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I'm currently learning to drive and in the process driving two cars (the instructors, and my parents for extra practice). Both are small 1 liter cars (petrol).

What I've found is in my instructors car, I can quite happily pull away on a steeper hills (let's say a T junction on a slight incline or stop start traffic on an incline) with just the clutch (no gas needed).

I find in my parents car, I would stall in these situations if I just used the clutch, and require some gas to avoid stalling, but naturally this requires using the handbrake in order to avoid rolling back when you swap from brake to gas (which isn't always a great idea say at a roundabout whereby the entrance on is a hill, and you need to be quick to claim).

Do different cars have more/less powerful clutches?

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Manufacturers are spending millions on developements and researces, and there is nothing wrong with a clutch. The difference is between manufacturers. It is all about "getting used to it". My grlfriend has 1L 3 cyl engine with 74 BHP. My car is 1.2 4 cyl and 54 BHP. Her car has more torque at low revs, so her car pulls away like a bullet. My car requires reving up for "bullet" start :) One car will have a cable, another - hydraulic clutch, one will have harder pedal return spring, another softer.. But at the end of the day they will all do their job perfectly. Harder clutch (clutch springs, bigger disc) will not allow you to pull away smoothly, it will engage quicker.

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