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3D Megadoodoo
Nov 25, 2010

BENIS


Phanatic posted:

Yeah. It'd be one hell of a hill indeed that that's what you'd want to do, though. And if it has a "3" you can use that for a passing gear. But if that's what you're going to do, probably you should just get a manual.

If you really have a piece of poo poo that requires you to downshift to pass another car, automatics downshift when you fully depress the accelerator which is extremely intuitive and works fine in practice.

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soggywaffles
Mar 18, 2009


Discrete gearboxes of the manual and automatic variety are both obsolete. It's all about the CVT now. (Kidding, still firmly entrenched in the manual camp)

Edward IV
Jan 15, 2006



One thing I've always been hesitant with manuals is driving at low speeds with a lot of start and stops. Particularly driving on a congested roads, city driving, and maneuvering through a parking lot. I hear you have to slip the clutch to let the engine spin at more torque producing speeds and move slower than torque producing engine speeds but that means potentially burning the clutch. As much as I don't like trying to convince an automatic transmission to work properly, I do like the ability to crawl without having to work multiple pedals in a specific sequence and timing and excessively wearing out (to the best of my understanding) a rather difficult to reach component.

dissss
Nov 10, 2007

I'm a terrible forums poster with terrible opinions.

Here's a cat fucking a squid.

Christmas Present posted:

Yeah this is a thing I didn't know until last winter, when I needed to restrict it to 1st gear in order to get out of the snowy uphill that is the only access to my apartment complex.

Serious question - how on earth did you get your license without knowing that?

Last Chance
Dec 31, 2004



Wow, I had no idea that obsolete tech like manual transmissions were still in heavy use around the world. Love this thread.

3D Megadoodoo
Nov 25, 2010

BENIS


dissss posted:

Serious question - how on earth did you get your license without knowing that?

Because being able to drive an automatic transmission automobile is not in any way required to get a driver's license?

dissss
Nov 10, 2007

I'm a terrible forums poster with terrible opinions.

Here's a cat fucking a squid.

Jerry Cotton posted:

Because being able to drive an automatic transmission automobile is not in any way required to get a driver's license?

Surely you should need to know what a transmission is for - its the exact same concept whether your car is a manual or an auto

3D Megadoodoo
Nov 25, 2010

BENIS


dissss posted:

Surely you should need to know what a transmission is for - its the exact same concept whether your car is a manual or an auto

No it's not.

Johnny Aztec
Jan 29, 2005

Set Phasers to FUN!

Loving all this car elitism itt. I bet Automative insanity would love a spritely thread on automatic versus manual.

cobalt impurity
Apr 23, 2010

I hope he didn't care about that pizza.


Horace posted:

Electric windows are terrible, they're so agonisingly slow and often only work with the ignition on. It's not a deal breaker but I'd take the winder any day.

And what if you have to roll down a window that isn't the one you're sitting next to? There are plenty of times I've needed to talk to someone at a light who was on my passenger side, or wanted to only open the rear windows. My two most recent cars even have an "auto" mode where one tap of the button automatically puts them all the way down if I want. I had manual windows on my first car and it was the biggest pain in the rear end; the novelty of rolling down my windows without having to turn on or start the car isn't worth much.

Horace
Apr 17, 2007

Gone Skiin'



^ That's true, that's when they're useful. I just find them inferior to manual windows in every other situation.

Okay, here's a bit of genuinely obsolete automotive tech.



(enlargable)

Aftermarket fuel computers for carburettor cars! When these show up on eBay they're usually unused, and I think that's because a lot of people found the installation a bit daunting. You've got to cut into your fuel line to install that (massive!) filter and flow sensor, you have to pull your speedo out of the dash to install the distance sensor "as close as possible to the revolving magnetic field within the speedometer" and then there's a fistful of wiring to connect these components to each other, the box and your existing loom. Oh, and of course you need to drill into your dashboard to install the box itself. Then it needs calibrating on the road.

But it's all worth it for that instantaneous MPG readout in a box which is integrated into your dash so well no-one would ever know it wasn't factory!

Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat



Grimey Drawer

One of the problems I find with modern cars is their engines are too quiet to shift on audio cues. On my old Volkswagen it was easy to know when to up or downshift. On my 2001 Saturn, not so much. You can keep your eye on the RPM meter or a blinking light on the dashboard, but what's the fun in that?

Now a lot of cars can switch between automatic or manual mode. You don't get that hot sexy clutch action, but you're also not riding the brake down a mountain road either.

And gently caress cars without power windows or locks. If you're hauling people around no one ever remembers to lock their door or roll up their window.

Aargh
Sep 8, 2004



Last Chance posted:

Wow, I had no idea that obsolete tech like manual transmissions were still in heavy use around the world. Love this thread.

Ask anyone who enjoys driving and at least 90% of them will prefer a manual transmission. My current car is auto and while it's easier in the city where most of my driving is I do miss having a manual transmission, there is a lot more feel and control there. A lot of autos have a manual shift these days however it's just not the same. If the technology was up to it when I bought this car I would've gone with a DSG but I just don't have the money to replace a gearbox if it fails. However give it 5 years and dual clutch transmissions will likely render both Autos and Manuals obsolete.

Hugh G. Rectum
Mar 1, 2011



atomicthumbs posted:

you know you can move the gear selector down to "2" or "1" to make it stay in lower gears, right

Most traditional autos this is a really good way to overheat your transmission if you're using it for engine braking. I've even driven automatics with manual gear selection which is much nicer but even then timing the throttle so the car doesn't lurch is a guessing game since there's a random amount of delay before it will actually shift. The only good "automatics" at this are double clutch boxes like you find on VW/Audi/Porsche which are really just computer shifted manuals. Those at least are tied into the ECU and with drive by wire they will blip the throttle at just the right moment for you.

Passing quickly on the highway can be frustrating as well when you're aiming for a small gap in the other lane. In a manual car you drop down a gear ahead of time and when the gap is there you already have power. In an automatic you're playing the guessing game since you'll have no power until it finally reacts, timing that shift with the gap is annoying as hell.

Autos are fine most of the time they just annoy me on hills and the highway since they are entirely reactive.

RedContraGuy
Oct 30, 2008

I always played as red because he had a bigger package.


To the fella that posted earlier about difficulty learning a manual: the best way I found? Force yourself. I strapped myself with a manual car with only a very basic understanding of how to do it. You learn fast when it's not "Ah well, I can learn next week" versus "Oh poo poo, I can't get to (work, school, both)" if I don't."

Every car has its nuances, too. Rotaries like I drive tend to require a more feathery touch on the clutch and gas to get going because of the near-zero torgue at low RPMs. My dad's Jeep Wrangler had a very heavy clutch by comparison, and a lot more torque, and could easily be clutch-walked with little to no gas applied.

RedContraGuy has a new favorite as of 02:00 on May 12, 2014

Hugh G. Rectum
Mar 1, 2011



That's how I learned. It was either take the bus or drive my brothers 1983 5 speed civic. The lighter the car the easier it is to learn on usually since it's that much harder to stall it out and the clutch tends to be proportionately lighter as well. Any old Civic or Corolla is a great way to learn, don't make your first manual car a Corvette or a large pickup truck.

UnfortunateSexFart
May 18, 2008

𒃻 𒌓𒁉𒋫 𒆷𒁀𒅅𒆷
𒆠𒂖 𒌉 𒌫 𒁮𒈠𒈾𒅗 𒂉 𒉡𒌒𒂉𒊑




Sudo Echo posted:

I live in San Fran and automatics are annoying as hell. No engine braking so you have to constantly be feathering the brakes down hills and up hills they upshift way too early and leave you with no power unless you floor it and wait for it to finally get the message. Once you've been driving manual long enough you don't have to think about it, automatics only have downsides to me. It's like having a blind and deaf man shift for you.

It's also a great excuse not to lend bad drivers your car without having to hurt their feelings.

I have a 100hp Mazda 2 with auto and live and work on the coast mountains of British Columbia with no problem. Get some momentum going and any hill is ok.

Typical topography



On the other hand there are no highways in most of Vancouver so manuals are a tedious pain when you have to stop every two blocks.

