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Tips for driving a manual NSX?

2 June 2001
Boston, MA USA
Well since my last two questions garnered 30+ replies each
I thought I'd ask another.

I've recently, at the suggestion of forum members, learned to drive a stick (on a Honda Accord). I have a total of about 4 hours of stick experience now, and while I feel reasonably comfortable, going into first from a stop is still not as smooth as I would like.

Are they any oddities about the NSX clutch that you could point out which might ease my introduction into that car? I'd prefer not to stall it repeatedly on the way out of the dealership

Thanks again!
There's nothing special about the NSX clutch or getting it moving from a stop.

However, there's something about getting going from a stop that no one taught me when I was learning how to drive stick, so here's what I've since learned. When I first learned, I thought the clutch was basically an "on-off" switch; I was told to push it in or let it out. And, basically, this works when you're moving and changing from one gear to another; the synchros take care of matching the revs (but you should learn how to match them yourself using the throttle, rather than relying on the synchros).

Here's the secret to getting going from a stop. No one told me that there's a progressive range to it, but there is. It's not the entire pedal range, only a small part of it (sometimes called the "sweet spot") - but within that range, you can "play" with it and give it "more clutch" or "less clutch". And this is the key to getting going from a stop - you need to give it gas (not a LOT of gas, but you need to STAY ON THE GAS) and let the clutch pedal out slowly WITHIN THAT RANGE. So you just start hitting that range with the clutch pedal, and the car starts to move forward. At that point, you need to think of yourself as "giving it more clutch" rather than giving it more gas, to get it moving enough to let the clutch out entirely. Once you're starting to move forward at say 10 mph or so, STAY ON THE GAS and let out the clutch.

I hope that makes sense.