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Ralph wants/needs an automatic

Discussion in 'Generation V Discussions / SRT Coupe, GTS, GTC, AC' started by I Bin Therbefor, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. I Bin Therbefor

    I Bin Therbefor Enthusiast

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    Buy from GM?

    General Motors Rear Wheel Drive Eight Speed Automatic Transmission
    Technical Paper
    2014-04-01
    James Michael Hart, Tejinder Singh, William Goodrich

    General Motors Rear Wheel Drive Eight Speed Automatic Transmission General Motors shall introduce a new rear wheel drive eight speed automatic transmission, known as the 8L90, in the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette. The rated turbine torque capacity is 1000 Nm. This transmission replaces the venerable 6L80 six speed automatic transmission. The objectives behind creation of this transmission are improved fuel economy, performance, and NVH. Packaging in the existing vehicle architecture and high mileage dependability are the givens. The architecture is required to offer low cost for a rear drive eight speed transmission while meeting the givens and objectives. An eight speed powerflow, invented by General Motors, was selected. This powerflow yields a 7.0 overall ratio spread, enabling improved launch capability because of a deeper first gear ratio and better fuel economy due to lower top gear N/V capability, relative to the 6L80. The eight speed ratios are generated using four simple planetary gearsets, two brake clutches and three rotating clutches. The resultant on-axis transmission architecture utilizes a squashed torque converter, an off-axis pump and four close coupled gearsets. The three rotating clutches have been located forward of the gearsets to minimize the length of oil feeds which provides for enhanced shift response and simplicity of turbine shaft manufacturing. The transmission architecture features a case with integral bell housing for enhanced powertrain stiffness. A unique pump drive design allows for off-axis packaging very low in the transmission. The pump is a binary vane type which effectively allows for two pumps in the packaging size of one. This design and packaging strategy not only enables low parasitic losses and optimum priming capability but also provides for ideal oil routing to the controls system, with the pump located in the valve body itself. The transmission controller is externally mounted, enabling packaging and powertrain integration flexibilities. The controller makes use of three speed sensors which provide for enhanced shift response and accuracy. Utilization of aluminum and magnesium components throughout the transmission yields competitive mass. The dedicated compensator feed circuit, used in GM six speed designs, was supplanted by a lube-fed design in order to simplify oil routing and enhance shift response. Packaging is within that of the GM 6L80 design, allowing for ease of application integration. The overall result is a robust, compact, and cost effective transmission which offers significant fuel economy and performance benefit, over its six speed counterpart, and shall provide an attractive balance of overall metrics in the automatic transmission market.

    http://papers.sae.org/2014-01-1721/
     
  2. purenxs

    purenxs Enthusiast

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    Even though I would not buy a Vette or Viper that had an automatic, plenty would if they were offered, and that would up the sales. I currently own a Corvette 427, which only came in a stick (2013, one year model), many have chimed in on the CF forums saying they would have bought one had they offered a stick on it or the Z06. Certainly if Viper plans to offer up a vert (like the 427) they should offer up the auto option as they are not track cars by default.

    Viper could keep the T.A. as the hardcore track enthusiast cars as stick only, and make the auto an option on the GTS. I don't own a Viper at this point but I am looking into it. I love the Vipers performance, looks, & quality build. Price, not so much, but I'm waiting to see what the spring looks like!;)
     
  3. Chuck 98 RT/10

    Chuck 98 RT/10 Enthusiast

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    Many folks SAY they would/would've bought xyz. The actual percentage that would have followed through is shockingly small.
     
  4. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Doubt he wants one, but surely knows sales would benefit if he had one. Kind of goes against everything the Viper has stood for in the past, and while they have offered more tech features to keep pace with the times, offering an auto really isn't tech, nor a feature that enhances the elemental driving experience. I personally would prefer the car not get dumbed down to make it appeal to the mainstream Joe, and Ralph will be wary of that because that also happens to be the Stingray's domain. A friend that tracks a GT-R just bought a Stingray this week to drive to the office because the GT-R is too rough and a bit much for doing the urban thing. What does that say about the Stingray, and who wants the Viper to become a daily driver? Sure, the C7Z is coming, and won't be purchased as a DD...as often...but it's image is already compromised by the base car that anybody and everybody can buy and drive anywhere. Ferrari may not offer a manual any more, but their buyers are more into image than performance.

