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  1. #1
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    New member

    Hi all,
    I bought a new silver/red Z8 back in 2002, and have thoroughly enjoyed owning and driving it over the last five years. It's truly an incredible car, both in terms of looks and performance. I attached a photo I took in the summer of '02 after giving it its first wash for your viewing pleasure

    After years of pleasure driving, however, I'm looking to explore more of the "performance" side of my car, and I have a few questions for those of you who know this car inside and out. First off, how do you go about getting the best 0-60 time? I know it's kind of a trivial matter - basically a random speed chosen for no particular reason. But, I'm a goal oriented person, and if the book says 4.2 seconds, I want to do it in 4.2 seconds (or better!). I've noticed that 2nd gear will get you to 60, but painfully. It seems to me like shifting into 3rd somewhere around 5000rpms would be the best option, but I don't know if it is worth the time wasted in the shift. I was also wondering what the best method is to launch the car...what rpm is best to dump the clutch, etc.

    Also, I'd really like to get it on the track at some point. Is there any place I could do that in MA, or somewhere in New England? Keep in mind that I'm completely new at this - I've never owned a high performance car before this, and I've never taken my Z8 on the track.

    Thanks in advance for any responses!

    p.s. Any advice for cleaning out my cigarette lighter? It will no longer charge my phone or power my valentine 1.
     

  2. #2
    Welcome back! That picture of your car has been in our gallery a very long time, I think you must have emailed it to me about when you got the car!

    I can't help you with the 0-60 times as that is mostly in the technique of the driver, and I've never had an interest in drag strips, but I've done a lot of track time in the Z8 over the years, so can tell you a bit about that. The Z8 is a fun car to take to the track because it has such a stable chassis and awesome motor. The only thing you really need at the track is instruction, instruction and instruction.

    If you can just go to High Performance Driving Schools, as many as you can as often as you can, and remember that to avoid hurting yourself and your car learn to go fast slowly, there is no need to be in a hurry to learn how to be fast at the track, like a martial art it takes time, practice, patience, time and more practice. I'd say try to connect with your local BMW CCA chapter, and see what tracks are in your area, call the track offices, and find out who the really good run groups are who run there.

    Good luck, and have fun - also if you cruise through the Gallery you'll find a lot of pictures of Z8's on track.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
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    You have quite the memory! Yes, I remember sending in a picture in a looong time ago I didn't realize it was the same one though...

    Thanks for the advice. I'll look into BMW CCA. Also, I think I'm going to do the skip barber HP driving course sometime this year too. Does anyone have any experience with them?

    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Welcome back! That picture of your car has been in our gallery a very long time, I think you must have emailed it to me about when you got the car!

    I can't help you with the 0-60 times as that is mostly in the technique of the driver, and I've never had an interest in drag strips, but I've done a lot of track time in the Z8 over the years, so can tell you a bit about that. The Z8 is a fun car to take to the track because it has such a stable chassis and awesome motor. The only thing you really need at the track is instruction, instruction and instruction.

    If you can just go to High Performance Driving Schools, as many as you can as often as you can, and remember that to avoid hurting yourself and your car learn to go fast slowly, there is no need to be in a hurry to learn how to be fast at the track, like a martial art it takes time, practice, patience, time and more practice. I'd say try to connect with your local BMW CCA chapter, and see what tracks are in your area, call the track offices, and find out who the really good run groups are who run there.

    Good luck, and have fun - also if you cruise through the Gallery you'll find a lot of pictures of Z8's on track.

  4. #4
    Yes, Skip Barber are very good, and if you do the three day course at Laguna Seca you also get to drive the most amazing track in the land!

