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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I bought a 03 Vector several weeks back... I have not driven a turbocharged car before.... and I'm loving it :lol: It is very different from my old car, in both power delivery and handling (I had an 01 Impreza 2.5RS AWD).

I'm still getting learning how to have max boost when coming out of the turn though, almong some other things. If you got tips - please share. Thanks!
 

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Do you have manual or automatic transmission? If it's an automatic, switching to manual mode and downshifting to second gear before turning makes a huge difference when it comes to flying out of a corner.
 

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countering turbo lag around a turn is difficult, takes a lot of practice and i definitely dont have it down....
 

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I went from an audi a4 1.8t awd w/ a 5-speed manual to my 03 vector w/ the 6-speed manual and found the audi was much more rev happy. when one would blip the throttle to downshift in the audi the rpm's would climb very rapidly which the saab does not climb as high. I have also found the saab to perform at a lower rpm than the audi. but more about the vector as this is the topic at hand;

when cruising I try to get into 6th gear as long as there are no hills or parts where strain will be put on the motor or rpms will drop below 1,500-1,800 rpm (just my preference). If I am on a backroad where there may be small hills and I am in 6th gear doing say 45 mph and hit the gas one sees the turbo spool up then the rpm's climb. I feel this is a very ineficient method as the car is going slow and the strain on the engine can't bring good fuel economy. so when on backroads and situations what may require an increase in throttle to maintain speed I stay in 5th gear.

an example of preparing to pass someone; today I was following behind a saab 900 convertible on the way home from work and the driver was traveling below the speed limit. I saw a passing zone come up and while doing 40 mph dropped from 5th gear to 3rd gear and once the clutch was fully released depressed the gas pretty hard and then quickly shifted into 4th at probably 4,500 rpm which gave me plenty of pulling power (much more than my 155 hp 1.8T audi a4).

When going into a turn and trying to power through it is much more tricky in the fwd car than an awd car as I have personally found to be the case. in my awd audi I would normally drop into 2nd gear for a fairly sharp turn and gas through the turn and the car would simply go where I wanted it to go w/out budging. I always follow a method I was told when learning to drive stick that you should shift before or after a turn- and to avoid shifting or releasing the clutch mid turn as one may be put into a situation where the torque is heavily applied upon clutch release and pull the car in a direction that the driver does not anticipate and that just leads to trouble. When I am entering a turn at a reasonable speed and I have prepared for it by downshifting and applying some braking to get to a reasonable speed to get into 2nd gear I do so (and try to do so for all turns) as this allows me to get right on the gas when I get out of the turn and bring the car up to speed w/ minimal lag. in some instances it is not possible to slow down enough to get the car into 2nd gear prior to the turn and complete the shift so I sometimes leave the car in neutral and brake through the turn then depending on the speed after the turn select 2nd or 3rd gear (rarely 1st- well under 10 mph) and drive through.

since the cruise control on these cars is in my opinion so incredible- I find the ability to adjust the speed in incriments of 1mph up or down by tapping the signal light stalk to be a great feature- I use the cruise control as much as possible when on the highway or long stretches of backroad. though when I am not using cruise control I follow a motto I heard from a race car driver once (as much as I remember it) "you are either on the gas or on the brake, no inbetween" basically riding the brakes or coasting out of gear are not part of my driving technique- I prefer to be in a proper gear and if I am anticipating the need to accelerate, being at an rpm somewhere slighty above 3,000 rpm.

in my 1,500 miles of ownership I have averaged 26 mpg and have a lead foot

<end ramble>:)

I would love to hear other peoples tips and techniques to build upon or completely turn down my driving style.
 

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JPUConn said:
I always follow a method I was told when learning to drive stick that you should shift before or after a turn...

...When I am entering a turn at a reasonable speed and I have prepared for it by downshifting and applying some braking to get to a reasonable speed to get into 2nd gear I do so...

...in some instances it is not possible to slow down enough to get the car into 2nd gear prior to the turn and complete the shift so I sometimes leave the car in neutral and brake through the turn then depending on the speed after the turn select 2nd or 3rd gear...