    A manual transmission is not necessary for a high performance car, but it absolutely makes it more rewarding to drive at high performance levels. Perhaps one day Ralph will be forced to make compromises for the sake of performance, but I'm sure he's not looking forward to compromising the Viper's image or driving experience.

    Bruce
     
  5. purenxs

    purenxs Enthusiast

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    I can only speak for certain on Corvette and they sold 53.7% automatics out of the 13,466 C6 units Sold in model year 2013. Perhaps Corvette is an older demographic, don't know.
     
  6. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Average age of Corvette buyer is 63 or something I read on the Corvette forum. La-Z-Boy has been contracted to design a lift/recliner for 2015 C7 (Z/SE-zoomer/senior edition), and it will likely use the new 8L90 auto discussed here :)
     
  7. purenxs

    purenxs Enthusiast

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    More like 56-59 depending which source you utilize. Don't know about the lazy boy contract.:)

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/08/19/chevrolet-corvette-drive-younger-buyers/2671735/

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_average_age_of_a_Corvette_owner#slide2

    http://corvettes.about.com/od/history/a/What-Can-Chevy-Do-To-Attract-Younger-Buyers-To-Corvette.htm
     
  8. past ohio

    past ohio Enthusiast

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    I think that the coupe with carbon fiber removable roof panels ( that easily store in the trunk) PLUS the auto-paddle shifting would definitely offer more choices..my $.02
     
  9. bluestreak

    bluestreak Enthusiast

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    Some people won't/can't drive a stick. An auto would open the Viper up to more customers. Whether or not it's financially viable to produce both transmissions nobody knows. I'm not saying they should do it, but it's common sense that more people would be in the market. I can't imagine that the demographic for the Vette and Viper are all that different. Certainly there are a large number of people who are candidates or have owned both.
     
  10. MoparMap

    MoparMap VCA National President

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    I still say no auto, but an automatic manual (PDK, DCT, whatever you want to call them) would be a decent compromise. I just don't like autos in general, they lag too much. They've come a long way since the TH400 in my 71 Vette, but with that car if you put your foot down all that happens is it gets louder. Never really feels like the wheels are connected to the engine like with a stick shift. Instance throttle responce on a standard, not so much with a torque converter.
     
  11. swexlin

    swexlin Viper Owner

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    I'm pretty sure that there will be a paddle-shift option soon, as long as the Gen V survives. SRT has access to the Ferrari transmissions, especially the one in the FF, which can handle the torque. Just sayin.....

    However, if I had the $$ to buy a Gen 5, I'd still be buying the 6-speed.
     
  12. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Chrysler is under license with ZF and build ZFs for their own vehicles. ZF makes probably the best A6 and A8 with paddles and is used in high end vehicles already. Fastest shifting torque converter tranny that's only a tick off the DCTs. So they have the tech and plant to build their own if the desire, dollars and fitment is there.
     
  13. BigDawg

    BigDawg Enthusiast

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    Real Automatic will be a huge fail. A true DCT will be a huge win.

    Regardless of how fast the automatics from ZF shift, you still have the huge HP loss through the drivetain. With the DCT you have lighting quick shifts and no drivetrain HP loss. i.e. all the benefits of the automatic + all the benefits of the manual. That's why the DCT always results in significantly better times across the board.

    PS. I'm not an expert (obviously), if I'm wrong please feel free to explain why
     
  14. ACR steve

    ACR steve Viper Owner

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    New GT3 has an amazing PDK trust me its only a matter of time. They are stronger,do everything better and faster
     
  15. viper GTS-R

    viper GTS-R Enthusiast

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    No, Chrysler has no access to Ferrari anything. Last time I checked it was the other way around.

