I drove manuals for many, many years. I finally decided that for my daily driver, it just didn't make any sense. Maybe once a week I was glad I had a manual - it would be great fun to blip the throttle, brake hard, down shift, hit the apex and then run through the gears and accelerate out - but the rest of the time it was a pain in the butt. And the heavier the traffic where you live, the more annoying it is. I've never driven a paddle shift car - I would like to try it.
vwinter: Magick is our resident petrolhead - you can see the 200 page history of his car quests here:
Yeah, it's a little crazy from the outside, but inside it feels normal. I have so many cars for the same reason Leno, Seinfeld, and Tim Allen do, I love cars. Plus it's also something to do with my time.
We were talking about supercar DDs. I can tell you the ones I've driven, in order of preference, that make the best city drivers:
1. McLaren MP4-12C - One minute it's a wonderful luxury coupe, with a supple ride, great manners at low speed, and a very relaxed personality (when you aren't flogging it). Toggle it for track mode and it completely transforms into a racecar. Turn off the TC and ESP and it changes even more and becomes an animal. Caveats: Poor rear visibility. It has a rear camera, but that's not quite the same. The throttle and brakes take a few minutes to get a handle on the first time you drive it. Lifting off the brakes propels you forward, you don't need to press the gas to creep along, but after you get a feel for it, it's great.
2. Audi R8 - Same great low-speed manageability as the McLaren, but with better visibility. No, it isn't as good as a regular passenger sedan, but that's expected. The ride isn't as smooth as the MP4, but still quite nice. Not as relaxed in street mode, but not difficult. I suspect the Gallardo is very similar, since they're essentially siblings. Caveats: Grabby brakes, they work a little too well. Handling feels a little wooden at low speed, but not a big deal.
3. Lamborghini Aventador - Despite its size it's easy to drive. It has a decent ride, comfortable seats, and a good auto mode for the DSG. Caveats: Visibility is crap. IT'S HUGE, which means you're often afraid you're going to bump into things. It can lurch if you aren't very careful with the throttle. No steering feel at low speed.
4. Merc/McLaren SLR - Tolerable, but brakes and steering are wooden at low speed, ride is a little too stiff, and DSG auto mode is almost hopeless.
Ferrari 458 - No, no, no. Ride is too stiff, car lurches badly, brakes are grabby, DSG auto mode is awful, seats aren't terribly comfortable, difficult to steer at low speed. It's awesome for tearing up b-roads and the track, it's amazing at high speed, but it isn't a car you want to drive in traffic.
Ford GT - Same as the Aventador, but without the good parts. Don't drive these downtown, the clutch will kill your left leg. Great road and track car, though.
Any Ferrari with a MT. No way.
The rest go downhill from here...