I also share your sentiment about the first gear ratio being a little high - the car has plenty of torque and I think a lower ratio would be more appropriate. While I'm not qualified to say for sure, I'm going to guess and say that starting in second is not a healthy habit for your transmission, clutch, or engine.
I'm no expert, but I take off in 2nd gear all the time in the winter.. it helps the tires maintain traction in the snow/ice.. from what I've noticed, I'd say... if you're driving correctly and within the car's limits, you shouldn't have any problems! -- now I'm really curious to know what 163 lb-ft of tourque is gonna feel like taking off in 2nd.. My 99 Cavi is rated at 127lb-ft.. I think.. I get my tC tomorrow
, I'll try it out and let you know if my opinions change..
hehehe, one time, I was driving a Geo Metro (3 cyl).. I took off in 3rd gear like it was nothing! I thought it was in 1st, but didn't realize the truth until after I shifted and 4th didn't do much for me at 15 mph... it only worked cause I hadn't driven it in a while and listened to the car and made the right modifications to my technique during the first gear.. prob would have continued in 4th if I revved it high enough before letting out the clutch all the way! I tried to repeat it, and it was ugly cause I was over-thinking.. still didn't stall but it wasn't pretty, either!
Anyway, there's my two cents again.. ok, maybe three cents inlcuding the story about the Geo..
OK, I've finally got my Flint tC and it's everything I thought it would be!!
SO, I tried taking off in 2nd, and it felt great! -- I wouldn't try to start a race in 2nd -- but, the car had plenty of power, and my opinion is that you can start in 2nd all you want and the tC won't let you down.
i was wondering about that, starting in 2nd just doesn't sound safe. I know that you can do plenty of stuff to the car without really damaging it, but to me it feels like you put a lot of strain on the powertrain when you start in 2nd, or skip gears and what not. Just my .02.