I would love to hear other peoples tips and techniques to build upon or completely turn down my driving style.
In Sweden, automatic transmissions are not as common as in the U.S. Almost everybody learns to drive on a manual (otherwise you get a note on your driver's license that you're only allowed to drive automatics). Here they stress the importance of always being in the right gear in order to be able to accelerate out of a critical situation, so downshifting to second gear before a turn quickly becomes natural. Actually, I don't think you would pass the driver's test unless you did so. Personally, I never coast in neutral when driving a manual. What corners prevent you from downshifting to second or third prior to taking them? You are on the right track here with your driving technique, and I suggest you take it one step further and make sure you downshift before all turns.

Neutral is only good for having your engine running while parked. ;)

Just my two cents...
 

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mhult said:
... Personally, I never coast in neutral when driving a manual. What corners prevent you from downshifting to second or third prior to taking them? You are on the right track here with your driving technique, and I suggest you take it one step further and make sure you downshift before all turns.

Neutral is only good for having your engine running while parked. ;)

Just my two cents...
I absolutely agree with you. turns that I may take in neutral are rare but once in a while one may be traveling too quickly and be going heavy on the brakes to make the turn and it's a coin flip whether 2nd or 3rd would work best so I leave it in neutral.

either way I agree with your statement.
 

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Neutral is only good for having your engine running while parked.
especially with a manual as you are not putting strain on the throwout bearing while just sitting there with the clutch in.

with an auto, it also puts less strain on it if you go to neutral while say sitting in traffic.

no doubt driving techniques have changed over the years with the advent of electronic shifting with paddles on the steering wheel and the improvement of braking.

now its go as fast as possible to the turn, brake hard, hit the paddle twice or more to get to the desired gear as you start the curve, and accelerate out. gotta love technology.


Jaime
 

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JPUConn said:
I absolutely agree with you. turns that I may take in neutral are rare but once in a while one may be traveling too quickly and be going heavy on the brakes to make the turn and it's a coin flip whether 2nd or 3rd would work best so I leave it in neutral.

either way I agree with your statement.
Yeah ... not an attack or nag here ... but I can't ever suggest leaving the car in neutral while it is moving unless you have run out of gas and are trying to coast out of the way or into the gas station. Having the car in neutral will be harder on your brakes & tires (no "engine braking" = more momentum into turn) and makes it harder to accelerate out of a tricky spot (as you now have to shift into a gear to get ~any~ go). If you are in a spot were you are not sure if you want 2nd or 3rd ... I'd go with 3rd, then downshift again to 2nd if/when needed. This at least will offer some measure of control that neutral never will
 

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Learn to use left foot breaking and/or heel and toe. This is the last item, and the most effective one, for getting the most out of your turbocharged car. Neither one is easy to learn, so please don’t practice on public roads. Do a few auto-crosses, you can experiment on different driving techniques, you will learn the limits of the car’s handling as well as your driving limits, and you get to do it in the safest way possible. It (learning the limits of the vehicle and yourself) will make you a better driver.



Heel and toe (applying the breaks with your right toes while depressing the accelerator with your right heel (same leg)) is the better of the two, it leaves the left foot free to work the clutch at any time. This does two things. One, it reduces the time it takes for your leg to transition from the accelerator pedal to the break and back, two, the most important, it lets you keep the engine loaded and/or keep the revs high enough so that the turbo is operating in the high boost rpms.



Left foot breaking in common in auto-crosses where you are stuck for the most part of a lap in one gear (usually 2nd). Apply breaks with your left foot coming into a turn while still keeping the accelerator depressed enough for the engine computer to think you have come across a steep hill => boost is at max, ease off the breaks going in to the turn, if you don’t plow thru or don’t spin out, you will come out of that turn like you got JATO;) . Easier said than done, of course.



Again, please don’t experiment on public roads, join a club, take a driving course or pay $20 and race in an auto cross.

Vipula.
 

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I always make the downshift before I enter a corner. That way you don't upset the balance of the car in the middle of a corner. I also like to be able to apply the throttle as soon as possible, and not having to worry about shifting or grabbing the proper gear certainly helps. I also like to have the throttle available to correct my line if needed mid-corner, it's way easier than changing you steering wheel position - that seems to upset the chassis quite a bit more.

