A shifter doesn't need to be interesting or beautiful to accomplish its task. So when an automaker puts in the effort to design a cool gear selector, we have to recognize it. These are some the coolest shifters in the automotive world, according to you.
Hurst is famous for its shifters, becoming one of the most iconic names in American muscle. Pistol-grip handles, with indents for your fingers, make for a joy to hold, and look seriously cool.
The GTI has a ton of neat interior features, but perhaps the coolest is its shift knob. The golf ball texture is a nifty detail to see and feel, and it's a throwback to the original GTI. Clever!
The Fiat Abarth 695 Biposto uses race-spec dog rings in its gearbox for lightning-fast upshifts without having to use the clutch pedal. The sequential-style shifter itself is a work of art, but don't be fooled—it's still formatted with an H-pattern.
We love our muscle cars with H-pattern manual gearboxes, but the Horseshoe Ratchet GM fit to automatic-transmission Camaros and other cars is so cool. It suits this sort of car so well.
Everything Horacio Pagani does is a work of art, and the shifter for the single-clutch gearbox in the Huayra is no exception. It uses all sorts of springs and linkages to create a perfect feel, should you decide to use it instead of the paddle shifters. It's also gorgeous to look at.
See that tiny chromed piece to the right of the steering column? That's the shifter on this 1930s Cord. It's a : The driver chooses the next gear ahead of time, then the car shifts automatically when the clutch is depressed. It was too complex a system to ever become mainstream, beyond a handful of 1930s luxury cars. But today, it's a fascinating look at how we got to the modern automatic transmission.
Everything about the Citroën SM was strange and wonderful, so it's no surprise its five-speed shifter is unlike anything else. The whole center piece moves with the shifter, and it makes the most satisfying metallic clunk when you engage a new gear.
The manual shifter on Spyker's crazy Dutch supercars is so simple, yet so elegant. You wouldn't be crazy to buy a Spyker just for the shifter.
The dash-mounted shifter on the 2002-2005 Honda Civic Si looks strange, but it's actually ingenious. It puts the shifter nice and close to the steering wheel, while maintaining a nice, short throw, and freeing up space between the seats.
Designed for drag racing, the amazing Hurst Lightning Rod shifter lets drivers go through gears on their automatic transmissions one shift knob at a time. The one on the left is a normal PRND shifter, while the one on the far right shifts from first to second, and the one in the middle handles second to third. With a different stick for each gear change, you minimize the risk of grabbing the wrong gear in the heat of a drag race.
Yes, that little steel nub is a shift knob. This little shifter, found on the homologation special Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, is used to select drive and reverse, while the paddles on the steering wheel control up- and downshifts while driving.
The Citroën 2CV might have been an affordable people's car, but it featured all sorts of innovative, interesting engineering. Its shifter is particularly cool: The rod moves side to side and in and out of the dash, rather than up and down. This seems totally weird, but 2CV owners love it.
The first-generation Audi R8 wasn't the first car to use a gated manual transmission, but it did . Yes, it's beautiful to look at, but it also was intensively engineered to feel better than any gated shifter before it.