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I drive on the race track a lot. I drive on both street and race track in manual only. This is how I'm used to.
It's clear that is better in manual, however I believe the difference (if the car is driven close to optimal in both modes) is less than 1s on a 2 min lap.
I actually believe that if you don't know the track very well or if you are not used to drive in manual it's better to leave it in automatic: Just concentrate on the lines, braking points, maintaining the grip, accelerating faster etc etc etc. --> There are so many things to do to win more seconds just by removing one more extra task from your head. I recommend to those learning to drive on the race track to not brake hard, to avoid accelerating to the limit just concentrating on the corners and grip ... to feel the car.

If you don't learn properly you will have a hard time to forget what you don't do well and learn again. After you master everything (and if you go a lot to the racetrack) you will start to drive in manual on your own just to get a better lap time (no matter where the paddles are positioned).

I think it'a bad thing driving aggressively, loosing the grip and sliding the car, missing apexes, accelerating too late, missing the lines, ... but leaving the car in automatic is not one of them, if you don't feel to drive in manual.

Have fun!
 

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I agree^

Until I got the 4C I had never driven any kind of fast or sports car with auto. Never would of considered it and if the 4C had the paddles of the Giulia Quad, I would shift myself. Not to save seconds, it probably won’t for me, I’m not a racing driver, but because it’s fun.

By the way Cipsony, it may be my imagination but the wind noise, rushing under the car seems quieter? I will leave performance testing to you!
 

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I drive on the race track a lot. I drive on both street and race track in manual only. This is how I'm used to.
It's clear that is better in manual, however I believe the difference (if the car is driven close to optimal in both modes) is less than 1s on a 2 min lap.
I actually believe that if you don't know the track very well or if you are not used to drive in manual it's better to leave it in automatic: Just concentrate on the lines, braking points, maintaining the grip, accelerating faster etc etc etc. --> There are so many things to do to win more seconds just by removing one more extra task from your head. I recommend to those learning to drive on the race track to not brake hard, to avoid accelerating to the limit just concentrating on the corners and grip ... to feel the car.

If you don't learn properly you will have a hard time to forget what you don't do well and learn again. After you master everything (and if you go a lot to the racetrack) you will start to drive in manual on your own just to get a better lap time (no matter where the paddles are positioned).

I think it'a bad thing driving aggressively, loosing the grip and sliding the car, missing apexes, accelerating too late, missing the lines, ... but leaving the car in automatic is not one of them, if you don't feel to drive in manual.

Have fun!

Although I often use Auto mode on the road, for the track I concur with cipsony - if I haven't driven a particular track before, I like to find the lines in the first session with the transmission in Auto/Dynamic (with one less thing for my mind to be processing as I get the feel for the track layout, lines through corners, braking points, turn-in points etc). Then I go to Manual/Dynamic from session 2 onwards and have fun. If I'm feeling brave, I go to Manual/Race (only in the dry so far, but as I gain more experience that will become the norm as that is where the car is at its best). The car is so much fun in either Auto or Manual mode, but it is definitely more stable in manual when pushed hard with me deciding when the gear shifts (both up and down) should happen. If I let the TCU decide which gear we need next, the engine RPM tends to be higher than necessary mid-corner, whereas I will chose to have lower RPM, use the torque curve & come on the throttle earlier to spool the turbo - this avoids an upshift mid exit and keeps the car more stable in my experience.

I am very much a novice on track and I gain a lot from this forum from our experienced track instructors, as well as those that have more track time than I will ever have. I also really appreciate those that are generous enough to provide videos of their driving, (including the novices who are obviously much slower than many of the guys that share their videos). My track videos look like I'm out for a Sunday drive compared to many of the guys on here, but I don't care - the smile on my face when I complete another session having had fun and not broken anything on the car says it all. I come away from each session being just a little bit wiser about what the 4C can do.

You will get a lot of differing points of view, and the best one is the one that works for you - it may not be the absolute fastest, but if you are able to be consistent, you will slowly improve.

Floro - it's your car, your fun, so drive the car anyway you like and throw as much money at mods as you enjoy doing to make the car feel quicker. It's your toy money after all.

Cheers,

Alf
 

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Alf, the 4C feels plenty quick enough to me, quicker than is comfortable with its handling as standard.
The mods I’ve done are to make it handle better, for safety and driving pleasure “enthusiastically”, not extreme speed.

