Q: “After many years with BMWs, I’ve gone to the ‘dark side’ and bought my very first American car: a 2021 C8 Vette. My question is, can I take advantage of the 8 gears and dual-clutch with instant rev match to actually up and downshift in the turns? Shifting is reportedly so quick and smooth in both directions that it may seem like steady throttle application. Also, watching the F1 boys, I’m pretty sure I hear them changing gears on entry and exit. Tough to do with a standard six speed, even though heel-toe is second nature.”
A: Yes, you can upshift in the middle of a corner, and possibly even downshift while turning into a corner. The car will make the shifts smooth enough that it won’t upset the car much. Having said that, it’s still best to complete downshifts prior to turning into corners – there really isn’t an advantage to downshifting in a corner, and it’s just one less thing to do while focusing on cornering at or near the limit. Upshifting coming out of a corner is okay, too, but I’d want to make sure it’s not in the middle of the corner when the tires are at maximum lateral loading. That upshift should be towards the end of the corner when you’re unwinding (straightening) the steering.
I’m reminded of the saying, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” So, be sure there is a good reason for making the shift in the corner. If you find that you’re running out of revs well before the exit of the corner, I suspect you’re in too low a gear. Sure, it sounds and feels good with all those revs coming out of the corner, but most often taking that corner in the next higher gear, and working on carrying momentum through the turn will be faster.
Of course, your answer is correct. But so much of this “question” is Situation-Specific… on the powerband of your vehicle, how much speed you have scrubbed coming into the corner [and what gear you were in when you started braking], are you exitting into a straight or another corner… The basic question is “Does the DCT take the place of “Heel & Toe”… can you trail-brake with your left foot, and still shift with the DCT, and not have the ‘jolt’ in the drive-train that would upset the loaded tires..? And that ‘depends’ on how well the specific manufacturer designed the operation of the DCT. And I think pretty-much all of the “performance” Manufacturers have good and effective designs now.