Sunshine89
Nov 22, 2009


Phanatic posted:

Automatics and manuals are both compromises: the engine's only going to deliver peak torque in a narrow rpm range so you need a way to keep the engine in that rpm range over a wide range of vehicle speeds.

Historically, manual transmissions were more efficient: automatics used torque converters which waste energy in the fluid coupling. Automatics were also more mechanically complex, so you didn't see them with as many gears. And, again due mainly to the torque converter, they couldn't handle as much input power as contemporary manuals (there were exceptions to this; the '53 Corvette infamously came with a two-speed automatic because Chevy didn't have a manual capable of handling 150 horsepower).

Most of these disadvantages have decreased or disappeared. Automatics are still mechanically complex, but they're a mature technology and you see luxury cars with 7- or even 8-speed automatics, which means that "a manual gets better mileage" isn't necessarily true anymore.

The advantage of a manual in my opinion is that it allows you to anticipate. An automatic only knows what you're doing with the car *now*, it doesn't know what you're planning on doing. Highway passing in an automatic is annoying; you need to give the car enough gas for the ECU to realize "Hey, this guy must want to pass," and then wait for it to downshift. With a manual, you just downshift and go. You can downshift ahead of turns to be in the right gear to accelerate out of the turn. And I'm not sure why you think manuals are annoying on hills, they're a downright pleasure, because you don't even have to touch the brakes: just put it in whichever gear limits your speed as you descend, and then just throw it into a higher gear as you reach the bottom. Driving in hilly country with an automatic is really annoying by comparison (of course, sitting in stop-and-go traffic is more annoying with a manual).

Again, they're both compromises. Ideally you'd want an engine with a completely flat torque curve that delivers the same torque no matter how fast it's spinning, but that's not really possible. The electric motors in things like the Tesla, which deliver maximum torque at 0rpm, are neat and that's one of the things that makes them so mechanically simple: the transmission is just a single fixed gear. But even that doesn't give you the anticipatory abilities of a manual.

The automatic that Chevy used throughout the 1950s and early 1960s was the two-speed Powerglide. Rough, jerky and downright bombproof. Even the 1961 Impala SS could be had with a 305 hp big-block V8 coupled to a truck Powerglide with more aggressive gearing.

Higher end Pontiacs, and all Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs could be equipped with GM's Hydra-Matic transmission. It came with a staggering four forward gears, and was smooth and reliable. It also added over 400 pounds to the curb weight of a car.

Now, manual or automatic is really a preference thing. If you use your car as an appliance, you'll want an automatic. If your driving experience is the union of man and machine, you'll want a stick

Sunshine89 has a new favorite as of 04:24 on May 12, 2014

Zig-Zag
Aug 29, 2007

Why don't we just start shooting tar heroin instead?

Yeah I had a manual for 2 weeks then drove it from Louisiana to south Carolina. Definitely learned quick. Also there are NO hills in new Orleans so driving in sc was stall city man. It was so stressful.

dissss
Nov 10, 2007

I'm a terrible forums poster with terrible opinions.

Here's a cat fucking a squid.

Jerry Cotton posted:

No it's not.

Uhh yes it is. Either way there are situations where you need to select a lower gear.

leidend posted:

On the other hand there are no highways in most of Vancouver so manuals are a tedious pain when you have to stop every two blocks.

If you drive one for a week in traffic you won't even notice you're changing gears

Zopotantor
Feb 24, 2013

...und ist er drin dann lassen wir ihn niemals wieder raus...


Last Chance posted:

Wow, I had no idea that obsolete tech like manual transmissions were still in heavy use around the world. Love this thread.

Yeah, let's talk about really obsolete stuff... like unsynchronized manual transmissions. Clutch, shift into neutral, HIT THE GAS, clutch, shift into next gear,...

Peanut Butler
Jul 25, 2003





dissss posted:

Serious question - how on earth did you get your license without knowing that?

Learned on a manual, and in Kansas, no less. Even if I had learned on an automatic, forcing 1st and 2nd gear doesn't really get much use around here, and I can't recall knowing how the car works to be a prerequisite for driving- it was mostly traffic rules and a quick driving test around the sparse part of town.

Caedus
Sep 11, 2007

It's good to have a sense of scale.



leidend posted:

I have a 100hp Mazda 2 with auto and live and work on the coast mountains of British Columbia with no problem. Get some momentum going and any hill is ok.