I don’t “throw money” at mods either. I mainly upgrade inadequate components that compromise the cars handling and safety.
I buy better parts that cure or improve specific problems I have identified and have determined the cause of.

The factory diff causes torque steer as well as inadequate overall traction. Buying a better one is the first thing any 4C owner should do. A transverse engine with an open diff is even more ridiculous on a track.

No, it’s not a toy either. It’s transport. I make useful journeys enjoyable. A 4C going round the same bends all day with no purpose, is a toy. Mine will only see track for testing purposes, maybe familiarisation at and beyond it’s limits. Lap times and beating others has no importance or appeal to me.
 

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It's clear that is better in manual, however I believe the difference (if the car is driven close to optimal in both modes) is less than 1s on a 2 min lap.
I don't completely agree with that statement. I say completely as it's very highly track type dependent, not track size. Any track which has high speed braking zones into tight corners is going to have the hunting for the right gear pulling out of the corner. When it gets it wrong, that little hiccup can cost you several mile (or kilometers) per hour down the next straight which that alone can cost almost a second during the lap (depending on that next straight). If the track has a lot of non-hard braking zones with lower radius corners, then yes the auto mode won't have to hunt for the right gear coming out of the corner and thus will likely not really hurt the lap time.

However, at the end of the day, OP doesn't seem to be competing so it doesn't really matter. However, I've been in various cars that are automatic and only one of them did any good at having the right gear coming out of corners (it cost a half million dollars so it should). When the owners switched to manual mode (at least the owners who had cars that had a manual mode), they picked up several mph down the straights from better corner exits.
 

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Alf, the 4C feels plenty quick enough to me, quicker than is comfortable with its handling as standard.
The mods I’ve done are to make it handle better, for safety and driving pleasure “enthusiastically”, not extreme speed.

I don’t “throw money” at mods either. I mainly upgrade inadequate components that compromise the cars handling and safety.
I buy better parts that cure or improve specific problems I have identified and have determined the cause of.

The factory diff causes torque steer as well as inadequate overall traction. Buying a better one is the first thing any 4C owner should do. A transverse engine with an open diff is even more ridiculous on a track.

No, it’s not a toy either. It’s transport. I make useful journeys enjoyable. A 4C going round the same bends all day with no purpose, is a toy. Mine will only see track for testing purposes, maybe familiarisation at and beyond it’s limits. Lap times and beating others has no importance or appeal to me.
Lotus had a LSD available for the Exige and Elise. They recommended using it only for autocross or very tight tracks....but they said that the car handles better and more predictably without it. No saying that is the same in the case of the 4C....but Lotus knows a thing or two about handling. My SCCA race car 67 GTV and my street ALFA 69 spider both had a LSD in them. With Goodyear race tires I needed that...especially with a solid rear axle. But cars with a IR suspension are different in getting power to the ground. I will say that having a car that can lock up its rear can be scary on loose surfaces or wet. Mine was tight enough that when turning at minimum radius, the inside wheel would skip on the ground a bit although dif. clutches were still slipping a bit. I had to loosen it up in the wet or you could loop it driving in a straight line 😬. I don't know how tight yours gets but be careful at first...especially in the wet or loose material.
 

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I love having the paddles fixed to the steering wheel. I have driven around 50 track days in the 4C and rarely have to move my hands from 9 and 3. On a really tight corner where you have to move your hands from 9 and 3 you are always able to do your shifting before the tight turn. And you are back in position for the next up shift.

At Driveway Austin my instructor had me drop the right hand to the bottom of the steering wheel before a really tight left corner where you could not hold 9 and 3.

I have 28k miles on my GQ and it drives me crazy trying to find the paddles on tight turns. I love the car though.

No question shifting with the paddles is superior to manual at the track. Manual will shift too often and will bog you down coming out of tighter corners.

Jeff
Jeff
Think you meant just the opposite on the last sentence ;-) Shouldn't you replace word MANUAL with AUTO.
 

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finalleaf and FLORO. Don’t stop now. It’s starting to get fun. And I can hear the popcorn starting to pop, so I’ll be ready in a mo’.

I imagine that many years from now, the Ancient ones will look back at this tiff and go, “Mmmm, this was the turning point in humanity's perception of the universe as we know it”. NOT.

We have different opinions, and different ways of doing things. Nothing wrong with that. When we try and imprint our “way” onto others it never sticks. And that’s okay. The world won’t stop turning. I know, I just checked.

