With so little tangible feel from the pedals, it's almost a robotic experience to launch the TL SH-AWD 6MT. The best launch was from an indicated 3,750 rpm with a wisp of wheelspin. The shifter is light and makes upchanges easy but not confident. Power is linear and tapers off very little near redline. Engine sounds better (less thrashy and smoother) than the Nissan/Infiniti VQ.
Firm pedal, little idle stroke, flat and straight stops. Some brake-pad odor, but no observed fade from six total stops (or after four quarter-mile runs). Very quick ABS motor so zero buzz or vibration during panic stops.
Skid pad: With ESP off and in 2nd gear, I found maintaining a line a little difficult as the AWD system was busy shifting power all over. Switched to 3rd and it was better behaved and more consistent, but then using throttle to adjust yaw angle to skid pad arc required more patience and felt a little delayed. With ESP on, the car was even more difficult to place precisely on the line as it merely added another (electronic) layer between the driver and the mechanicals. Steering effort/build-up feels a little springy. Slalom: There's little doubt this is a tremendously capable sport sedan, but I just wish for equally tremendous feedback, and that's lacking. Steering is quick and direct, but lacks vocabulary. With the ESP off, the car was mostly neutral -- neither under- nor oversteering -- right up to the last cone where a "lift-stab" on the throttle worked to coax some useful rotation. The ESP system is remarkable in that it merely "trims" your heading slightly with brake applications, but kills the enthusiastic WOT exit.