TTAC Commentator jco writes:
I have a quick but also possibly interesting question: in new VWs with DSG, the LCD info on the dash will tell you exactly what gear number you are in. Obviously with this particular transmission it’s necessary to do this. but why can’t other cars with conventional transmissions, either automatic or manual, have this small but useful feature? have other cars featured this?
Given the sudden multiplication of available gears in upcoming transmissions which have been a hot topic on TTAC recently, maybe it should be mandatory in a future sedan with an 8 speed transmission.
Also, FYI, my phone autocorrected your name to Sanjeev.
ZOMG SON: could the people behind the smart phone be out to get me? They want TTAC to fire me so they can hire Sanjeev instead??? Oh, the humanity!
My petulant insecurities aside, let’s go old school TTAC on this answer. Our friend Mr. Bob Elton wrote a fantastic piece about deleting unnecessary crap from a vehicle. What he wrote almost eight years ago is still true today. Probably even more so, considering technology’s scope creep into the dashboards of vehicles increasingly cheaper than a BMW 7-series.
I don’t see a need for your request…even if one of my childhood design musings was this exact feature added to my 1983 Continental Valentino: a Roman Numeral display for the gear changes of the four-speed automatic. I thought it would look pretty sweet next to the digital speedometer on that black plexiglass Star Wars dash, especially since you could make the speedo jump by 6MPH increments thanks to its malaise-grade American V8 torque curve.
But perhaps I’ve grown up a little. Or I’ve gleaned enough from my MBA coursework to believe that no R&D money should be spent making this indicator. That said, it wouldn’t be that damn hard: the information is already collected by the computer, which is already wired to screen(s) on the dashboard. It’ll take a little more GUI programming to display this information, and little else.
How much would that cost? And is it worth it compared to…anything else? Think about what else you’d want on your next ride instead of this.
Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.