Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: automatic gearbox

WTF: Nissan Pulsar N11 Sports-matic gear shifter

I accidentally posted this as a blog post earlier this week while it was meant as a linkdump saved as a draft. Probably I pressed the publish button instead of draft…

Anyway, I had a bit WTF when I spotted the automatic gearshift lever in this picture:
WTF Nissan Pulsar N11
Taken from the brochure of the N11 Pulsar (aka the Datsun/Nissan Cherry here in Europe) and it states something about this being a Sports-matic mechanical auto gearbox with an electro magnetically operated clutch. You are supposed to put it in L for the first (low gear), then D for drive (up to 80km/h) as the second gear and OD (overdrive) for the top gear. Do you still get it? I don’t and that’s probably also the reason this ingenious gearshifter never made it past the N11 Pulsar. ;)

This is what the N11 Pulsar looks like as a coupe: Continue reading

Commercial time: Isuzu intelligence with NAVI5

Imagine the revolution Isuzu caused when they revealed the Navi5 back in 1985! A driving robot as this commercial calls it.

The idea was very simple: an automatic transmission that utilizes a dry single clutch, just like any other ordinary gearbox. The gear is selected by an ECU and shifts automatically to the ideal gear depending on the speed and revs of the engine. It also enables the (more) experienced driver to manually shift gears.

No wonder it was one of the 240 landmarks of the Japanese Automotive Technology of the 20th century!

Video: Aristo automatic drifting in Tochigi

I liked this short drift video in Tochigi a lot:

Not only do we see a 6 to 7 cars drifting snakelike all the way up a mountain in Tochigi, we also see Nomuken sitting shotgun in a Toyota Aristo (aka Lexus GS300) with automatic gearbox! The driver does manages to drift most corners and keep up with the S15 up front and the S14 behind him!

These first generation GS300s are already up for grabs for under 3000 euros, so that is very tempting! Only thing that is holding me back is the road tax: about 1000 euros per year! Compare that to the zero euros I pay for the Carina! :O

BTW: The plings indicate the huge dents in the guardrails!

Drifting with automatic gearbox?

I saw this trailer of Drift Tengoku yesterday:

I was really amazed that drifting with an automatic is that easy!

Basically the technique behind drifting is very possible with an automatic: by limiting the automatic to go a gear up it will always keep the gearbox in the same gear (unless your revs go under something like 3000rpm) so the automatic becomes a bit manual this way. The only trouble is to prevent hitting Drive or Reverse accidentally but as you can see in this video they use a lock to prevent you from doing that.

Of course there are some techniques which are not possible: for instance a drift at high speed doing a clutch kick or controlling the drift with the clutch while going sideways. But who cares if you can’t Manji that easy with an automatic!

So there is still hope for my Carina! However… I do need some extra power first and I only have a 3 speed automatic, so shifting between 2nd and 3rd may be a bit far from each other. Think I’ll stick to the original plan then. ;)

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