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First off, as some of you know I drive a 1995 300ZX Twin Turbo. It is a 5 spd manual, and has a Jim Wolf Technology high-pressure clutch. Now, in order to keep pedal pressure at a reasonable amount, JWT moved the shift fork pivot point in. This has the side effect of moving the engagement point very close to the floor. It is not very linear either (a little like a racing clutch as far as street clutched go).

Now, I state all this because whenever I jump into a "normal" manual transmission car, I tend to need some time to get used to the higher friction point and the added linearity of the engagement. I generall overrev the engine and move my left foot too little due to being used to a very twitchy clutch. When I hopped in the 6, I noticed immediately that the engagement point is pretty low to the ground- not as much as my Z, but a lot more than typical sedans nowadays. I was also happy to notice that the engagement is not too "soft" in that the clutch grabs early and transfer torque very well. You can crawl the car with the clutch alone, which is impressive for a four-cylinder car.

Now for the not-so-great comments. The stickshift is quite good in that the gates are easy to find, there is no heavy 5th gear return spring like on my Z, and I *think* there is a double-cone synchro on every forward gear. It is pretty special to have a double-cone synchro on an overdrive gear... my Z doesn't even use double-cones on fourth gear! If I'm mistaken about the synchros on this transmission, please let me know... I'm just going by what the literature says.
Anyway, yeah, the not-so-good comments: the shifter itself is a little too heavy IMO. Now this is totally subjective so don't take my comment as saying it's "bad" because it isn't. It will just take some getting used to on my part. Also, I didn't like how the shift boot moved around right underneath the chrome ring on the knob- could have just been a loose attachment on this one car though.

I also am not the happiest about the accelerator pedal. There's a little too much of a dead-zone before throttle is applied IMO. If the car is drive-by-wire some reprogramming could solve this (Dinan does this with the 3-series Bimmer for example). It was easy for me to bog the car due to the far less sensistive pedal than what I am used to... again, this will probably "go away" after I get accustomed to the driving style the car requires to be smooth (a lot more aggressive).

Note that most of my comments are positive, and pretty much all negative comments revolve around controls that I am simply not used to. I'm confident that in time, I would begin to "prefer" the controls of the '6 over my current vehicle. It's just a matter of getting smooth with it.

regards,
-Alt
 
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