On the other hand there are no highways in most of Vancouver so manuals are a tedious pain when you have to stop every two blocks.

How are you supposed to build up momentum if you're doing 20 up the mountain highway with 500 other cars?

I drove a stick from Ontario to Atlanta, GA and back, then to BC a year later. The car handled everything fine, until Vancouver traffic killed it within a month. It's not fair to have LA traffic and BC geography. I agree that manual cars are way more enjoyable to drive but I gave up and bought an auto when I had the chance because I already knew what I was in for.

Silmarildur
Jan 30, 2005

Thats what I'm Tolkien about.

Zopotantor posted:

Yeah, let's talk about really obsolete stuff... like unsynchronized manual transmissions. Clutch, shift into neutral, HIT THE GAS, clutch, shift into next gear,...

I learned to drive stick on a BMW and not too long after tried my cousin's manual Saturn wagon. It felt like I had trained to be a fighter pilot and was being asked to drive a golf cart. Double clutching on the other hand is a strange and beautiful art. I've been a mechanic for a few years now, and love to feeling of the opaque layers of something you interact with daily being stripped away. Downshifting my dad's MG A with its toasted 2nd gear synchro collar is great fun while driving up a mountain in a car with like 60 HP. Trying to visualize the speed of the input shaft as you let off the clutch and the output shaft being spun by the wheels quickly changes from a fun thought experiment to being terrifying when a truck that could literally run your entire car over is barreling up behind you. Anyway, I love cars and manual transmissions. The elitism is pretty silly though. I drive a 90s Mercedes that is basically just a luxury rocket with a go fast pedal and I love it. I do miss having a manual as a daily driver for the constant sense that I could be improving my skill and that the limitation is me and not my equipment though.

Jeherrin
Jun 7, 2012


Zopotantor posted:

Yeah, let's talk about really obsolete stuff... like unsynchronized manual transmissions. Clutch, shift into neutral, HIT THE GAS, clutch, shift into next gear,...

My father taught me the magic of double clutching (I think, in the UK, we call it double de-clutching) and it's wonderful. Get it right, and you can change gear without the clutch at all, because you've matched the RPM. Not, of course, to be recommended unless you want very shiny nubbins instead of actual teeth on your gears... My father's mid-life crisis car is an Austin Healey 3000 (Mk 1, I think, or maybe Mk 2) and that has no syncromesh between 1st and 2nd. It's also got straight cut teeth for 1st, so it's quite noisy in 1st... those two things combined made the first time I drove it a terrifying experience.

Seriously, though, the city driving thing I've driven a manual for years and it's actually better for city driving, because you have even more speed control. You have clutch-walking in first (all the way to clutch fully out and no gas, on a diesel at least!) then first gear with some gas, then clutch-walking in second, then second with some gas, and if you need really slow speeds you just slip the clutch very slightly from a standstill and creep forward. Definitely easier.

Jeherrin has a new favorite as of 11:43 on May 12, 2014

Datasmurf
Jan 19, 2009

Carpe Noctem

Jerry Cotton posted:

Shouldn't have tried it on a BMW they have poo poo clutches

So far I've tried a 94 Ford Scorpio 5d estate, a 97 Ford Galaxy Ghia, a 03 Audi A4 Avant estate, and a Peugeot 308 5d hatchback from the mid 2000s. Still can't handle stick.

Sunshine89
Nov 22, 2009


Jeherrin posted:

My father taught me the magic of double clutching (I think, in the UK, we call it double de-clutching) and it's wonderful. Get it right, and you can change gear without the clutch at all, because you've matched the RPM. Not, of course, to be recommended unless you want very shiny nubbins instead of actual teeth on your gears... My father's mid-life crisis car is an Austin Healey 3000 (Mk 1, I think, or maybe Mk 2) and that has no syncromesh between 1st and 2nd. It's also got straight cut teeth for 1st, so it's quite noisy in 1st... those two things combined made the first time I drove it a terrifying experience.

