Team-BHP > Technical Stuff


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th April 2021, 10:17   #1
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 11,372
Thanked: 50,870 Times
Default Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

Unconventional Automatic Gear Shifters


Automatic gearboxes are in. As time goes by, more and more people are preferring these to manual transmissions. The convenience they offer, particularly in city traffic, outweighs their additional cost over their manual counterparts. It’s not just the lesser effort required on the part of the driver that is an advantage. Many new slush boxes offer quicker shifts and even better fuel efficiency compared to manual transmissions.

While there are just a few types of automatic transmissions available (such as torque converters, dual-clutch transmissions and continuously variable transmissions), the gear-shifters that enable the driver to engage the gears vary. Most cars come with the standard stick shift with gears in the R, P, N, D sequence, but there are many cars that use shifters that are not conventional.

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-conventional.jpg

Let’s have a look at some of the unconventional gear-shifters that we have seen on cars over the years.

Monostable shifter:



Probably the most popular type of shifter after the stick shift, the monostable shifter is found mostly in luxury cars such as BMWs and some Jaguars and Volvos. The shifter can be moved forward or backward like a joystick to select the desired gear and springs back into its only resting position the moment it is released. Most monostable shifters are very easy to use and have a premium feel. "P" or parking mode can be engaged by pressing a dedicated switch located either on the selector or near it.
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-joystick.jpg

Older M cars from BMW did not come with a P button.
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-m5-old.jpg

The Volvo XC40 uses a similar shifter, but its functioning can be confusing. You need to dab the selector backwards twice in succession to engage ‘’D” or drive mode.
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-volvo-shifter.jpg

Stalk shifter:



These are used in Mercedes-Benz and Rolls Royce cars. They are placed on the right of the steering wheel. These selectors function like monostable shifters with just one resting position. Push the stalk up to engage "R" or down to engage "D". When parking, press the button on the tip of the stalk to select "P". To prevent accidental use of the wiper stalk, Mercedes has integrated the wiper functions into the light stalk located on the left of the steering wheel.
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-stalk-shifter.jpg

The Rolls Royce Cullinan also get a button to engage "Low Mode" on the gear lever.
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-p90375501_highres_rollsroycecullinan.jpg

Rotary shifter:



Many Jaguar Land Rover vehicles use these gear selectors. They raise out of the center console when the engine is started. Apart from providing visual drama, these selectors are simple. They are minimalistic to look at and with no soft touch material on them, don’t feel premium to use.
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-rotary-shifter.jpg

The Renault Kwid AMT - one of the cheaper cars on sale, uses a rotary shifter as well.
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-renault-rotary.jpg

Button shifter:



Button shifters are less popular that the other types of gear selectors. Individual buttons are assigned for selecting the gear the driver wants to engage. These buttons are either placed on the center fascia or the center console of the car.
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-button-shift.jpg

Not many cars are seen with these. The Fiat 595 Competizione and Honda CR-V along with supercars from manufacturers such as Aston Martin and McLaren come with button shifters.
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-crv-button-shift.jpg

Touchscreen shifter:



The latest type to join the list of unconventional gear sectors is the touchscreen selector which is going to be seen in the updated Tesla Model S and Model X.
Name:  tesla_new_ui_2.jpg
Views: 13155
Size:  24.7 KB
Image Source: Torque News

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-tesla-3.jpg
Image Source: VerietyInfo

Name:  tesla_new_ui_3.jpg
Views: 13089
Size:  12.9 KB
Image Source: Torque News

If gears are to be shifted, it will have to be done using a controller located on the touchscreen of the cars. The touchscreen will feature a sliding selector which is a small icon of the car) located in the upper left corner of the touchscreen to select D or R, while N mode can be selected on the screen through the shortcut menu.

