Automatic vs manual: which is faster?


Between Automatic vs manual, you must have thought about which is faster of the two! This article gives you an incisive view to guide you in your arguments or decisions

The argument on which transmission is faster has been ongoing for years unend. The older drivers and those who learned how to drive in the 90s or early 2000s will tell you that a manual is the best and nothing beats it. The ardent fans and users of automatic transmission cars tend to defend their own and even remind you that the fastest car in the world, the Bugatti veyron, is a 7-speed automatic transmission car.

Well, we won't use that as a basis for this argument. Another school of thought also believe that manual cars are more fuel efficient because you have control over the gears you're using and you can easily use your neutral gear while driving. Regardless of what side of the discussion you're on, it's best to stay logical and read from an expert point of view. That's why we have decided to bring you a more comprehensive breakdown of which is faster between the automatic and manual transmission car.

1. Why the automatic car might be faster

Automatic cars made in the 19th century were majorly manufactured to ease the stress of a driver tuning everything manually. It usually leads to distraction and can cause an accident. Therefore, most automakers never really considered speed as a factor. Times have now changed and all the lapses in an automatic car have been covered. The sluggishness automatic cars were known for has since dropped and you are more likely going to find an automatic car at a dealership than the manual. This is because the automatic has become more enhanced. One of the finest improvements is the addition of the CVT (continuously variable transmission) to automatic cars.

The CVT doesn't use gears like older transmission cars, it uses pulleys instead. You don't have to wait for your car to climb up from gear one to five, you simply step on the throttle and it send the exact power needed straight to the engine and wheels. A car with a CVT will definitely be faster than a manual car. Not forgetting that it also burns less fuel than changing of gears would. Multiple advantages there, right?


Speed has been a major argument for fans of transmission cars

Secondly, an automatic car is faster from idling to speeding or let's say, from standstill till acceleration. This is because all you need once you turn on the vehicle is to step on the acceleration pedal. Even if the car doesn't have CVT, it will still change gears faster as you aren't manually shifting sticks. But with the manual, you can only accelerate to a certain level on gear one, and you have to shift to the next. Clutching also limits how much the torque can do for you. By the time you would have gotten to the ultimate gear, an automatic transmission would have covered a reasonable amount of distance.

Another factor to look at is the number of gears. These days, automatic cars come with more number of gears than before. When they were first launched, many manual cars had up to gears 5 and 6 while automatic cars stopped at gear 4. But this has been improved and that's why the fastest car in the world, as we mentioned earlier, comes with a 7-speed gear. Let's also not forget that the horsepower is way above that of the manual cars in its grade. This means that the number of gears play a huge role alongside the horsepower rating of the vehicle.

>>> So, you want a verdict? Check here: Manual transmission vs Automatic transmission car: Which is better?

2. Why the manual car might be faster

Let's start with the number of gears. A manual car has an average of 5 gears. If you place an early 2000s manual car side by side with its automatic variant, the manual will do better. This is because the automatic transmission at the time stopped mostly at the 4th gear. So at top most speed, the automatic car will only trail behind. That said, both cars should be on the same speed while this is checked. Talking about the same speed, a manual car driver driving on downshift will do better than an automatic car. This is because the driver has absolute control over the gears. The manual car driver knows what gear to be on, while the automatic car makes that decision for you.

Why racing cars are mostly manual is because of this control while on same speed or driving downshift. It's also important to add that most of the gears used by racers are tweaked for easy control and effectiveness. So the car doesn't really depend on the gear fully but the ability of the driver to get into the right gear at the right time. The fluid torque converter used in old automatic cars have been phased out due to inefficiency. It is now replaced with sensors that simply find the right torque, forms a link mechanically, and locks it up. This makes the automatic car really fast and no driver can catch up easily with a manual car. So if you're a manual car lover, it's fine but you need to accept the take over from automatic cars. Oh, don't forget, Lamborghini, Ferrari and other high end luxury cars are now phasing out their manual cars too.

>>> Read more safe-driving tips and car buying advice here on!

Kennedy Ilediagu