Seriously, though, the city driving thing I've driven a manual for years and it's actually better for city driving, because you have even more speed control. You have clutch-walking in first (all the way to clutch fully out and no gas, on a diesel at least!) then first gear with some gas, then clutch-walking in second, then second with some gas, and if you need really slow speeds you just slip the clutch very slightly from a standstill and creep forward. Definitely easier.

Again, that amounts to preference. Most people who just want to get from Point A to Point B aren't going to want to bother with the above steps when they can just push down one of two pedals, and don't care about some gains in efficiency.

A manual offers more control, an automatic sacrifices that for convenience.


Much like e-cigarettes and Linux OSes, people who have manual transmissions must let the entire world know that they have one.

TerryLennox
Oct 12, 2009

There is nothing tougher than a tough Mexican, just as there is nothing gentler than a gentle Mexican, nothing more honest than an honest Mexican, and above all nothing sadder than a sad Mexican. -R. Chandler.


Mister Kingdom posted:

If your battery dies, you can get a push start in a manual, As far as gas mileage goes, if you aren't that good at shifting, your mileage may actually vary.

What's the consensus about shifting? I typically shift at 2000 RPM, my dad claims I should wait until 3000. Its a turbo diesel, so I tend to shift early to prevent the turbo from engaging and sucking up fuel like a milkshake.

TerryLennox has a new favorite as of 12:15 on May 12, 2014

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat




Sunshine89 posted:

Much like e-cigarettes and Linux OSes,
I'd just like to interject for a moment. What you're referring to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as I've recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux.

mobby_6kl
Aug 9, 2009

"You are the best poster... do not let anyone say otherwise."


TerryLennox posted:

What's the consensus about shifting? I typically shift at 2000 RPM, my dad claims I should wait until 3000. Its a turbo diesel, so I tend to shift early to prevent the turbo from engaging and sucking up fuel like a milkshake.

There's no consensus on shifting because it depends greatly on the car and its drivetrain. For your turbodiesel 2k is appropriate, in fact going my higher will waste fuel without making you go much faster at all. On the other hand my miata wouldn't like this at all and so I shift at around 3 to 4k (or 7...) depending on how fast I want to go and how much I hate my wallet. Cars with larger gas engines can also be shifted at lower speeds, even larger displacement 4-bangers have enough low-end power to shift around 2.5 or so.

Phanatic
Mar 13, 2007

Please don't forget that I am an extremely racist idiot who also has terrible opinions about the Culture series.


Zopotantor posted:

Yeah, let's talk about really obsolete stuff... like unsynchronized manual transmissions. Clutch, shift into neutral, HIT THE GAS, clutch, shift into next gear,...

Transmissions without synchromesh aren't really obsolete, you still find them in applications where you need to haul big loads. So basically most commercial 18-wheelers. Those guys might have to deal with 18 speeds, using two shifters (or one shifter and a splitter switch). Double-clutching all the way. *Plus* a clutch brake to slow down the idle gear.

I'm pretty good with a stick but that poo poo just breaks my head.

Collateral Damage
Jun 13, 2009



Guess why truckers get so angry when they're cut off. Losing speed and having to shift down means another five minutes of working their way back up through the gears.

3D Megadoodoo
Nov 25, 2010

BENIS


Collateral Damage posted:

Guess why truckers get so angry when they're cut off. They're all terminal shitheads who are eternally bitter at people who don't have to drive a lovely truck to make a living.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

^^^^ Try driving a truck for a hour in traffic. Truckers generally have the patience of saints, despite all the poo poo they have to put up with from lovely drivers.

TerryLennox posted:

What's the consensus about shifting? I typically shift at 2000 RPM, my dad claims I should wait until 3000. Its a turbo diesel, so I tend to shift early to prevent the turbo from engaging and sucking up fuel like a milkshake.

For everyday driving around, shifting at 2000 RPM is just fine. However, I disagree with mobby_6kl, because you should definitely let it rev to around 3000-3500, maybe 4000 on some engines when you want to go fast, like on a motorway onramp.

Another huge factor that a lot of people forget is that modern diesels have EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valves, variable geometry turbochargers and various other fancy mechanical gubbins. These gubbins will soot up and get stuck unless they're regularly activated. That's why diesels are bad for short journeys where the engine doesn't reach operating temperature. You need to warm up the engine and usually go above 2500 RPM for the EGR valve to activate. In other words, don't baby your diesel engine too much, or you'll have an expensive repair coming up after a couple of years.