Last edited by Aditya : 12th April 2021 at 10:51.
Aditya is online now   (50) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 10:19   #2
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 11,372
Thanked: 50,870 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line.
Aditya is online now   (1) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 10:35   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
vigsom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: BDQ
Posts: 2,742
Thanked: 7,276 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

Although from a commercial vehicle, this is the simple D, N and R button set up in a Volvo 8400 low floor city bus.

Name:  e2beedsc_0254.jpg
Views: 12615
Size:  32.7 KB


Also adding the "mazy" shifter from the Grand Vitara AT.
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-img_20181014_155507.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 12th April 2021 at 10:47. Reason: Added a pic
vigsom is offline   (23) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 11:18   #4
BHPian
 
Keeleri_Achu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Thrissur
Posts: 93
Thanked: 970 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

I'll take a conventional stick with tiptronic function (or paddle shifters) any day over these unconventional shifters.

Of all the automatics I've driven over the years, the worst shifter is the rotary knob on the Nexon EV. I've also driven the Ford Fusion with a rotary shifter, but the one in Nexon is just plain crap. It tests my patience every single time I've to make a three point turn in a busy street.

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-tatanexonevgearlever18.jpeg

Last edited by Keeleri_Achu : 12th April 2021 at 11:32.
Keeleri_Achu is online now   (23) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 11:28   #5
BHPian
 
padmrajravi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Kozhikode
Posts: 657
Thanked: 2,357 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

Current gen XUV500's unconventional manual mode button. In manual mode, driver had to use his thumb to push the small button on the right side of the shifter to shift up or down. It was an ergonomic disaster and ensured that nobody used the manual mode.
Attached Thumbnails
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-mahindraxuv500auto10.jpg  


Last edited by padmrajravi : 12th April 2021 at 11:31.
padmrajravi is offline   (13) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 11:40   #6
BHPian
 
starke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Kochi | Paris
Posts: 139
Thanked: 464 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

The 2016 ACURA TLX also came with weird Gear shift buttons which needs some time to adapt to.

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-2015_acura_tlx_interior_v6_15.jpg


Say what, they have no intention to leave it as 2021 TLX has redesigned the same concept

Name:  AcuraTLX2021ElectronicGearSelectorS.jpg
Views: 11742
Size:  36.4 KB
starke is offline   (10) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 12:06   #7
BHPian
 
kamilharis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Saudi/Kerala
Posts: 528
Thanked: 1,843 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

Meanwhile, the Cadillac Escalade gear shifter has transformed from this to

Name:  2014_cadillac_escalade_esv_gearshift.jpg
Views: 11445
Size:  46.0 KB

This (2021)
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-maxresdefault.jpg


And Chevrolet Tahoe gear shifter has transformed from this
Name:  2017_chevrolet_tahoe_gearshift.jpg
Views: 11260
Size:  33.8 KB

To this! (2021)
Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-2021chevrolettahoe.jpg
kamilharis is offline   (21) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 12:16   #8
Team-BHP Support
 
SmartCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,223
Thanked: 28,661 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Also adding the "mazy" shifter from the Grand Vitara AT.
A-star too has the "mazy shifter" (as you call it):

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-dsc02071.jpg

Moving the gear-shifter to L, 2 and 3 stops the gearbox from upshifting (from 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear respectively). Useful while driving on hilly roads.
SmartCat is online now   (7) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 12:41   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Solothurn,CH
Posts: 19
Thanked: 58 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

After driving VAG Automatics for sometime, I found this to be bit unconventional. Not to mention the two lever parking brake mechanism along with it, which is a real pain .

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-merc.jpeg
Herr_Autobahn is offline   (4) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 13:53   #10
BHPian
 
viXit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Hyd
Posts: 514
Thanked: 1,221 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

I think the "mazy" arrangement we are referring to is called a gated shifter.
Here's a related link

Gated shifters allow us better shifting. Muscle memory helps remembering which slot is where. A greater advantage is that you cannot shift into certain gears by mistake. In a linear shifter, you might overshoot R and go to N or D in a (P>R>N>D>S) arrangement.

