of "manual modes" in the lexus IS line. on the run of the mill IS350 if you use the paddles, it isnt a real manual mode. instead it simply lets you change the top most gear on the fly. so for example, if you set it to 3, it will upshift up to but not past 3rd gear. however the tranny can still downshift automatically into second and first. and im not talking about auto downshift to prevent "stalling" when you coast to a stop. instead it will kick down a gear when it feels it should. this is NOT a real manual mode.

on the IS-F however, there IS a real manual mode. 3rd gear means you stay in the 3rd gear. if you stop it will reset to 1st gear automatically of course.

for the FT, being a sporty car, it MUST have a true manual mode and i dont think toyota/subaru are stupid enough to not give it one. seeing what toyota has done with the IS-F, the new GS, and even the camry comes with paddles? im very optimistic the auto will be pretty sporty...
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:07 AM   #9
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I was trying to find more information about how some of the transmissions work, and afterreading a bit on the IS-F Sport Direct Shift I have a few questions. Have the "manual modes" that they use in the Lexus lines ever appear on their other cars? I noticed on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimo...l_transmission that Toyota has employed that fancy named transmission with paddle-shifters onto European cars but not in North America.

Referring to the Truthaboutcars interview, we assume that there might be less computing power (or I suppose a more efficient use?) on the FR-S. There is "No DSG or anything of that kind" is what was said. But, I was reading this article from autotech and I noticed this little bit of info: "The transmission uses planetary gearsets and clutches like most common automatic transmissions, but the Lexus IS F has large, high flow control solenoids to shift each gear. The rapid response of the solenoids and application of the clutches enables the transmission to upshift gears in only one-tenth of a second."

So... what in the world are planetary gearsets and high control solenoids? And I'm still wallowing through some information (Also... my career path isn't in physics/mech engineering... its in uh... biology lol so spare me) but do manual cars and automatics use a clutch? I thought automatics typically had a torque converter or I'm misreading everything. Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buggy51 View Post
I was trying to find more information about how some of the transmissions work, and afterreading a bit on the IS-F Sport Direct Shift I have a few questions. Have the "manual modes" that they use in the Lexus lines ever appear on their other cars? I noticed on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimo...l_transmission that Toyota has employed that fancy named transmission with paddle-shifters onto European cars but not in North America.

Referring to the Truthaboutcars interview, we assume that there might be less computing power (or I suppose a more efficient use?) on the FR-S. There is "No DSG or anything of that kind" is what was said. But, I was reading this article from autotech and I noticed this little bit of info: "The transmission uses planetary gearsets and clutches like most common automatic transmissions, but the Lexus IS F has large, high flow control solenoids to shift each gear. The rapid response of the solenoids and application of the clutches enables the transmission to upshift gears in only one-tenth of a second."

So... what in the world are planetary gearsets and high control solenoids? And I'm still wallowing through some information (Also... my career path isn't in physics/mech engineering... its in uh... biology lol so spare me) but do manual cars and automatics use a clutch? I thought automatics typically had a torque converter or I'm misreading everything. Thanks!

start here: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/automa...ansmission.htm

what you basically need to know about the IS-F is that they took the 8 speed from the LS460 and beefed it up. They could have went the dual clutch or automated single clutch route, but it would probably have been too expensive. instead they decided to stick with the torque converter auto and re-engineered it for sportiness. at the time, it was one of, if not THE best automatic with the fastest shifts ever seen on an auto.

how that relates to the FT is of course the question of whether or not they will spend the resources to make the FT's auto even half as sporty. according to the interview, it sounds as though the auto is an afterthought. just tacked on for sales purposes. hopefully this is not the case. fwiw, the 2012 camry has paddle shifters that blips the throttle on downshifts. so how can they give the camry this feature and leave it out of a sports coupe? me thinks the auto WILL be sporty. not IS-F sporty, but sporty enough...
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:35 PM   #11
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I hope the auto is as light as the manual like the 6speed auto in the GC is 3lbs lighter than the manual. I don't think it will.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:29 PM   #12
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@madfast, thanks for the link! Informative though some parts still gives me a few uh... minutes to try to mull through and comprehend, but its fascinating how they put it together. How something that is seemingly easy to operate needs something that complicated to make it work.

Hmm... though I'm not sure how the companies manage their transmission, but wouldn't it make sense to pull information that you had on your prototype/more advanced models and place it into the upcoming gen? The research is done for the v8, but I suppose its easier said than done to convert an 8 speed to 6.

But true, from the article, the automatic transmission does seem to be a lesser concern. Yeah, I expect it to be less sporty than the IS-F, but I do hope that its more effective than a camry ~_~; Regarding the earlier talking point by moto, I would hope there would be technology transfer. Oh well, one way to find out right? Wait!

And... Aisin is the company that's most likely to develop such transmission? I'm reading through Subaru's usage of paddle-shifters, and noted that they have a 6speed CVT manual mode (but... that's not how the FR-S/BRZ would be right?). So most likely, Toyota/Aisin engineering rather than Subaru?
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:41 PM   #13
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I've driven a BMW with paddle shifters and found it to be a bit odd and pointless. I'd much rather drive the "quick and precise shifts with a short-throw" kind-of-car, than to drive with paddle shifters that take away from the driving experience. It's just more enjoyable to drive a true M/T IMO.

...but to each their own!
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:47 PM   #14
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Didn't they recently say the automatic will be a basic, no frills transmission with a torque converter? I don't expect comparable performance between the a/t and m/t, sadly.
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