You’ve heard other drivers talk about the “no-lift shift” idea before, or they may have called it a “flat foot shift.” If so, you must have wondered at first what they were talking about. It is often people interested in car tuning who are most interested in this idea, which explains why it is not the most widely understood phrase or idea.
In today’s blog, we’ll look at what the idea of no-lift shifting (flat foot shifting) is, what it means, how it works, what kind of people and cars do it and why, and whether or not it’s actually a good idea. for your vehicle.
What is change without an elevator?
In short, liftless shifting is an advanced driving technique that allows you to upshift in a manual car without taking your foot off the accelerator. It is also known as flatfoot shift and power shift. The name “flat foot” will become clear once we understand how it works. Rather than the usual method of releasing the gas pedal before using the clutch, this method relies on a wide open throttle and enough engine power remaining when shifting to allow the process to take place. Companies like GM created the no lift shift (NLS) technology that is built into their cars to really help drivers do this.
It’s not a new technique and actually dates back to the beginning of the muscle car era where drag racers employed this type of technique to give them an advantage over their rivals. People have demonstrated how using this technique can save whole seconds off the 0-60 times of some cars, even regular street cars.
We mentioned GM above, and that’s because they included a much-celebrated NLS technology in several of their production vehicles from model years 2014 to 2019. It was almost entirely used as standard on high-spec Corvettes and Camaros, but other models also had versions with it pre-installed, like the Cadillac CT4 Blackwing.
Of course, you don’t have to get your NLS technology from GM; You can also purchase aftermarket options. Among the most popular brands is N2MB and its “WOT Box”. They are relatively easy to install, connecting directly to the vehicle’s ignition system so that it can shut off the engine as needed. There is also no need to change or modify the ECU as this device works with virtually every version out there.
How it works?
No-lift shifting is designed to give drivers the fastest, smoothest shifts, helping to control engine speed without taking their foot off the accelerator. The NLS manages torque while the vehicle is accelerating at full throttle, hence the name “flat foot”. For the maneuver to work, the driver’s foot must be on the ground by pressing the accelerator pedal. They then simply need to reach the required RPM and perform the clutch shift as usual.
It sounds simple and the action when performed by experienced pilots seems incredibly easy, but the technology and mechanics behind it are really quite complex. It also only works on manual cars as it is a gear shifting technique only and cannot be used for downshifting. The driver must have full control of the gear ratios for this to work.
Is flatfoot offset good for your car?
When done using the proper technology, even GM tells us there are some benefits to doing a no-lift shift. First and foremost, the NLS approach allows drivers to provide the smoothest and fastest possible gear change as is humanly possible. In a racing situation it can be critical to gain and maintain an early lead or be able to overtake other competitors.
GM’s NLS technology can help make flatfoot shifting a little safer and easier on the hardware. Traditionally, there have been concerns about what these moves would do to streaming hardware (see further below). Finally, when using NLS, thrust is maintained in the next gear ratio, which helps the car move forward with maximum thrust.
GM’s use of special integrated technology can help remove some of the drawbacks, but these moves are being made by all types of drivers across the world, some of whom may not be using the right kind of gears. What will such moves do to a car that wasn’t built for this role?
When driving at full throttle, everything in the engine must be in harmony: wheel speed, engine speed, transmission gears all working and turning at the same speed. However, when changing gears with the accelerator still depressed, what the driver is doing is waiting for the clutch synchronizer to match the wheel and transmission speeds. This is where it gets hard for the hardware to handle.
It’s no wonder that when you watch videos on YouTube on this topic, many of the video thumbnails include a small signature “Goodbye, broadcast!” And why not? Flat foot shifting is absolutely contrary to everything drivers have ever learned about driving with a stick. While we’ve been taught to work for smooth, easy shifts that don’t overload the clutch, gears, and other transmission equipment, no gear shift is diametrically opposed to that way of thinking.