That's not possible in a gated maze. As you have to move left or right in addition to up or down. so there's no chance of going into wrong gear by sliding the shifter up or down too hard.

Last edited by viXit : 12th April 2021 at 13:54.
viXit is online now   (21) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 15:33   #11
BHPian
 
TrackDay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Magic land
Posts: 663
Thanked: 2,829 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (4)
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-bmw-i3.png
The one on the BMW i3 can be quickly confused for the wiper/indicators. Better to read the manual before driving the car.

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-chevrolet-camaro.png
This is a looker and found on the old Camaros and muscle cars. The Tata harrier has a parking brake in a similar design I believe.

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-crv.png
The gearknob sticking out of the dash is quite peculiar as seen on the Honda CRV and some of the micro SUVs from Mahindra.

Name:  Lincoln continental.PNG
Views: 10181
Size:  693.7 KB
Don't get your kids to play on the ICE if you drive a Lincoln Continental !

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-mercedesbenz-clkgtr.png
Problems of the rich. What a gear knob looks like in the Mercedes Benz CLK GTR.


Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-pagani-huyara.png
And lastly the Pagani Huyara ! Everything about the car is strange, down to its gear stick.
TrackDay is offline   (21) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 17:08   #12
BHPian
 
carthick1000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: CJB-Driel
Posts: 220
Thanked: 878 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

I have had a Lexus CT200h and it had the shifter pretty close to the steering wheel, but on the middle tunnel top close to driver. One of the very ergonimical shifters I have had. It is spring loaded and returns to it's home position after every shift. (D)rive - (R)everse - (N)Neutral - (B) Engine braking for more regeneration. To engage in Neutral, the shifter has to be moved to left and hold there for 2 seconds. Parking brake is a separate button below the shifter.

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-download-1.jpeg

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-download.jpeg

Lexus CT200h shifter concept is from it's budget brother Toyota Prius:

Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars-download-2.jpeg
carthick1000 is online now   (15) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 19:02   #13
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 60,887
Thanked: 201,206 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

I absolutely hate buttons or rotary knobs for gear-shifting. Have used a few AT cars with them and it just didn't feel intuitive or important enough for something as critical as the transmission.

My first choice are the BMW gear levers - they are ergonomic perfection. You have to live with one to appreciate the thought & detail that went into its well-contoured design.

An equal match are the column-mounted shifters in Mercedes. They do take some getting used to, but are cool after a couple of hours. Plus, they do free up a lot of space on the center console.
GTO is offline   (14) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 19:39   #14
BHPian
 
vishy76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Vadodara
Posts: 870
Thanked: 4,063 Times
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

The one thing that I am not really sure of in a rotary or a monoshifter is the fact that one can't look at the physical position of the shifter or touch it and conclude what gear the car is in. One has to rely on the MID or the indication on the shifter or sometimes even beside it (as in the case of the Volvo) in order to figure this out.

This flaw was further amplified by FCAs pathetic implementation in some of their cars, so much so that it ended up claiming a life. Owners would struggle to tell whether the car was in Park or not and it would sometimes end up rolling away after being parked.

Name:  images 21.jpeg
Views: 9097
Size:  22.0 KB
vishy76 is online now   (6) Thanks
Old 12th April 2021, 19:55   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 967
Thanked: 2,799 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (4)
Default Re: Unconventional Automatic Gear-Shifters seen in cars

There has been no standardized gear shifting convention in AT cars as we see in manual transmission cars(H Model with slight variation in reverse gear or 1st gear position in 1% cars).

The only commonality I see is, PRND nomenclature. Other than this, every gear lever looks different in terms of shape, size, the way lever traverse etc. And Its surprising to observe that Every car has unique AT Gear shifter in terms of the way it is changed.

So, personally, I feel there is nothing called conventional gear shifter in AT Cars. Every second AT Car is installed with unconventional gear shifting lever.

Last edited by gkveda : 12th April 2021 at 19:59.
gkveda is offline   (4) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2021, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks