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Only tried it once, at a Ford "No Boundaries Experience" they had a mini Auto-X course set up and you could drive their cars, all autos through it.

There was a LOT of hesitattion, when you Auto-X you are constantly going from gas to brake and back again, the gas to brake is no problem but the brake to gas as amazingly bad. It's like you step on it and wait 1-2 seconds (an eternity) for the car to respond as the torque converter started to transfer the power. Once the power was finally going to the wheels you were back on the brakes. :(

This is one of the reasons I'm not interested in the rev-it up because all the 3s will be autos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Auto or sportshift?

When you tried Auto X with the auto did you have a straight auto or the sportshift option? With the sportshift you can keep it in the sweet spot a little longer, would this help?
 

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Well I guess I have to disagree here. It's true that an auto is going to make you less competitive against the cars you will be classed with. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.

Go out and have fun! You'll learn a lot about your car and how it handles. You'll become a better driver. But above all, you'll have lots of fun.
 

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I concur with Brian_B. You won't be hating life, the Mazda3 is too much of a fun car!!

Sure you'll have a disadvantage, but you'll adapt to it, learn your vehicle's characterstics..put in some lead time (hit gas sooner than you need it) and adapt.
 

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Yeah, always remember you're out there to have fun. My current car is outmatched in its class (STS) with me generally being around 2 seconds off the pace when driving it. I still have a ball though.
 

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raitchison said:
The Focus has a regular slushbox, with a "shiftable" slushbox (such as a sportshift) youd have some advantage but the major weak link is the torque converter and your not getting away from that.

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/torque-converter.htm
You can not even compare the Focus auto tranny to the Mazda3 sport shift. You will have alot more control of the shifts in the Mazda than the Focus.
I say try it you will have fun.

---Herb---
 

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Does anyone know if it is possible to drop a manuel tranny in my car and how much something like that would cost?
 

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atwaterkevin said:
Does anyone know if it is possible to drop a manuel tranny in my car and how much something like that would cost?
Being so new it would cost alot, would probaly be cheaper to just trade it in.

---Herb---
 

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Automatics

Well guys I hate to say but if you carefully read the topic on torque converters automatics actually get more torque meaning better take off. So if a manual and a auto go head to head in the quarter mile run the auto will acutally win. As for street racing the manual will surpass the auto. I drove both a manaul and a auto and I really dont feel much of a difference except that the shifts are more aggressive. I like the feel of the manual too because of those type of shifts but where I live in Cali there is a lot of stop and go traffic. No fun here. As for the sport shifter I have noticed more power out of the car rather than the normal automatic mode. Also you know that you can get better torque converters to get rid of that loss of power. My 98 camaro had aftermarket torque converters for it to give you back the power loss.
 

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Agreed there are aftermarket torque converters that are much more efficient, even some that "lock up" at speed so you effectively eliminate any of the normal losses when cruising on the highway (mostly important for gas mileage).

Don't think any of those are available for the 3, not sure if it's likely there will be one as usually aftermarket torque converters are for V-8 (high horsepower) applications.

mazda3hatchback, you sig is a wee bit too big :)
 

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You will need alot more than just a torque convertor to be faster. But yes a high dollar modified auto transmission will be fast than a manual. I've had many auto tranny cars and modded everyone of them. You can make them fast but is it more expensive and harder to do than a manual. I've been there done that.

---Herb---
 

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I just got an 04 3s with the AT sport transmision. What actually gave me the final nudge to purchase this fine automobile was Rev-it-up
It handeled very well in autocross. I think in an autocross environment since the course is pretty narrow and tight. I rarely got the car out of second into third. If you keep the car in a higher rpm. I was in around 3K most of the time. The gas response was very quick, even with the transition into third. I never got to check my spedometer since my eyes were were to busy staring at those damn cones lol. Fun stuff, I ended up finishing the comp track in 29.319. It was enough to make the leader board. But got bumped off it as the day finished up :-(
 

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Generally in autocrossing your only in a single gear...2nd. 1st is only used to get to 2nd, and then you shouldn't ever need to downshift to 1st, unless you screw up royally.

Shifting just isn't an issue. Shifting during an autoX unbalances the suspension and plays havoc with your balance.

That leaves weight and horsepower differences. Yes a MTX can launch harder. Yes a MTX has more power. Yes a MTX car weighs less then an ATX.

These are all big advantages...but mean little in autocrossing.

Autocrossing is all about the driver. Put headers, and intake, exhaust, lightweight rims, Toyo RA-1's, coilovers, strut/sway bars on a Mazda 3s MTX...and then put a shitty driver in it, its still going to get its ass beaten by a 3s ATX with no mods and a good driver.

Need evidence of this? (Scroll to the bottom)
http://www.nccbmwcca.org/autocross/results/2004/02-overall.html

Note the G35 (280 HP RWD) and Porsche 911 2003 (345 hp RWD) beaten by some family sedans.

Then of course being competitive is a completely different story...but just being able to go to the AutoX, learn how to drive better, learn how to fully enjoy your car, and most importantly, become addictied to one of the entry level motorsports...forever addicting you to all the others.

Plus its also fun to see photos of yourself utterly obliterating cones.


Yay family sedans!
 

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Manual transmissions rule. I hate automatics with a passion. But to argue that is to miss the point. Autocross is about having fun destroying cones. Or just having fun. I haven't quite learned which.

And while I'd argue that driving a manual is way more fun than an automatic, you don't really shift while autocrossing anyway. So just go have fun and work on beating your previous time, not the MTX guy's times.
 
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