How to Clutchless Shift

by braniac

Clutchless shifting with a traditional manual transmission is quickly becoming a lost art with the advent of "manumatic" transmissions. What possible reason would you want to shift without using the clutch? The satisfaction of a perfectly matched downshift, of course.

Find an open stretch of road without much traffic so you can focus without fear of angering other drivers

To clutchless UPSHIFT (ie go from 2nd to 3rd gear):

Accelerate as you normally would in 2nd gear, as you approach the shift point, ease off on the accelerator

Right as you let off the accelerator (almost simulataneously - just as you feel the transmission unload), move the shift gear out of 2nd and into 3rd.

Depress Accelerator and you are off into 3rd!

To clutchless DOWNSHIFT (ie 3rd to 2nd):

As you are in 3rd, ease off the accelerator while moving the shift lever out of 3rd and into neutral

As soon as the shift lever is out of 3rd, blip the throttle (ie quickly depress the accelerator so that the engine revs higher). You are trying to rev the engine to the exact point that it would be had you normally shifted into 2nd - this will take practice.

As soon as the engine revs are at its peak, move the shift lever into 2nd. If you have done it correctly, it should slide in easily and the entire transition would have been very smooth with no wheel chirping or otherwise shuddering transmission.

Love the feeling of successfully matching engine revs!


  • check Everything should be quick, but smooth
  • check Move the shift lever out of gear the split second after you ease off the gas pedal
  • check To get a sense of where the engine revs would be in a downshift, shift down normally and note the RPM. Then try and hit that RPM (or slightly above) when clutchless shifting.


  • close Don't practice on your brand new Ferrari
  • close If you are continually crunching gears, seek help from someone who is proficient. Not worth killing your transmission over.

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About the Author

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