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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.

Glossary

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