Who makes the best
vehicle switches? The
Japanese provide high
tech, reliable, click-click
plastic units? The Germans
well dampened, titanium-
coated pieces? The French?
Okay, leave the desserts to
the French! What about
the Italians? The Italians?
Yes, when it comes to
switches, the Italians
know how to turn it on!
Consider taking a test drive in a 2010 Porsche 911. The sports car has many switches
and buttons for the driver to choose. The PDK seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
can be operated in automatic mode or the driver can choose to shift it manually.
Furthermore, Autos.aol.com informs that other controls on the 911 include, “The
Sport Chrono Package also comes with a Sport button that adjusts electronic controls
for the throttle and anti-skid system. Throttle mapping switches to a more aggressive
mode (meaning more gas for a given amount of pedal application), and the anti-skid
electronics give a driver more room to break traction. Cars equipped with the Sport
Chrono Package Plus get even more aggressive throttle and transmission settings,
and a race-ready mode for the anti-skid system.” Does a sports car need more
aggressive throttle response, etc.?
And the end result of all the driver choices on the German 911? Well, possibly a
driver who is befuddled with choices and which actually detracts from a focus on
Now turn to the Italians. The Italians also have switches on their sport cars. The
Ferrari 485 Italia has a button called the ‘Manettino.’ Regarding this single red dial
on the steering wheel, Italiaspeed.com states, “This switch quickly and simply controls
the electronics governing suspension settings, the CST stability and traction control,
E-Diff and the change speed of the F1 transmission, as well as the integration between
each of these individual functions. The position of the manettino is an example of the
rationalization studies that went into the layout of all the controls inside the car.”
Although the Italians give the driver choices, the single red dial provides
integration and passion regarding what it does rather than just a combination
of choices which can leave the driver in ‘no man’s land.’ Drivers do not
want choices and complications for the fun of it but rather a great driving
The Italians know how to cook and hats off to them for not losing sight
of providing a great straightforward driving experience!
Have an auto question or comment? You can email it to me at
Kbusch3@verizon.net.Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best
for the Price…” www.DriveTheBestBook.com.