4Canada’s posted video was mostly sticking his tongue out at both of you I think (you can usually smell the maple syrup).

So, let’s all hold hands, celebrate our differences, and go pick on some bad 4C review schmuck... that will teach ‘em.
 

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And anyway, I bought one of those new magnetic fuel master things that I’ve attached to my fuel line. Not only does it give me 700 extra hp, but accentuates any steering wheel style, so that hand position no longer matters, and I can even drive with one hand... come, bring your street racers and track racers...
 

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Enjoying getting the input from you guys who have worked on this and have significant seat time. I am a novice track driver and have booked five track days for 2021 already. Looking forward to learning the line and getting my braking and throttle inputs smoother. I will likely start in automatic mode then switch to manual as I get more comfortable with my input skills. Thus far I have just had this car on a skid pad and auto-x course. I had a Boxster and a Cayman prior to this, both with manual gearboxes, and did a few track days in them. I think the 4C will be a lot more fun.

EDIT: I meant 'open diff' here for McLaren, not 'e-diff': Speaking of fun, here is a piece on why McLaren uses an e-diff on their vehicles. It sounds like the LSD suits Floro's tastes better for spirited street driving, which is cool.

 

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And anyway, I bought one of those new magnetic fuel master things that I’ve attached to my fuel line. Not only does it give me 700 extra hp, but accentuates any steering wheel style, so that hand position no longer matters, and I can even drive with one hand... come, bring your street racers and track racers...
wait til I show you my tesla swapped 4c
 

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This whole endeavour by @FLORO is for what? Pages of experienced people offering insight and recommendations to have them blown off over and over again.

I can play curmudgeon for kicks now and then, but to start an actual thread to bait everyone in so you can tell them, "... I make useful journeys enjoyable. A 4C going round the same bends all day with no purpose, is a toy. Mine will only see track for testing purposes, maybe familiarisation at and beyond it’s limits. Lap times and beating others has no importance or appeal to me..."

Why are you here? Go do what you want because of the reasons you want and end it already. We get it: Other rack, paddle and LSD arrangements exist. Zoom around the track in Auto mode, because (sarcasm alert) that is better than using the paddles unless the paddles are absolute precision instruments backed up by the rack and other characteristics you want to the 10th degree, despite the fact that they don't need to be to perfect and mated to the perfect position with the perfect ratio and perfect LSD to STILL trump the auto mode.

You don't want to handle the paddle shift technique nor invest the time in mastering it, and developing the coordination, and all the deflection in the world won't change it.

Straight up w/out apology.

-Phil

(Big note on steering ratios: A ratio can be way faster when it's assisted steering, by the way, including F1's power steering. The unassisted ratio needs to help give you leverage because it's a manual rack, thus it might not be practical (or possible) to have a quicker ratio... and I'd wager that manual steering IS the limiting factor, so be careful with the quicker ratio talk. The 4C ratio is set up to convert your wheel turn into more force, but making an even quicker ratio reduces your arms' output, so you get to a point where the ratio gets quicker but the force you must apply becomes too great to be practical for X am't of time or in Y circumstances.)
 

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Discussion Starter #54
This whole endeavour by @FLORO is for what? Pages of experienced people offering insight and recommendations to have them blown off over and over again.

I can play curmudgeon for kicks now and then, but to start an actual thread to bait everyone in so you can tell them, "... I make useful journeys enjoyable. A 4C going round the same bends all day with no purpose, is a toy. Mine will only see track for testing purposes, maybe familiarisation at and beyond it’s limits. Lap times and beating others has no importance or appeal to me..."

Why are you here? Go do what you want because of the reasons you want and end it already. We get it: Other rack, paddle and LSD arrangements exist. Zoom around the track in Auto mode, because (sarcasm alert) that is better than using the paddles unless the paddles are absolute precision instruments backed up by the rack and other characteristics you want to the 10th degree, despite the fact that they don't need to be to perfect and mated to the perfect position with the perfect ratio and perfect LSD to STILL trump the auto mode.

You don't want to handle the paddle shift technique nor invest the time in mastering it, and developing the coordination, and all the deflection in the world won't change it.

Straight up w/out apology.

