On the boil

More cogs, less compromise

ONCE, opting for a close ratio ‘motorsport’ gear set meant trading low-rev cruising for quicker acceleration. A five-speed manual may have had its fifth ratio swapped from an overdrive of 0.8:1 to 1:1, giving more revs in top on the highway, while the first four ratios were stacked more closely, to help win the traffic light GP. The advent of sixplus- speed gearboxes made it possible to keep the overdriven top gear (or gears) while still having a pseudo close-ratio 'box. With a 10-speed, there should be more than enough ratios to have a real close-ratio 'box and more than one overdrive ratio, giving the best of both worlds.