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The benefit of a manual transmision is to simultaneously make the engine do one thing and driveline do another. This requires a mechanical disconnect.

I haven't driven any paddle/auostick setups, but it seems to me that some do not truly disengage motor from wheels. If my hack science is correct, then I would tend to categorize autosticks as gadgets for posers who cannot deal with, much less take advantage of, a clutch.

I'll not suggest that Ferrari and Porsche are creating cars for the gold chain crowd, but I doubt the Dodge Intrepid Autostick will let me match engine revs to wheel speed on a two-gear downshift.

As far as the new M3 engine needing warmup time; I've not heard that. Any true race car, from a Formula Vee to a Honda/Reynard, does need to be brought up to temperature before it's ready for business.
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