This is kind of a different topic but its somewhat related. Anyways, my friend normally shifts from 1 to 3 to 5 (he skips the bottom gears). He obviously revs to very near redline everytime. He says this is faster. I dont think so. If the car is optimized for 5 speed wouldn't be better to shift through all the gears? It would depend on the gear ratios, I think. What do you guys think?
The downside of shifting from 2nd to 5th is that you'll lose a lot of torque if you have to brake for some reason. Then you have to shift back to 3rd or 4th. You never know which moron driver is in front of you, especially when entering a highway.
Skip shifting is fine if you're just getting up to cruising speed, but it's NOT faster in acceleration at all.
Gearing is supposed (not always done right) to allow the engine to be around peak torque and HP.
Thus, if peak torque is say 4500 rpm and you shift from 1st to 3rd, your engine speed (rpm) will drop well below 4500 rpm. You will fall out of the power band. This is NOT a fast way to acceleration. This is why gearing is so important to performance. Also, this is why I feel the 1 to 2 shift in the 6 is too broad. Take 1st to peak power and shift to 2nd, you'll notice that the power dips before it comes back on. 2nd is too far spaced from 1st. But, just about every manufacturer of street cars decides on gears based on the 0-60 or 0-62mph time. They don't want you to have to shift to 3rd to accomplish this. I digress.
Skip shifting allows you to not have to shift progressively to your cruising gear, but it's not the fastest method of acceleration.
I don't have my 6 yet thus I don't know where the optimal shift points are. Some cars like to redline, some don't. It depends on where in the rev range maximum torque is. When shifting you want to be right at it or very near. Sometimes you may have to over rev 1st or 2nd just slightly so that the next shift will put you where you want to be. This takes time and experience with your car. The best place to try all this out is at a track where you can test your 0-60 and 1/4 mile run. Of course, this is if your interested in flat out straight line acceleration.
Knowing where to shift and where your peak power is in relation to engine speed and gear will help improve your driving overall. Even on backroads that offer some twisted fun, knowing your gears will help extract the most of corner entry and exit speed.
If anyone is still interested I have (what I think) is the fastest way to accelerate in my Mazda 6s manual. I have been driving it about a month and a half now and this is what I have experienced.
1 to 2 shift at redline or in the red a little to get the rpms as high as you can for 2nd.
2 to 3 shift just before redline because the gear ratios 2 and 3 are closer than 1 and 2, so you don't drop in the torque band as far after the shift
3 to 4 shift just before redline for the reason as 2 to 3
4 to 5 hmm.... only had it to about 6000 rpm in 4th was going a little over 110 mph so shift whenever you want....