    --RS
     
  16. swexlin

    swexlin Viper Owner

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    Didn't know that. I still say a DCT is coming. I'm pretty sure.
     
  17. Grisoman

    Grisoman Enthusiast

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    Yup. My lowly experience driving a diesel Jetta with DCT (VW calls it 'DSG' or 'Direct Shift Gearbox') supports the great potential of a DCT if it scales up to Viper HP.
     
  18. Alabaster Mamba

    Alabaster Mamba Enthusiast

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    They lag too much? The fastest times for the new C7 are all using the A6 as an example. I don't want an automatic in my Viper but I am not going to say that it shouldn't have it either. Why would I be so self absorbed as to think I speak for everyone and tell them what they should and shouldn't get just because I don't want one? I also think that a DCT is what is also needed as an option for the Viper. But the power in the Viper needs an option for an automatic transmission. There isn't a person out there who can shift faster than one of the newer automatic transmissions.
     
  19. bluestreak

    bluestreak Enthusiast

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    I know Mercedes has some automatics with no Torque converters, in fact, they built them for Porsche which were called tiptronic. They shift fast, and are light, but as mentioned, they still sap a lot of HP.

    On the flip side, DCT are expensive to maintenance and repair and many times manufacturers will not fix a box, they make you replace the whole thing. I'm not a fan of DCT, takes too much of the responsibility (and fun) from the driver. Many people get bored with them after a period of time and want a manual again. If a DCT comes, you can expect to see the end of the manual because the development costs of the DCT have to be recouped and for a limited production model, people that have to have one or the other creates two separate markets making distribution harder and more expensive unless you go to a custom order only program.
     
  20. MoparMap

    MoparMap VCA National President

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    It's not necessarily that they don't shift fast, it's more their characteristics when just driving around normal I don't like. If you're just cruising on the highway and someone pulls up on you and nails it and you do the same there's a nasty lag time on the intial auto downshift and hit I don't like. Once you wind them up and they know you want to go fast they react well, but the transition from cruise to "all out" I don't care for. Kind of like boost lag vs. N/A. Once you get going boost hits hard, but at the hit it's a little soft.

    Transmissions are pre-programmed from the factory with shift patterns. Frankly I don't really like that and would rather be able to have the car in whatever gear I want it in. If I want to cruise the highway in 3rd then so be it. If I feel like downshifting from 6th to 3rd for a quick burst or skipping from 1st to 4th to cruise I want to be able to do that instead of the computer deciding when. There are some times I'll drive the car the exact same way (same amount of throttle, etc.) where I might hold it in gear longer for fun or whatever. I traded in my last daily for the Viper because it was kinda boring.

    I'm not trying to speak for everyone, but I think a lack of a true auto in a Viper is the last bit of the original Viper doctrine that should be held sacred. Cup holders are fine, sometimes they're just nice to have. A/C is appreciated on warm days and heck, windows and a roof are pretty dang nice when it rains. The question is really what they want to do with the Viper market. I saw an interesting article about the new Vette where they basically said they turned their backs on the "heritage" crowd and did what they wanted with tech and styling. It may hurt their sales some with a certain market, but then again the "newer" style has been around some time and maybe they're trying to target the youth since it seems a lot of Vette owners are older.

    Frankly, I think the two Viper "models" are already a compromise. The SRT is more like the Viper of old, a street terror that you can put a license plate on. The GTS sort of seems like a "pretender's" car to me. It's for the people who want to say "I have a race car", but don't want to live with owning one. Granted performance-wise they're really pretty equivalent, but that's just what I see when I look at the two cars. I don't really think that if you own a GTS you're a "pretender". Heck, I got a gen 3 because I wanted a roof and windows and didn't want to live with the offset pedals of a gen 2, so I'm just as guilty as the next guy for wanting to be comfortable. The interior difference from my mom's gen 1 makes me feel like I have the luxury car.
     
