What are Paddle Shifters?
The past couple of weeks we’ve been looking at Honda-exclusive features and technologies in our How’s This Work articles, so this week we thought we’d switch things up a bit and look at a feature that’s spread out across the market. Available in a number of vehicles from a vast array of manufacturers, paddle shifters are a popular feature for sporty drivers who don’t exactly feel comfortable driving a manual. Let’s dive into exactly what they are and figure out how they work.
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Paddle shifters are essentially built for drivers who like the perks of driving a manual car but can’t handle the setbacks, namely using a clutch. Many drivers would be able to handle a stick shift if that’s all that was different about a manual transmission, but the addition of a third pedal is what really starts to throw people off. Paddle shifters get rid of that migraine by giving drivers the ability to turn on a manual mode, in which upshifting and downshifting is all handled by simply clicking some paddles on the steering wheel, thus taking away the need for a clutch completely and making the act of “stick shifting” even easier.
How do Paddle Shifters work?
So, how do they work? Perhaps a better question to answer first would be… why? We mentioned that there are some perks to driving a manual transmission car, but not what those perks are. The perk that most drivers are looking to get with paddle shifters, is that manual transmissions allow much more power to get to the engine, thus enhancing the performance and sportiness of the vehicle. Eliminating the stress of a clutch, transitioning from a stick shift to the convenient wheel-mounted paddles, and still delivering the perk of better performance creates the perfect transmission for any sporty driver.
All the driver has to do now is switch a paddle when it’s time to upshift or down shift. Hit 15 miles per hour? Shift up. His 25 miles per hour? Shift up. Back down to 15? Shift down. Et cetera, without ever taking their hands off the wheel or foot off the gas – or brake, depending. If you’re interested in finding out what vehicles offer Paddle Shifters, don’t hesitate to give us a call.