-Phil

(Big note on steering ratios: A ratio can be way faster when it's assisted steering, by the way, including F1's power steering. The unassisted ratio needs to help give you leverage because it's a manual rack, thus it might not be practical (or possible) to have a quicker ratio... and I'd wager that manual steering IS the limiting factor, so be careful with the quicker ratio talk. The 4C ratio is set up to convert your wheel turn into more force, but making an even quicker ratio reduces your arms' output, so you get to a point where the ratio gets quicker but the force you must apply becomes too great to be practical for X am't of time or in Y circumstances.)
Phil,

the thread wasn’t really started by anyone but was part of another thread and it got moved to its own thread. I know it looks a bit weird but it’s the way it’s turned out.
 

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This thread started about paddle shifter position and turned into what TC or LSD is and which is better and what alfa should or shouldn't have don't to the car. It is all interesting to hear all opinions and learn from another.
I am no expert in motor sports and 4C is the fastest and sportiest car I have ever owned! We all can throw lots if money into our car to mod it the way we want but is it really necessary? The 4C out of the factory had the best record of any car under 250HP at Nurburgring and less than 3 seconds slower than some way more expensive and powerful sport cars. I know some would say they had the 4C with special tires/setup and experienced race drivers when they set the record but I doubt if there were any modification to the differential or how TC would work or not.
Would an LSD make the car faster? For sure it does but how much faster and at what price? I am sure Alfa engineers have thought about all different options including LSD, more powerful engine and etc, but I think what they did and for the price which it was delivered to us, they did an amazing job. All other options with more bells and whistles would have made it something else not a 4C and definitely with a higher price tag.
I am not saying we should not mod our cars as I have done slight mods to my car and I have some more in my list, but it is just a matter of taste, time and how much money we want to spend just to be a few seconds faster at our home track or just to feel better for having a moded car, in reality none of these will make us F1 champion!
In my opinion major mods such as LSD, or the novel 2.0L engine swap options which requires lots of work and money is not meaningful for me, I can easily spend that money/time on a different car and make a much quicker track beast out of it.
Back to the original topic, I have pretty long fingers and I often use go in Dynamic and manual (recently used Race mode on a few occasions on track which was OK for me) so I am using paddles all the time, also I personally prefer steering wheel mounted paddles, I feel like the large column mounted shifters on my wife's Guilia is in the way and sometimes for example at 6-12 position is hard to move a hand and find it.
On the 4C if the corner is that tight which requires more than a 6-12 turn angle, then it is a very slow corner and I'd already downshift to 2nd gear right at the beginning of the corner which has the right amount of punch for mid corner and corner exit, as I get into corner exit then the steering angle will be around or less than 6-12 again and I can easily upshift.
 

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This thread started about paddle shifter position and turned into what TC or LSD is and which is better and what alfa should or shouldn't have don't to the car. It is all interesting to hear all opinions and learn from another.
I am no expert in motor sports and 4C is the fastest and sportiest car I have ever owned! We all can throw lots if money into our car to mod it the way we want but is it really necessary? The 4C out of the factory had the best record of any car under 250HP at Nurburgring and less than 3 seconds slower than some way more expensive and powerful sport cars. I know some would say they had the 4C with special tires/setup and experienced race drivers when they set the record but I doubt if there were any modification to the differential or how TC would work or not.
Would an LSD make the car faster? For sure it does but how much faster and at what price? I am sure Alfa engineers have thought about all different options including LSD, more powerful engine and etc, but I think what they did and for the price which it was delivered to us, they did an amazing job. All other options with more bells and whistles would have made it something else not a 4C and definitely with a higher price tag.
I am not saying we should not mod our cars as I have done slight mods to my car and I have some more in my list, but it is just a matter of taste, time and how much money we want to spend just to be a few seconds faster at our home track or just to feel better for having a moded car, in reality none of these will make us F1 champion!
In my opinion major mods such as LSD, or the novel 2.0L engine swap options which requires lots of work and money is not meaningful for me, I can easily spend that money/time on a different car and make a much quicker track beast out of it.
Back to the original topic, I have pretty long fingers and I often use go in Dynamic and manual (recently used Race mode on a few occasions on track which was OK for me) so I am using paddles all the time, also I personally prefer steering wheel mounted paddles, I feel like the large column mounted shifters on my wife's Guilia is in the way and sometimes for example at 6-12 position is hard to move a hand and find it.
On the 4C if the corner is that tight which requires more than a 6-12 turn angle, then it is a very slow corner and I'd already downshift to 2nd gear right at the beginning of the corner which has the right amount of punch for mid corner and corner exit, as I get into corner exit then the steering angle will be around or less than 6-12 again and I can easily upshift.
I agree. It’s about technique and adapting to the car, not the reverse.
 