I think to make sure that you don't lose your path due to boost coming up in a corner, is to be sure to fade into and out of the throttle. If you just stab at the pedal as you would in a naturally aspirated car, it will cause the car to produce maximum boost as soon as it can, but there will be a lag and you can't be reassured when it will actually arrive. With the T8 engine management, if you linearly (not limited to just Linear trim levels :cheesy: ) press on the throtle, the engine will gradually add boost and not whack you with full boost when you're not ready for it. You will notice that you are able to get into the throttle earlier in the corner once you get used to the change in vehicle dynamics by throttling through the corner. This allows you to be at max boost by the time you exit the corner. It also allows the engine to progressively spool the turbo.

This is different than the naturally aspirated engine you are used to... it only had a relatively linear power delivery. And the all wheel drive would scrub speed off well in corners, due to understeer, if you were too hot in the corner. Also don't forget, that this car is much more powerful. You don't always need to use all power availible. That's one thing that you will have to get used too. More throttle doesn't always equal faster, but will most certainly mean faster tire wear!

I had an excellent salesman that was very well versed in the advatages of the then 'new' T8 engine management. These are some of the pointers he shared with me during a "white knuckle" test drive I took with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks for your reponses! Interesting points here.

Looks like I should try going into corners in gears more. If I know I'll lose enough speed to have to downshift in/after the turn - I'll usually approach the turn in neutral, popping it into the gear as I'm going into it. I'd then start engaging the gear midway through the turn, trying to accelerate out of it. I think that's one of the problems - neutral kills the boost while I try to slam-gas out of a turn. Note that I'm only talking about turns that will require downshifting (usually into 2nd, ex approaching a 90 deg turn onto a smaller street)

Of course, in naturally aspirated cars this is not a problem - my non-turbo Subaru would just happily engage the gear (2nd or 3rd) and accelerate out of a turn. I'd approach the turn in neutral, start to engage the gear a little before mid-way through the turn, hit the throttle around the midway point. This provided some engine breaking going into the turn, smooth gear engagement during the turn, and acceleration midway-on. This also gave me the option to ease into the gear, or giving it some gas - depending on how much engine breaking was needed through the turn. Gears were relatively short and low, so with the somewhat large 4-cyl engine the Subaru-dubaru would be right at the sweet spot coming out of that turn.

So I guess I should get used to is staying in gear while going into turns, even if I know I'll have to downshift in the middle of the turn.
 

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hmm, here's my opinion. EVERYTIME you move your gear lever into a gate, you are wearing your synchros. EVERYTIME you push in and let out your clutch, you are wearing out your clutch pad, throwout bearing, etc. EVERYTIME you rev your engine you are wearing out your oil and compression piston rings more. i downshift and let out the clutch before entering a turn, but if i'm coming up to a red light, my gear lever goes into neutral, rather than rowing through all of the gears. in one stop from 5th (or 6th) gear, you will have engaged/disengaged your clutch and synchros 5 times, when it could have been just once.

also, heel and toe is almost impossible in this car. the brake and throttle are very poorly positioned for this technique. also, has anyone noticed how slow this engine revs up when you push the throttle?...it's rediculous. you basically have to stand on the gas for a couple of seconds for the rpms to climb. if you haven't noticed this, go test drive an M3 or 350Z and see how quickly the rpms climb when you literally "blip" the throttle like you should for this technique.
 

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Cojoroh said:
if i'm coming up to a red light, my gear lever goes into neutral, rather than rowing through all of the gears. in one stop from 5th (or 6th) gear, you will have engaged/disengaged your clutch and synchros 5 times, when it could have been just once.
I have to admit that I do the same. Sometimes I might just put the clutch down and leave it there ready to put in the right gear when it goes green.
 

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AeroSwede said:
I have to admit that I do the same. Sometimes I might just put the clutch down and leave it there ready to put in the right gear when it goes green.
you would want to avoid doing that, you want your foot off the clutch as much as possible. holding the clutch in for extended periods such as waiting for a traffic light will cause excess wear on the clutch parts. if you need to extend your foot use the dead pedal (raised area to the left of the clutch) but don't depress the clutch unless you are starting or shifting.
 
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