    I can also recommend the Radical, Corvette and Lotus schools at Spring Mountain, the Porsche Driving Experience at Barber is great too, especially the advanced course. I've also heard the BMW M School is good, but I've not done that one, so can't comment myself.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome Chris. Over here (in Europe) we have Nowack Tuning (Kamp Lintfort, Germany) to (greatly...) improve your 0-60 time, but I think that is a little bit far (Dinan in the US?)
    Did you already check your fuse on the cigarette lighter of the Z8 ?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRZ8 View Post
    Hello and welcome Chris. Over here (in Europe) we have Nowack Tuning (Kamp Lintfort, Germany) to (greatly...) improve your 0-60 time, but I think that is a little bit far (Dinan in the US?)
    Did you already check your fuse on the cigarette lighter of the Z8 ?
    I don't think I'm quite ready to upgrade the car just yet. I was actually asking more about the basic technique used to get the best 0-60 runs, like whether or not to shift into 3rd.

    No, I didn't check the fuse - where is it and how would I replace it?

  7. #7
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    OK ! As I understand it, for performance it is best to always keep your engine rpm in maximum torque range (i.e. 3500-5000 rpm). I never timed my 0-60 but I guess that it is very hard to get it at 4.7 as stated by BMW. I also read that to reach this time DSC must be turned off (!). Leaving the DSC on is better for security but performance decreases.

    Your fuse is located in the glove compartment (fuse number is in the manual) Good luck.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by RRZ8 View Post
    OK ! As I understand it, for performance it is best to always keep your engine rpm in maximum torque range (i.e. 3500-5000 rpm). I never timed my 0-60 but I guess that it is very hard to get it at 4.7 as stated by BMW. I also read that to reach this time DSC must be turned off (!). Leaving the DSC on is better for security but performance decreases.

    Your fuse is located in the glove compartment (fuse number is in the manual) Good luck.
    Admittedly, I've never timed a 0-60 run; however, given that most magazines tested the Z8 at somewhere between 4.2s and 4.5s, I'd expect that any decent driver would be able to achieve BMWs very conservative 4.7s. My wife just gave me a Passport G-Timer and next time I drive the car somewhere where it's safe to do a 0-60 run I just might try it.

  9. #9
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    In that case, I am going to give it a try ! Will let you guys know

  10. #10
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    Welcome aboard!

    I think you will really enjoy the Z8 on the track. I have taken it to the local track about 10/15 times, and it's always a blast. Andrew is spot on with the assessment of the stable chassis and motor. It is a very smooth and controllable car, and the torque of the engine is a delight on corner exit and in the straights.

    I will suggest that you replace the OE run-flat tires before going to the track (if you haven't already). The run-flats are very heavy, and they lose grip over the day, contributing to increased understeer. A normal performance tire like the PS2 or the RE050A PPs are excellent shoes for the Z8.

