Viper Week: Rebirth of the Manual

This awesome meaty car is the topic of the week. SRT is doing something similar to what hybrids are trying to do; finding ways to save a cherished possession. Hybrids are finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint by synthesizing fuel alternatives in technology with our current combustion engines. The Viper is trying to show that all cars that are 400+ in HP don’t all need to have, I’ll put it in short…..automatic gearboxes.

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Call it whatever you want if its not stick its an automatic. As the world gets more and more hypnotized by automation and computer programmed devices; we also want our day to day activities to be less “mechanical.” Think about it: TV’s, Video Games, Cell Phones, Finances, and worst of all communication. People are getting so used to writing or searching something on a computer to learn, communicate to someone, transfer finances, or other mischievous behavior. As the old saying goes….”For Every Good, There is An Evil.” The evil is that we are getting more dependent on having computers think for us. Think about the Book of Eli!

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However this section is about the Viper and that other stuff can be left for another day. The Viper wants drivers to be in-sync with the road, himself/herself, and the car. However our world is moving toward a “quicker way of doing things.” We want our cars to be instantaneously fast, while we are on our bluetooths or cell phones. We want our cars to unlock and start in close proximity so we don’t have to look for our keys and push a button that will unlock our car and put that key in to start the ignition. We also want wi-fi in our cars so we can check email……..you know where I’m going with this.

This problem in automation is where a gap is met with the Viper and its rival markets from Lamborghini to Porsche to Chevrolet. They have all made a change in either riding off  any option of manual transmissions or have only fitted them in a few select cars. I feel the main reason being is that these automatic gear boxes are far more promoted by car companies than manuals and also people want the “quicker” 0-60 option so they can beat that guy trying to pass him. We know computers can do some things faster, but do we have to give up an essential part of car and driver feedback for them? SRT doesn’t think we need to. I don’t think so either, but I feel that they need to incorporate automated shifting to the mix. Just like Nissan has done with their 370z, there has to be a way for engineers to have a car with a manual, yet still be able to disengage to be put in an “automatic” mode.

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As far as a increase in automatic being gender specific; I feel that it depends greatly on where the market is being pushed.  I think age specific would be more appropriate for super cars since buyers are usually 40-50+ unless you are a Google baby.

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