because its still cheaper to shift using cables or rods, than electric motors and actuators.
Why haven't they been replaced with buttons or some other electronics? Seems like a rather simple thing to do to get a lot of prime real estate back.
Sorta like this on the Prius
they're steppin' on my rhythm and they're stealin' all my lines
Other methods have been tried...
I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.
Buttons might be a space saver, but not in the example you used.
The reason I see for keeping the shifter is tradition. It costs a little extra, makes it more difficult to slide across the center console, and obscures some buttons, but I don't see that as a big deal. If there's a manual stick shift option, then going to a different center console that takes advantage of saved space for the AT buttons might end up costing more.
The Lincoln makes me laugh, because they eliminate the shifter but then waste all that space they could have used for storage or... something, on that big overstyled flying buttress armrest thing.
Eliminating the shifter makes the most sense for vehicles which have no sporting pretensions. My Odyssey has a shifter that's been minimized as much as possible while maintaining an old style shift linkage. If they could have replaced it with pushbuttons I wouldn't miss a thing. The shifter occupies a little corner of the dash next to the steering wheel rather than jutting out of the middle like a faux-manual; it opens up a lot of space for storage bins.
Splinter - Team Post-Killing Ninja
I don't practice llanteria
Or put it back on the column. In my van, it has a giant lever mounted on the column. I think the gear shifter adds a certain level of machismo. The illusion of control, if you will.
I personally would love to see automatic shifters go away.
| 2012 Nissan Leaf | 1995 Jeep Wrangler |
| 2007 Toyota Prius | 1999 Plymouth Voyager |
The current Mercedes E-class (and some M-B SUVs) have a Prius-like shifter located on the steering column. It does free up some space for larger center console storage.
The key is we're seeing this on the ever increasing number of models with no manual available. With manual or auto cars, it makes sense to stick the auto lever where the stick shift would be.
the primary reason is because when you design a car with an optional manual transmission, you have to build the dash and center counsel one way, and making two designs, one for each transmission is expensive and annoying.
note all the "sexy" automatic selectors are in cars that don't even have the option of a manual ....
Here's a thread from a few months ago on this same topic.
Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park