    Good luck, and have fun!
    thegunguy

  11. #11
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    To get the best 0-60 time from your Z8, begin by turning off the DSC. Next, put your top up and close your windows. Then, pop the clutch and spin the rear tires briefly to get them warmed up. Ideally, you would then back up and begin your 0-60 attempt starting from your original location. This will provide the best traction at launch since your tires will be using the rubber laid down on the road surface during your initial tire spinning procedure for grip. Tire rubber is much grippier than pavement. The initial launch is the most important part of your run. To get the best 0-60 time, you want to spin the tires at launch, but not an excessive amount. Tires achieve their highest friction level when spinning slightly plus you want to keep the engine revs up in the power band. This means you should raise the revs to a high enough level to create wheelspin at launch but you must modulate the throttle initially so you don't spin the tires excessively. This is where the "art" of drag racing comes in. Trying different amounts of wheelspin and measuring your elapsed time is the only accurate way to determine which technique is fastest for your car. If the engine bogs down when the tires hook up (stop spinning), you need to use more throttle. The fastest way to engage the clutch is to slide your foot off the edge instead of lifting your foot off. Once the tires hook up, you use full throttle for the rest of the run. If you are confident in your up shifting ability, the fastest way to change gears is to power shift from first to second. That means you maintain full throttle while you make the shift. Obviously, your shift must be quick. If you aren't comfortable with this approach, you must come off the throttle briefly while you shift into second gear as quickly as possible and then go to full throttle again. Tire spin in second gear is not an issue since it won't be excessive. Since your Z8 will reach 60 mph while still in second gear, you definitely don't want to shift into third; a much slower time will result. Don't lift off the throttle when you think you're at 60; let the rev limiter end your run. Do remember that the type and condition of the road surface will play a major role in your elapsed time so try to use asphalt in good shape (though not brand new), on a cool to warm, sunny day, with a level surface. Extremely high temperatures or humidity will rob your engine of power; ideal is cool air with warm pavement. Make your run solo: passengers will definitely slow you down. Keeping your gas tank level low might lower your time (due to reduced weight) but having the extra weight from a full tank over the rear wheels might provide more traction at launch, so you would have to experiment. Also, if you find yourself getting sideways during the initial acceleration, you need to change your technique. Sideways is definitely slower. And remember, your stock Z8 does not have a limited slip differential so you may not get maximum traction at launch if the grip level is different from one side of the car to the other. If only one rear tire spins, find a different piece of road for your run. Try to relax while making your run. Tensed muscles are slower to react than relaxed ones. When comparing your time to those achieved in magazine road tests, remember that surface and ambient conditions will definitely affect the times recorded, along with the technique used by the driver. Most magazines do their testing at a race track or drag strip or some sort of dedicated facility so they may have better conditions than you can achieve in a street environment. On the other hand, assuming your engine is fully broken in, it may be producing more power than the ones in the test cars since often they are brand new (and still tight). Ultimately, the biggest mechanical factor in determining 0-60 time will be tire grip, so if you really want to optimize your run, using sticky tires is the best way to go. For what it's worth, drag racers often lower the tire pressure quite a bit to get better traction at launch (more rubber on the road and softer sidewall) so you might want to experiment with lower pressure in the rear tires only. Increasing the pressure in the fronts would decrease their rolling resistance and give a slight benefit. The other thing to take into consideration is altitude above sea level. The closer you are to sea level the faster your car will be. If you live at 5000 feet, the difference in your 0-60 time will be substantial. Hope this helps.

  12. #12
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    OK guys, my first 0-60 run(s) (yesterday afternoon, sunset, DSC off, temperature about 7 degress celcius, elevation: BENEATH sealevel (Netherlands.....)) , with a passenger and an almost full tank; 5.3 seconds. This was measured by hand (stopwatch).
    I just ordered my OBD2 tool (ElmScan) and this will allow me to measure my 0-60 very accurate (Digimoto) soon Will keep you updated, as I think that I can do better

  13. #13
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    Great post GM,

    I've missed reading your knowledgeable responses since I've stopped checking "the other place". Happy to see you here.

  14. #14
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    Hear Hear ! I second that!!

    Quote Originally Posted by KenZ8 View Post
    I've missed reading your knowledgeable responses since I've stopped checking "the other place". Happy to see you here.
    I too wish to welcome GM back to our website!! I enjoyed reading Andrew's write up of Odin's Warhorse in the latest Roundel. Hope the car is everything you expected from the upgrade -- sounds marvelous.

    Cheers!
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  15. #15
    I've missed reading your knowledgeable responses since I've stopped checking "the other place". Happy to see you here.
    Me too!!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  16. #16
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    Thanks guys! I am happy to be back in touch with the Z8 Community and very impressed by what Andrew has achieved with this site. It's turned into an invaluable resource for Z8 owners and the amount of effort involved is mind boggling. I hope my contributions will be of some value and perhaps a small way to thank him for dedicating so much of his life to helping other owners.

    The Daytona Prototype engine upgrade Steve Dinan did on my car exceeded all of my expectations. Andrew's article on the car in Roundel was very well written and accurately conveyed the spirit of the finished product. As mentioned, the car is going back to Dinan for further upgrades this Winter and I look forward to working with Steve again as we continue to push the Z8 envelope. Other owners should note that Dinan has had extensive experience with our cars and can be highly recommended for any and all service/upgrade work you might require.

