sadly for us here in australia the market is too small and then the people who have 451s arent into modding them..
even the uk seems very slack, but im hoping the US willkick things along.....
sadly for you guys you dont get the turbo, your really missing out, cant wait till you finally do get it though as the aftermarket and tuning side of things will really kick of then, but till then we just have to wait..
anyways... faster gearshift? a remap wont make the gearshift faster, BUT... there is a company in italy that sell the software to be able to reprogram the gearbox so you can do as you please with it, much faster changes, alter the clutch point etc... who knows whatever really... thing is the large $$$ outlay, but in the US im sure you'd be able to get hundreds of ppl interested in it and that'd bring the cost right down.... then we can all benefit... how about it :D
Do you have the softouch option on your turbo pulse?
I'm finding that the auto program change points are vastly different to the manual shift prompts. The notable differences are:
First gear in Auto mode can stick and hold until red line under rapid acceleration. 0 to 60 kph with a blast of revs. This is sometimes more aggressive a get-away than intended.
Gently accelerate in Auto and it will shift at around 3,500 rpm. Ease off the accelerator a touch and softouch shifts up very smoothly.
In manual in fourth, the shift up pormpt will appear at 60 kph... change gear and it lugs at around 1740 rpm. In Auto, it won't change into fifth until around 80 kph.
On top of the different shift programming, I'd almost swear that the softouch Auto program is changing the shift points as the engine breaks in. It is almost as if softouch has been programmed for more aggressive driving than the manual shift points have been. On the twisty hill climb roads, softouch does a remarkably good job of shifting up and down between third and fourth when climbing and descending... almost like it double de-clutches down shifts when rolling into a bend.
If we could get the tranny reprogrammed; what would you like to see? (Me: I'm not sure... still being trained by m.smart how to drive.)
yeah i have it all soft touch etc... i rarley use the auto mode as it's not suited to my driving style
what i'd like to see though is gear changes that are as quick as a real manual change and not 1 second + also some more rpm for hard launches, the rest can be tuned through the ecu, like the way the car continues to rev even though you have lifted off also i dont want the transmission to change up a gear when in manual mode...
Last week I placed an order for my smart. While doing so, I was told about a black/black Passion coupe that was traded back to the dealer when it's owner selected a NEW smart from the "seconadry" list. With 3,500 miles on it, and looking absolutely new, I bought it. When my fully customized smart arrives in two years (smile) , I'll see what I can get for my "high-demand" passion.
Driving now for a week (was so jazzed on test drive I couldn't concentrate on a thing other than was driving a smart), I am truly unhappy with the 'dead-spot' between gears in auto. The car is designed well enough so that a smart owner should not have to suffer a sluggish tranny to own a smart. In 'manual', I have learned to get the smoothest gear change with precision shifts at particular rpms. Maybe just me but the "quirky-transmission" detracts from the entire driving experience...enough to make me question If I'm suffering through a driving experience just to drive my long awaited smart (by Mercedes - engine by Mitsubishi).
Smart seems to have Microsoft's marketing sense on the issue: "It's not a 'bug'...it's a FEATURE.
Any others question their selection...really unhappy?
""Any others question their selection...really unhappy?"
Nope - the transmission is what it is - an automated manual with an electric clutch and computer control. To make it shift better in auto just keep the throttle pressed down; don't jiggle it up and down or try to anticipate the shift.
My first two weeks I stayed in manual mode and my first tank gas mileage was horrible. I learned to shift it OK, but had a tendancy to keep the rpm's up. I was doing 35 mph in 4th gear and not shifting there until I had reached 35.
These past two tanks I've used nothing but auto mode. It shifts into 5th gear around 35mph - sometimes it feels like its lugging but a slight grade will kick it back down to 4th. The gas mileage has gone up nearly 10mpg. And most of my driving is 35 - 50 mph, so by forcing it to stay in manual I was eating up lots of gas.
It's not really a dead spot between gears - it's the clutch disengaging, tranny shifting and then clutch reengaging again. It all takes time to do. If you were doing it with an actual clutch, you'd probably take even longer.
Have patience and accept it for what it is - with time you'll grow accustomed to how it works and enjoy it all the more. And it will become smoother . . .
