P - Paddle-shift

05 June 2006
F430 dash medium

Invented by Ferrari for F1 racing and now favoured by many makers of high-performance or sporty cars. Actually, they’re not automatics at all but manuals without a clutch pedal.

The driver flicks paddles behind the steering wheel or nudges a lever on the floor and electro-hydraulic actuators take over the work he or she would normally do with the clutch pedal and gearlever.

They also have a fully-automatic programme supposedly to make life easier in traffic. In practice, the auto programmes on most of these gearboxes make for jerky progress, especially when manoeuvring.


Want to know the difference between your APRs and your PCPs? Our Glossary will guide you through the minefield of car-buying terms.

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