    I look forward to getting to know many of the "new to me" owners participating on this site and rekindling the spirit of comraderie shared with past acquaintances.

  17. #17
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    GM - Your contribution to the Z8 community has been missed of late, and I believe many of us are very pleased to have you back. Personally, I still reference the "Grease Monkey Musings" PDF for various issues and information.

    Anyway, welcome, and I look forward your postings.

    BTW - any chance on bringing your Dinan beast to Pebble in August?
    thegunguy

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    A few more things to consider. As most owners have probably already discovered, the tach in the Z8 lags behind the actual engine rpms during hard acceleration. That's why you can hit the rev limiter before the tach indicates you're at redline in first and second gears. In the higher gears, the rate of acceleration is substantially slower and the tach becomes accurate in its readout allowing you to shift at redline. I have no idea why BMW built this delay into the tach but I understand other BMW models share the same problem. What this means in your quest for fastest 0-60 times is you must anticipate the rev limiter kicking in and shift before the tach reaches redline. Otherwise, you will bump up against the rev limiter before you shift and this will slow your time considerably. Experiment with different indicated rpms until you find the point at which the rev limiter kicks in and shift just before that. The number may vary slightly depending on your rate of acceleration so some guesswork may be involved. Many people just shift by ear, using the sound of the engine at redline as their indicator of when to shift and this technique, given sufficient practice, is entirely valid for the Z8. Also, don't use the speedometer in the Z8 to determine when you have reached 60 mph. Most BMW speedos are quite optimistic in their readout and the Z8's is no exception. Tapping into the OBD system is one way to get a more accurate indication of speed along with the use of aftermarket onboard performance computers, which is the way the magazines get their performance figures.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grease Monkey View Post
    A few more things to consider. As most owners have probably already discovered, the tach in the Z8 lags behind the actual engine rpms during hard acceleration. That's why you can hit the rev limiter before the tach indicates you're at redline in first and second gears. In the higher gears, the rate of acceleration is substantially slower and the tach becomes accurate in its readout allowing you to shift at redline. I have no idea why BMW built this delay into the tach but I understand other BMW models share the same problem. What this means in your quest for fastest 0-60 times is you must anticipate the rev limiter kicking in and shift before the tach reaches redline. Otherwise, you will bump up against the rev limiter before you shift and this will slow your time considerably. Experiment with different indicated rpms until you find the point at which the rev limiter kicks in and shift just before that. The number may vary slightly depending on your rate of acceleration so some guesswork may be involved. Many people just shift by ear, using the sound of the engine at redline as their indicator of when to shift and this technique, given sufficient practice, is entirely valid for the Z8. Also, don't use the speedometer in the Z8 to determine when you have reached 60 mph. Most BMW speedos are quite optimistic in their readout and the Z8's is no exception. Tapping into the OBD system is one way to get a more accurate indication of speed along with the use of aftermarket onboard performance computers, which is the way the magazines get their performance figures.

    Thank you GM, most of this info is new to me. I will certainly wait with more 0-60 runs until my OBD tool arrives. R.

  20. #20
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    Anther option...

    I've been using the Performance Box data acquisition unit at the track with great success. It's a self-contained GPS unit that codes lap data to an SD card for analysis via PC software. In addition, it has a mode that will measure "standard" performance data like 0-60, etc. While there are some flaws with GPS data acquisition (cycling rate for one - PB does 10 Hz), it does offer some trade-offs to inertial systems.

    Anyway at $500 it's a great tool for anyone looking to improve their track times with data analysis, in addition to the other tools.
    Last edited by thegunguy; October 22nd 2007 at 17:57.
    thegunguy

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    I've been using the Performance Box data acquisition unit at the track with great success. It's a self-contained GPS unit that codes lap data to an SD card for analysis via PC software. In addition, it has a mode that will measure "standard" performance data like 0-60, etc. While there are some flaws with GPS data acquisition (cycling rate for one - PB does 10 Hz), it does offer some trade-offs to inertial systems.

