You probably clicked on this article to prove to yourself that you were right about automatic gearboxes being faster than manuals. Mainly due to the fact that they lose less torque during the gear change and that the change is significantly faster than the manual variant. However, that is only a very small part of what is actually going on!
That was already the case when automatics were slower than the manuals. But when dual-clutch transmissions came out, they were only just ahead in terms of performance over the manuals.
But, if you now look at a car such as the the PDK (Porsche's dual-clutch variant) of Porsche 911 Carrera S, for example, its 0-60 mph time is 0,8 seconds faster than the manual version, which is a substantial amount!
But what is the reasoning for this?
Well, the PDK's first gear is 30% shorter than the manuals' first gear, and the second gear is 43% shorter! So the PDK is destined to win, but then why on Earth doesn't Porsche just shorten the manual ratio's?
Well, it comes down to economy ratings...
If a car's onboard computer knows exactly how much fuel to use at any split second of operation, and thus save fuel as much as possible at any given opportunity, then the automatic variant gets a far better EPA fuel economy rating.
With the manual variant, car manufacturers have no choice but to lengthen the gear ratio's in order to match up to a similar result on the EPA fuel economy rating, before it starts costing them far more to produce manuals that offer very similar performance.
And it's not just Porsche either, It's Ford, Volkswagen and quite a substantial number of other manufacturers as well.
Take a look at the video below by the YouTube channel, Hagerty, on The Real Reason Why Automatics Are Quicker Than Manuals - Know It All With Jason Cammisa...
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