Is this the end of the manual handbrake?

30% of new cars today are made with manual handbrakes, and that number is decreasing

1y ago

I​f there was one thing we all had to admit to doing at some or another in a car, whether alone, with friends or that time you were trying to impress a partner; it would be a handbrake turn. A short time ago Jeremy Clarkson himself was discussing whether it was attractive to women when men come into a corner and yank on the handbrake and i'm pretty sure his research suggested it was.

A​ handbrake turn is almost an essential manoeuvre for a young driver because it looks and feels cool, finally we get to try and recreate what we have seen in the movies even know we have advised against it. Yes, maybe some of us have pulled rather ambitious handbrake turns resulting in a few bumps in the car; but that's all character building stuff.

B​ut all of this could be under threat. With new cars being pumped out every day more and more manufacturers are opting for a slightly more sophisticated electric handbrake.

I​n fact, 70% of new cars today are made without a manual handbrake and with no option to have one. Some of the biggest car makers such as Mercedes, Porsche and Jaguar have binned the mechanical handbrake across their entire lineup which means it's electric handbrake or nothing.

P​art of the reason to ditch the old manual handbrake is most likely due to safety and the fact that it comes as a smaller package, but are we really ready to say goodbye?

I​t would seem that continuing on this route will lead to the youngsters of tomorrow growing up and learning how to drive without mastering the art of a perfect handbrake turn. This is possibly quite a good thing in terms of safety, but what do you think?

A​re you ready to say goodbye to the manual handbrake?

L​et me know what you think in the comments!

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Comments (26)

  • It’s actually a drift stick

      1 year ago
  • It's more of a Mechanical shame than a Styling one, as the mech one is simple and reliable, and the electronic is complex and get your electronic brakes wet in the rain. Why change it, honestly I can't think why on God's Green Earth would somebody do that?

      1 year ago
  • I’d be interested to see if any of the WRC versions of handbrake-less cars would be bold enough to ditch them...

      1 year ago
    • Well you're now comparing a race car to a road car. They never compare well or have similar equipment.

        1 year ago
    • They used to. The Cosworth RS500 had two sets of fuel injectors on the road car, the Integrale EVO had water spray on the intercooler on the road going car.

      I think they perhaps need to rewrite the homologation rules so we get some showroom...

      Read more
        1 year ago
  • safety is a rubbish excuse, oldschool handbrake works and digitized ones doesn't really do much different either. oldschool handbrake is too visceral to be replaced. too much tech that we don't need like "one pedal driving", "stop-start engine".

      1 year ago
  • This is supposed to be a “when all else fails” device. Now it depends on the rest of the car working. No a good idea.

      1 year ago