While I am not unhappy with my smart or my purchase decision (other than when I first bought it and occasionally needed to move NOW to avoid a nasty situation, and the car dithered in auto mode trying to decide what gear to use), I understand Ron's frustration. It does not take me that long to execute a manual shift with a clutch and regular manual transmission. In fact, it does not take that long for many automated manuals to shift. The smart's notorious lag between 1st and 2nd is a consequence of cost control. There are high end units produced by Getrag and ZF that will snap off that same shift faster than you can blink. But...they cost money...and that would kill smart's price points. So I have learned the car's lesson: Read the road, anticipate what's about to happen, know what you're going to do, and be on top of what's going on. In that sense, it is a driver's car, and I have become a better driver because of it. As for the shift characteristics, we get what we pay for....
most of my normal driving in D, the tranny hits 5th around 35mph on level ground, sometimes at 35 or less, i'll lock it into 5th, it'll flash the down arrow a couple times, but it gives up when it knows i know better. i just wonder about the older smart's 6 speed tranny and some of MB's new 7 speed trannies. i know, the smart is the 21st century beetle. VW dropping the ball, they make smaller cars in brazil and europe, but don't sell them here (the polo, then fox)
it's like this recent car show where i had my smart, a '66 GTO owner said "you sure have a pair to drive that!" (small of a car), i'm sure more americans would like the opportunity to drive euro/jap micro-cars (i'm one!) (isetta is too small, fiat and mini, parts/service too expensive/hard to find)
There seems to be a big difference in the progamming between the US pure / passion and the Aussie turbo pulse. Here, "souftouch" (Auto) is not standard; it is a $750 option. Mine tends to shift so differently in softouch that the default manual shifting possibly gives me better fuel economy and control. I'm tending to use softouch (A) mainly when in parking lot type situations where concentration on idiots cutting across takes precedence over driving.
softouch on my smart will not shift into and hold 5th gear at speeds less than 50 mph / 80 kph. Manual will allow chugging down to 60 kph / 37 mph (1740 rpm) in 5th without much blinking of the shift down arrow. That's why I posted earlier that the softouch programming on my car seems set to higher shift points aimed at performance, more than economy.
Manual shifts are fast and smooth. I use the same accelerator movements as I would with a normal manual transmission, the smart electric clutch does exactly what I would do with a clutch pedal. (I have driven manual trannies for 40 years; never keen on automatics.) So I'm still a bit ambiguous about the softouch auto program.
I find the car shifts quicker with the install of my new exhaust. It is very loud, though.
There is still a lag from 1st-2nd but the other gears are much snappier.
The extra 5whp and 14ft-lb of torque is not a seat of the pants THRUST, but at least shifting has improved 30-50%. This is something you may want to look into and good luck with the turbo : )
Thanks for your response "jackb". let me be candid, hopefully without offending any other smart owners. Jackb, you begin respond with "while I am not unhappy with my smart purchase...". "Not unhappy", is a benign condition. It sounds as if you COULD be happier with your new car. I understand (SubSir88's thought) if 'you chose the smart, it's (the lag) inherent in the vehicle, you'll become accustomed'. I'm trying to get accustomed to a feature of my new smart I really don't like. In marriage we might adore our mate but could, if pressed, identify a change here or there we wouldn't mind. These cars aren't people that have characteristics you need to accept.
As pointed out, the lag in theb tranny is a "cost control" item. Smart could have fixed that irritating 'lag', but wanted to see the car's cost fall in 'reasonable' price range. This simply rankles my ass. I didn't get an opportunity for an upgraded transmission that would NOT lag.
And yes, on my test drive I felt the awkward lag...but was just to dazzled to understand the consequences of the "hurry up and move NOW' frustration jackb references. The Honda 600 (1972), Honda's 1st US release, ran quick (2cyls?). In the 90s I borrowed a friends Chevy GEO rag top. A 4 speed again and 3 (?) cylinders that hummed around just beautifully. POINT: Small cars can be made to shift with ease. Why could/would smart with a killer little car, and a comfortable cabin, not go all the way to finish-up with a comfortable/fun driving experience? I'm giving the car a bit of time, will "have patience and (try to) accept it for what it is", and see if that lag stops wearing on my nerves. Interestingly, in a conversation with a smart owner who fumed about his 'lag', it was suggested the lag is potentially dangerous (interesting). In certain traffic situations you need to rely on your vehicle's ability to sync with your intuitive reactions. Smart asks it's owners to compensate for an unusual performance dynamic with a toss-away, "It has a unique shifting style but everyone gets used to it". There is a choice? I suppose love is blind. Sorry for the long post. You've all been great responding with various thoughts on this matter. Thanks. Ron.
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