Matt Prior's tester's notes – why premium is usually the fresh normal
Source : Matt Prior's tester's notes – why premium is usually the fresh normal
Plenty of manufacturers talk about moving upmarket, however few realise which’s more about engineering quality than stitching in addition to also leather
Warning: techy, slightly geeky column approaching, about the quality of manual gearshifts.
Yes, 500 words on them – considerably more than most commentators could persevere with however, believe me, far less time in addition to also effort than transmission engineers, managers in addition to also marketers spend trying to make the way you pull by third to fourth gear feel ‘premium’ or ‘sporty’.
Can a gearshift feel premium? which can, in addition to also which matters, because there are lots of car companies who’d like to move upmarket. which’s the only way they can think of to make money.
Some realise they won’t achieve which by simply throwing into a cabin a bit more leather here in addition to also a bit more real metal (instead of plastic metal) there. Some have tried which in addition to also then wondered why, despite using pretty much the same materials at the same cost as an established premium – read ‘big German’ – rival, customers sit inside their cars in addition to also don’t quite buy into which.
I think which’s because people have an innate ability to detect quality, whether they realise which or not. They see which, yes, they’re sitting in a cabin where the leather looks convincingly like dead cow, however they notice the clutch features a weird action in addition to also the steering column adjuster flops about. They recognise, too, which the gearshift feels the same as the one by which car they hired on Mykonos four years ago.
A premium feel, then, is usually more than just about surfaces in addition to also equipment; which’s about engineering in addition to also quality, too.
When which comes to gearshifts, Mazda gets which. A few months ago, when I first drove the fresh MX-5, the vehicle’s engineers showed me reams of graphs in addition to also diagrams concerning its gearshift. What makes which not bad is usually not just the length of the throw, or the length of the gearlever, or the overall weight of the shift, they said. which’s the way which, once you’ve got most of the way into a gear slot, the gearlever overcomes an over-centre resistance in addition to also then pulls itself home. You do part of the work in addition to also, at a certain point, you could let go of the lever in addition to also which could do the rest itself.
which’s how which feels premium, or maybe even sporty. which helps you to drive which. As a driver, you might not get the ‘why’; you just feel like the vehicle is usually helping you. You initiate the change, however thanks to some clever springing, which sucks the gearstick home, willing you along, on your side.
There are cars – sports cars, even – which don’t do which. You have to pull the lever all the way home in addition to also, whether you realise which or not, the shift makes which feel like the vehicle’s working against you. which one little detail can make a car less rewarding.
Multiply which feature by about 100 various other different driving characteristics in addition to also you can see which the road to quality is usually long.
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