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This thread started about paddle shifter position and turned into what TC or LSD is and which is better and what alfa should or shouldn't have don't to the car. It is all interesting to hear all opinions and learn from another.
I am no expert in motor sports and 4C is the fastest and sportiest car I have ever owned! We all can throw lots if money into our car to mod it the way we want but is it really necessary? The 4C out of the factory had the best record of any car under 250HP at Nurburgring and less than 3 seconds slower than some way more expensive and powerful sport cars. I know some would say they had the 4C with special tires/setup and experienced race drivers when they set the record but I doubt if there were any modification to the differential or how TC would work or not.
Would an LSD make the car faster? For sure it does but how much faster and at what price? I am sure Alfa engineers have thought about all different options including LSD, more powerful engine and etc, but I think what they did and for the price which it was delivered to us, they did an amazing job. All other options with more bells and whistles would have made it something else not a 4C and definitely with a higher price tag.
I am not saying we should not mod our cars as I have done slight mods to my car and I have some more in my list, but it is just a matter of taste, time and how much money we want to spend just to be a few seconds faster at our home track or just to feel better for having a moded car, in reality none of these will make us F1 champion!
In my opinion major mods such as LSD, or the novel 2.0L engine swap options which requires lots of work and money is not meaningful for me, I can easily spend that money/time on a different car and make a much quicker track beast out of it.
Back to the original topic, I have pretty long fingers and I often use go in Dynamic and manual (recently used Race mode on a few occasions on track which was OK for me) so I am using paddles all the time, also I personally prefer steering wheel mounted paddles, I feel like the large column mounted shifters on my wife's Guilia is in the way and sometimes for example at 6-12 position is hard to move a hand and find it.
On the 4C if the corner is that tight which requires more than a 6-12 turn angle, then it is a very slow corner and I'd already downshift to 2nd gear right at the beginning of the corner which has the right amount of punch for mid corner and corner exit, as I get into corner exit then the steering angle will be around or less than 6-12 again and I can easily upshift.

Exactly. Well said.

An LSD will maybe net a few tenths of a second in lap time once everything else has already been shaved off.
Not being in the right gear for acceleration past the apex / corner exit will cost several full seconds on the same lap. Learning how to shift the TCT costs nothing.
Not controlling the gears manually will result in a driver being unable to evaluate the effectiveness of an LSD, or get the full advantage out of it.
Almost no shifting (up or down) takes place on track other than in a straight line - when the wheel-mounted paddles are at 3 and 9 the same way column mounted ones would be - regardless of how you hold the steering wheel.
 

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Almost no shifting (up or down) takes place on track other than in a straight line - when the wheel-mounted paddles are at 3 and 9 the same way column mounted ones would be - regardless of how you hold the steering wheel.
This deserves to be called out. It's that basic and simultaneously important.

It should not be understated.
 

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This deserves to be called out. It's that basic and simultaneously important.

It should not be understated.
I’ve been trying to figure out where shifting might not happen with a straight wheel.
I hardly have a lot of exposure to a huge variety of track layouts, so I need to draw more from theory than from experience.

A hairpin that opens into a long sweeper before becoming an important straight is probably one example. But by the time you upshift on the sweeper, the wheel of a car like the 4C will be pretty straight (the paddles will be at least on the correct sides of 12/6.

Doing that corner in reverse, most of us would probably sacrifice the larger radius bend until we were pretty adept at braking and down-shifting on the sweeper. Certainly, only a pretty advanced driver would get the most out of such a corner. Still, nobody is going to be downshifting with the wheel past 90 degrees (when you may have to relocate your grip).

The other would be a sharp corner with major elevation change. I could see doing the corkscrew at Leguna Seca in reverse (i.e. uphill) requiring a downshift with the wheel turned. But how often do you see that corner on a track?
 

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If you're in a turn/sweeper long enough to build power/speed to redline (Watkins Glen is surely as such), your hands might not be at 9-3, but they're at least in that 10-8/left and 2-4/right window. There's no way that's confusing.

In an anecdote about a former pro driver who couldn't handle paddle shifting that I offered, he just couldn't deal with the sequential part. He couldn't think linearly up/down, and it wasn't about hand position. His brain was built to know the gear in the tactile sense from the shifter pattern. The sequential nature of modern shifting just couldn't be done -- like learning a new language at an older age. The brain pliability ain't as good.

.
 
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