Surprises after two weeks of ownership – visibility and skip-shift – camaro6 power quiz questions

It’s been two weeks now with a new 2SS 1LE. The weather has been brutal here in New England, so I only have 200 miles on the car so far. I’m following the break-in procedure so these miles are mostly just cruising around town and getting a feel for the car and its features.

As far as visibility, so far I’m seeing that at least 90% of the time, there is no issue. Driving forward in this car is not much different than any other car, and most of the time, that’s what you’re doing. I have not yet been on a multi-lane highway with lots of traffic and cars on both sides, so I can’t comment on that. That could be tricky. The difficulties I have seen so far are all low-speed parking-related things. Yesterday I pulled into an angled parking spot (end spot of course ), next to what else but a large SUV. When backing out of the spot later, of course I couldn’t see well around the SUV, and the blind spot in the right rear prevented me from seeing any cars pulling past me through the lot. So of course a little Honda was ripping past while I was inching back, and I never saw him – but the rear Cross Traffic alert did pick him up and beeped a warning at me – so no harm done, because the safety features had done their job. Even without the system, I wouldn’t have just backed out assuming no one was there, so I wouldn’t call it a close call at all. The point is, I could not see that Honda myself, but I’m sure I would have seen him if I was in my MINI. (And before someone replies that I should have backed into the spot, it would have been difficult because the spot was at a 45 degree angle, so it would have been a multi-point reverse procedure to do it. I do favor backing into spots when feasible.)

As far as the skip-shift, it is really not as big an issue as I feared. I still do not like it – I drive manuals because I want to control what gear I’m in. While loafing around my town there is plenty of stop and go driving, with stop signs, pedestrian crosswalks, and traffic lights. So just out of maturity and common sense, this is not the situation to be driving like a jackass. Consequently, I’m taking it easy, short-shifting, and light on the throttle, and the skip-shift feature is happening quite frequently. For the most part, though, it works and does what it’s supposed to do – that is, save fuel. Maybe 10% of the time it will happen when going up hill, so that is annoying, but when it happens on level road or downhill it’s not really a problem. What is annoying, however, is that it is not 100% predictable. Sometimes I’ll pull slowly away from a light, shift into 2nd under 20 mph, and it will kick in. A moment later, doing the same thing, and it won’t intervene. And then there are other times when the skip-shift alert on the DIC will display, but it didn’t lock the transmission out of 2nd gear.

2) I am not necessarily a fan of the skip-shift feature, and already have the Phastek eliminator kit in hand, but I am not as much in a rush to install it as I thought I would be. In fact, I’m going to hold off on the installation, unless it becomes unbearable. For the most part, it works, and saves fuel.

1. Anything longer than a Mini is going to have visibility issues in angle-parking where you can’t either back into or drive through into. There’s almost always going to be an SUV that you can’t see worth a damn no matter if it’s over, around, or through.

On the highway – and I suspect you mean I-95 here – you’ll just have to be a bit more aware of traffic behind you and chack a little more carefully before making a lane change. That’s as I recall from driving a 1SS in light to medium traffic on I-40 in NC last year, not an insurmountable difference by any means.

2. My car, I’d probably have done the skip-shift mod already. I don’t have a lot of patience with things that get in the way of physically operating the car. In your traffic situation (I’m originally from MA and am quite familiar with things like CT shore traffic), I’m pretty sure I’d want to be using 2nd on a regular basis. Too fast and too many revs for 1st, not enough of either to really want 3rd and certainly not 4th.

And as far as tracks, even though Thompson is closer, I would call Lime Rock my "home" track because I just love the layout and elevation changes. My all time favorite track is Watkins Glen, and Lime Rock is like a mini version of the Glen. I have been to Thompson once with the Mustang, and have been to Palmer (aka Whiskey Hill) with the BMW. So yeah, who knows, maybe we will run into each other at an HPDE track day!