  21. 05Commemorative

    05Commemorative Viper Owner

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    I get really confused on these discussions and what the "real" viper is. At one level, everyone says its about performance. "Only give me items that add to the performance, don't want any fancy interiors, etc"

    So, I get very confused on why the auto/DD comes with any resistance? It makes the car faster. It opens it up to a set of new buyers. It is what is standard and expected in the price segment. Make it an option and everyone seems to win. If you want a manual, but that. If you don't, then don't.

    As a note, I recently test drove two new Porsche 911's 2S. One manual, the other auto. The auto (DCT) is significantly faster and more responsive. The manual probably still a bit more fun to drive as more engaging (maybe), but honestly not sure which I would choose given the option. As I drove the auto more, began to like it more. In fact, their high performance variants only come with the auto now.

    So, I am still confused why this is a debated item. couple questions:
    1) do you want the viper to survive? If No, then your opinion lost all of its value. If yes, then it is pretty obvious a conv and auto will help make that happen. The auto will have more impact.
    2) why would you be against having an auto as an option? Why do I care what another guy ordered on his car?
    3) how does it go against what a viper is? Should we remove ABS from the current cars?

    At the end of the day, if your concern is keeping exclusivity, that will continue to happen. At this price range, never going to be a huge #'s car, but it should be atleast able to sell 2k per year. It needs enough sales annually to keep it alive.

    As a side note, I think the TA should have the DCT option as well as that is the best place for it to be used (on the track).

    Lastly, this is all coming from a guy that loves manuals, but lets see the future and hold to the truth, if it is better for performance and sales, how could it not be a great idea.
     
  22. Dan Cragin

    Dan Cragin Enthusiast

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    I think the dual clutch auto would be the only way to go. An automatic with a torque converter would make it less of a sports car, take away some power and would be less modification friendly.
     
  23. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    Makes sense to me. The rumor is that the new positive displacement supercharged 6.2 liter Hellcat Challenger to come out late next year will have an eight speed auto. Whether there is a way to fit that auto to a Viper, I do not know.

    But the rumored power level of the Hellcat is equal to or higher than the Viper power level so if this is true, the new Hellcat eight speed, if it could be used in a Viper, would certainly be able to tolerate the Viper power level. Can you imagine? It would be a beast at the drag strip. No bog. Brake load it and launch like a bullet. BFG drag radials would probably be needed.

    Also, it just occurred to me that if the entire Hellcat drivetrain could be used in a Viper similar to the way GM has used the same engine with different calibrations in the Caddy and the ZR1 Vette and the rumored engine for the 2015 Z06 vette, I would have no problem with that either. It would free up some R&D money for other purposes to use one engine for more than one car and reduce the cost of the engine as a component of the Viper. Some are in love with ten cylinders. I just want the Viper to be the undisputed king of the hill and whatever engine gets it there is OK with me.

    As for road racing, that is a problem unless heat soak issues can be controlled and the new Z06 engine suggests that they can be controlled since it is the premier Vette road racer and the new engine is supercharged.

     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  24. Bonkers

    Bonkers VCA Venom Member - Northeast VCA Member

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    Not everyone. Ive been saying for years that manufacturers (SRT
    in particular) should take the Ring/Seca/VIR titles and blow them
    out their asses. As a car the Viper simply isnt going to compete
    with the hyperexotics - so why waste time and money and effort
    trying to? I think a lot of the original owners/enthusists like the
    Viper because it was the only high performance car on the market
    that you alone controled - no computers, no nannys, and no over-
    priced technicians needed to follow you around when something
    broke. Raw and simple. Who cares if its not competing with the
    $300k Ferraris? If you had $100k sitting around you could easily
    turn your car into whatever you want, race, street, or strip.

    The biggest problem with a company like Chrysler (and doubly
    so now that SRT has branched off) is that we are already
    tripling the costs associated with producing the cars we want
    with very little return. I for one would like a $60-70k Viper
    option. As a consumer it would be the ONLY way I would be
    able/willing to buy the GenV. To add the R&R to build/install
    an 8spd auto to meet Nuriringburg standards would add another
    $20k to the purchase prices of ALL vipers.