I know some cars 'massage' the turbo vanes on each startup to prevent soot buildup, but it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to EGR valves.

Also, I must have a huge 4-banger in my car, because I can shift at 2000 RPM all day long and still keep up with traffic (2.2 with ~80% torque available from 2000 RPM. Gas, not diesel)

RE: the manual/automatic transmission thing, I used to be a manual fanatic. After I started riding motorcycles, cars took on a different niche for me. Now I want comfort, space, torque, good A/C and a decent stereo. As long as it doesn't hunt gears too much and isn't too sluggish on changes, I'd have no problem driving an automatic. I also prefer softer suspensions, so perhaps I'm an atypical car enthusiast

Platystemon
Feb 13, 2012



Collateral Damage posted:

Guess why truckers get so angry when they're cut off. Losing speed and having to shift down means another five minutes of working their way back up through the gears.

Its a hard job.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imhBoE56OEs

Mr. Beefhead
May 8, 2003

I can make beans into peas.

dissss posted:

Serious question - how on earth did you get your license without knowing that?

In my drivers ed course in high school in the US they pretty much taught us the rules of the road and basic driving skills. Things like how the car actually worked weren't really touched on. I can specifically remember a kid asking what the "1" and "2" were for on an automatic transmission shifter and being told "that's for towing things, don't mess with it".

Also, just as an aside, we were never taught how to deal with any real traffic, highway driving, or the dreaded "parallel park" as depicted in the comedic teen movies of the 80s and 90s. This probably goes a long way toward explaining why the majority the people I went to school with, in a suburb about thirty minutes of Chicago, flat-out refuse to drive to the actual city of Chicago for any reason.

3D Megadoodoo
Nov 25, 2010

BENIS


KozmoNaut posted:

^^^^ Try driving a truck for a hour in traffic. Truckers generally have the patience of saints, despite all the poo poo they have to put up with from lovely drivers.

Truckers are dipshits who spend mostall of their free time complaining about loaders and other drivers on Imgur or whatever.

Zopotantor
Feb 24, 2013

...und ist er drin dann lassen wir ihn niemals wieder raus...


KozmoNaut posted:

^^^^ Try driving a truck for a hour in traffic. Truckers generally have the patience of saints, despite all the poo poo they have to put up with from lovely drivers.

OTOH, driving the most massive thing on the road can be strangely relaxing. As my army driving instructor said: "If we had seat belts in here, nothing bad could happen to us at all."
Yes, of course he was joking. Though I'm not entirely sure about that "gently caress cyclists, just run him over" thing.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




Phanatic posted:

Transmissions without synchromesh aren't really obsolete, you still find them in applications where you need to haul big loads. So basically most commercial 18-wheelers. Those guys might have to deal with 18 speeds, using two shifters (or one shifter and a splitter switch). Double-clutching all the way. *Plus* a clutch brake to slow down the idle gear.

I'm pretty good with a stick but that poo poo just breaks my head.

I drove an old water tanker truck for a few years back in high school. It was a 10 speed with the splitter switch. I only touched the clutch when starting from a stop, otherwise it was all about clutchless shifting. After a few tries I stopped grinding the gears... get up to speed, give it a final little goose of throttle, then the shifter should move out of gear pretty easily and, if you've done it right, into the next one. It was fun, but getting up to 40 involved shifting through about 6 gears.

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mobby_6kl
Aug 9, 2009

"You are the best poster... do not let anyone say otherwise."


KozmoNaut posted:

^^^^ Try driving a truck for a hour in traffic. Truckers generally have the patience of saints, despite all the poo poo they have to put up with from lovely drivers.


For everyday driving around, shifting at 2000 RPM is just fine. However, I disagree with mobby_6kl, because you should definitely let it rev to around 3000-3500, maybe 4000 on some engines when you want to go fast, like on a motorway onramp.
...

It certainly depends on the engine, my experience was that revving the 1.9 TDI in an Octavia produces a lot of noise and little else, and trust me, I tried to redline it in every gear to Autobahn speeds

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