Automated manual transmissions.

Yes, really. I’m in Italy for a week and I have a 500 to which is attached a Dualogic box like this. In fact just like this:

People hate these, especially when they’ve never driven one. This is the fourth type I’ve driven and like the others it’s fine and that despite being trialled in America to widespread loathing, so much so that Mexican built 500s have a slushbox instead.

I’ve never had any need to use the manual mode as the two automatic modes suit me just fine. Press the button marked E and it’ll change up early and tend to stay there, push it again and the box will change down with more enthusiasm. When you brake or go down a steep hill it’ll change down with the aid of a perfectly timed blip of the throttle and having changed down it will hold the new gear rather than change up again too soon. You notice the pauses between changes but no more so than in a manual.

It’s been using fuel at this rate (do your own conversions) which is very good for a petrol car.


So there you have it. A thing everyone loves to hate works rather well.