    Leave the shiny blinky things for the trust fund drivers out
    looking for status and give me a fun driving, pretty car
    that I can afford and work on in my own garage.

    Seems a little too much to ask these days...
     
  25. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Viper Owner

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    I have heard (I think it was from someone at SRT higher up, but don't quote me) that there is not enough room in the tunnel and the frame would need to be redesigned for an automatic, which isn't going to happen this generation.
     
  26. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    I remember that being written or said somewhere also but I do not know whether it referred to the new Hellcat eight speed. I know that an automatic can be installed in a vIper because Mark J at Woodhouse did it for a customer. Perhaps Mark can chime in and refresh our recollection on what his techs and he did.

     
  27. 05Commemorative

    05Commemorative Viper Owner

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    I think you just described a used Gen2 viper that you could get much cheaper, put on new brakes/wheels/tires/gears, moton suspension, then go play.

    But in today's world, even in that 70K price range, you would have to do much better to compete. Shoot, the new corvette z51 is in that price range and you get much more than you list.

    I guess we can all debate what price range the Viper should be in, but it has already been picked. So, if that is not changing, it must compete in that range.
     
  28. Nine Ball

    Nine Ball Enthusiast

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    I don't see what the big deal is. As long as the manual is always an option, and development of the automatic trans doesn't inflate the pricing of all of the vehicles, then let there be an automatic option. The day the Viper becomes only automatic (ala GT-R) is the day that I won't buy them any longer. But, I don't have a problem with there being an optional automatic. Prefer to see it as a DCT with flappy paddles, if they are gonna do it.
     
  29. Paul Hawker

    Paul Hawker Viper Owner

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    While the new transmissions are technological marvels, they do isolate you from that Direct Connection many say is the best feature of a Viper.

    Not all that often do they put a stop watch (that is for the magazines) to their 0-60 times, but every time they get in the car they get that feeling of being bolted into the Viper. The Viper becomes an extension of them selves, kind of like those war robots in Avatar.

    You feel connected to the engine in a different way than with an automatic. It is not so much the shifting speed, as that great feeling when you control the clutch shift just right to get your engine just where you want it in the power curve. You lock it in, and throttle away from the car next to you. You feel a kindred spirit with your Viper much more than in any slush box.

    I drove a Ferrari California with their fantastic double clutch system. Seamless power, but I got the feeling that it would be very expensive to maintain.

    On another note, driving in heavy, traffic, that feeling…not so much enjoyment.
     
  30. MoparMap

    MoparMap VCA National President

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    I think what I might miss more than a shifter is actually the clutch. I like having the control and being able to modulate the power or quickly disconnect the engine from the wheels when needed. A clutch "switch" still sort of exists potentially with paddles, but I think it tends to be more of an on-off deal, so no real modulation. Slick conditions, for instance, are nice to have the ability to scale back engine power with a little clutch slipping.

    Say in the wild world of make believe that they make a Viper option with a V8 and an auto and they price it at $50-60k like a Vette. Suddenly there's huge demand and they start pumping cars out at much larger volumes (would probably take a while to scale up, but let's play along). Suddenly seeing a Viper going down the road potentially becomes a daily occurance and you can't tell it from it's V10 big brother easily (kind of like a Z06). I'm not sure what I would think at that point. I've always liked the Viper because it only came in one flavor, fast. If you see a Viper, you know it's a race bred sports car, you're not trying to guess what they have under the hood. It's an experience for most people. Lambo had a similar issue with the Gallardo. Prior to it's release they only built hundreds of cars a year, after it, it was more like thousands per year. Owning one may become a little less special for some people depending on how numbers scale up.

    I look at it this way. Lots of kids these days don't even know they make cars you have to shift by hand. It's almost a theft prevention device. I actually read an article a while back where someone car jacked a Vette and didn't know how to drive it because it was a stick. They thieves actually asked the owner what the deal was and he said "uh, it's a manual" and they just looked at him funny. Plus, if you see a chick driving a Viper you know she knows how to drive a stick :D.
     

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