    Anyway at $500 it's a great tool for anyone looking to improve their track times with data analysis, in addition to the other tools.
    OBD tool (Scantool) is sold for $59,00 Hooked up to a notebook, the passenger is able to readout 0-60,1/8 mile 1/4 mile speeds, and all the engine data that you can get.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the response. A couple questions: you say you want to shift into 2nd just before redline. Why wouldn't you want to get it into second earlier instead of continuing in 1st past the point where torque starts to drop off (~5000rpm)? Wouldn't shifting from 1st at about 5000rpm put you in the sweet spot for torque in 2nd gear, and then let 2nd take you through 60mph? What's the advantage to waiting until redline?

    Also, from reading your description of power shifting, it doesn't sound like it's too good for the transmission or clutch. Am I mistaken? Could you elaborate at all on this technique?


    Quote Originally Posted by Grease Monkey View Post
    A few more things to consider. As most owners have probably already discovered, the tach in the Z8 lags behind the actual engine rpms during hard acceleration. That's why you can hit the rev limiter before the tach indicates you're at redline in first and second gears. In the higher gears, the rate of acceleration is substantially slower and the tach becomes accurate in its readout allowing you to shift at redline. I have no idea why BMW built this delay into the tach but I understand other BMW models share the same problem. What this means in your quest for fastest 0-60 times is you must anticipate the rev limiter kicking in and shift before the tach reaches redline. Otherwise, you will bump up against the rev limiter before you shift and this will slow your time considerably. Experiment with different indicated rpms until you find the point at which the rev limiter kicks in and shift just before that. The number may vary slightly depending on your rate of acceleration so some guesswork may be involved. Many people just shift by ear, using the sound of the engine at redline as their indicator of when to shift and this technique, given sufficient practice, is entirely valid for the Z8. Also, don't use the speedometer in the Z8 to determine when you have reached 60 mph. Most BMW speedos are quite optimistic in their readout and the Z8's is no exception. Tapping into the OBD system is one way to get a more accurate indication of speed along with the use of aftermarket onboard performance computers, which is the way the magazines get their performance figures.

  23. #23
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    Just wanted to chime in with a welcome back to GM.

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    Intuitively, your question makes perfect sense. Since torque is what accelerates a car, keeping the revs in the highest portion of the torque curve, rather than in the highest portion of the horsepower curve, should yield fastest acceleration. The reason this approach doesn't yield the fastest acceleration time is because we're not just dealing with an engine, we have to take into account the transmission gear ratios because they also affect the car's acceleration rate. What you really want to consider is the torque output multiplied by the transmission gear ratio. That number provides an indication of the amount of torque delivered to the tires, which is what actually accelerates the car. In most cases, torque delivered to the tires, at almost any rpm, is always higher in a lower gear than in the next gear up. As a result, staying in first gear as long as possible yields the fastest acceleration rate. Your intuition is correct in that the rate of acceleration will be slowing down in first gear as you move out of the highest portion of the torque curve but the rate of acceleration at any rpm in second gear, will be slower still. There can be exceptions to this approach due to various gear ratio and torque curve scenarios, but suffice it to say that in the case of the Z8 (and most high performance street vehicles), shifting at redline is the fastest way to accelerate the car. As for power shifting, your concerns are completely valid. This technique, which requires you to keep your accelerator pedal to the floor while you shift to the next gear, can be very hard on your transmission, clutch, and engine, particularly if you miss the shift or don't have a rev limiter. However, it does provide the fastest rate of acceleration since it keeps the engine rpms at their maximum level as you shift gears. The difference is minor in any sort of street context and I only mentioned it because it is the fastest technique for a manual transmission car. It's relatively safe to try it in a Z8 because of the rev limiter but to minimize wear and tear, you must make the shift very rapidly in one smooth motion; no hesitation between gears. Hope this helps.

