Friday, June 1, 2007

You Can't Work Your Stick In This Car

Anyone that's ever driven in a Jaguar knows that they have one of the stupidest transmission selectors in the world - the "J-Gate". It's big, it's clunky, and it's a total pain to use. So, when word got out that the company was finally doing away with it, people were excited. Now we see what the replacement is, and people are...confused. That's a good word for it.

Pictured above is Jag's new selector. As you can see, it's no longer a stick, but a knob of some kind. While Jag has yet to make an official announcement on how it works, the popular theory is that you simply turn it to select a gear. Makes sense, but damn if it's not weird looking.

The cool part of the setup are the concentric rings around the knob. When the car is turned off, the rings rise up flat with the knob, creating an aluminum "panel" of sorts and preventing the knob from being turned. Then, when you start the car again, the rings drop down, restoring access to the selector.

The whole setup is somewhat futuristic. When was the last time you saw this on a car? Never, that's when. But at the same time, it's somewhat nostalgic. The whole thing is reminiscent of the 1982 flick Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, since it's the same control seen on the fictional "Genesis Device" in the movie. As far as I know, there have been no marketing tie ins yet, but Ricardo Montalban is reportedly available for work.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go polish my knob.