  25. #25
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    Thanks a lot, that makes sense. Is there ever a time (say, in higher gears - maybe shifting from 5th to 6th where the gear ratio is lower...I think...) where a higher gear produces a faster acceleration at a lower RPM than a lower gear at a higher RPM?

    Back to power shifting, is it necessary to push the clutch all the way to the floor, or are you supposed to find a spot somewhere in the middle where you can jam it into gear without completely disengaging the transmission?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grease Monkey View Post
    Intuitively, your question makes perfect sense. Since torque is what accelerates a car, keeping the revs in the highest portion of the torque curve, rather than in the highest portion of the horsepower curve, should yield fastest acceleration. The reason this approach doesn't yield the fastest acceleration time is because we're not just dealing with an engine, we have to take into account the transmission gear ratios because they also affect the car's acceleration rate. What you really want to consider is the torque output multiplied by the transmission gear ratio. That number provides an indication of the amount of torque delivered to the tires, which is what actually accelerates the car. In most cases, torque delivered to the tires, at almost any rpm, is always higher in a lower gear than in the next gear up. As a result, staying in first gear as long as possible yields the fastest acceleration rate. Your intuition is correct in that the rate of acceleration will be slowing down in first gear as you move out of the highest portion of the torque curve but the rate of acceleration at any rpm in second gear, will be slower still. There can be exceptions to this approach due to various gear ratio and torque curve scenarios, but suffice it to say that in the case of the Z8 (and most high performance street vehicles), shifting at redline is the fastest way to accelerate the car. As for power shifting, your concerns are completely valid. This technique, which requires you to keep your accelerator pedal to the floor while you shift to the next gear, can be very hard on your transmission, clutch, and engine, particularly if you miss the shift or don't have a rev limiter. However, it does provide the fastest rate of acceleration since it keeps the engine rpms at their maximum level as you shift gears. The difference is minor in any sort of street context and I only mentioned it because it is the fastest technique for a manual transmission car. It's relatively safe to try it in a Z8 because of the rev limiter but to minimize wear and tear, you must make the shift very rapidly in one smooth motion; no hesitation between gears. Hope this helps.

  26. #26
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    Yes, as the gear ratios get closer together, there may come a point where it makes sense to shift to the next higher gear before redline is reached. In the case of the Z8, shifting at redline in the first three gears results in the maximum acceleration rate. The shift from 4th to 5th and 5th to 6th should be done at approximately 6500 rpms to achieve the maximum acceleration rate. Returning to power shifting, you do not have to push the clutch pedal all the way to the floor to shift gears. You just have to find the level at which the clutch is sufficiently disengaged from the flywheel to allow the gear to be changed. This holds true for regular shifting, too. A common technique on racing cars is to install an adjustable pedal stop on the floor which limits the clutch pedal's travel to just far enough to allow the shift to be made, thus eliminating any guesswork involved. In some standard transmission race cars, up shifting is done without using the clutch at all! Instead, following a slight lift on the accelerator pedal, the gear lever is simply pushed or pulled into the next gear position. With practice to achieve the proper gear speed match, this too can be done on your Z8, but I don't recommend it. Another point to consider relating to clutch work is that during launch, it may be better to slip the clutch rather than to fully engage it. The idea is to break the rear tires loose minimally at the start and keep them spinning slightly as long as possible. If fully engaging the clutch results in excessive wheelspin and/or bogging of the engine, feathering the clutch to control rear wheel revs may be a better approach. Of course, you will pay a substantial penalty in clutch wear using this technique.

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    Correction: I was doing the math on the fly and after going over the figures more closely, it turns out that you should shift at redline in all gears to maximize the acceleration rate on a Z8. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused. There can still be circumstances where shifting before redline is faster but not in a Z8.