2018 Civic Type-R FK8R In Depth Detail & First Impressions

Tom

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Tom

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Imagine this, over 60 units of the Type R has been booked since its Malaysian preview just last month, but none of these buyers had a clue what the final selling price was, until last weekend. That's how die hard the Type R following is.


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<script async="" defer="" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>Now, the most awaited 2018 Civic Type R is finally here, it's caused quite a stir as well with a retail price of RM320K. Now that's serious money, AMG money, or some might say, used GTR money. But to each his own, because Honda's Type R is ultimately one of its kind and is currently the world's fastest FF hatchback money can buy, that must count for something, right? Not forgetting the sweet, sweet manual box. Which is a true rarity in our current Facebook era.


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Feast your eyes on this Sonic Grey example, bearing the serial number Type R: 0000. This specific new Civic Type R is exclusively used for development, product training and such. It was made our faithful test unit last afternoon.

But the bad news is, we won't be seeing this exact Sonic Grey shade in Malaysia anytime soon, because you can only buy the Type R via Honda Malaysia in Championship White. So, no red, blue or black here. Just like old times, back in 2009 when the FD2R was officially retailed by Honda Malaysia and even then, the only colour you can buy was Championship White.


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The Interview

Prior to its official launch, I had the extreme pleasure of attending an exclusive day out with the Type R which included:

  • Meeting Hideki Kakinuma-San, the Assistant Project Leader of the Civic Type R
  • Greeting the all new Type R, then getting acquainted with its new talents and iconic 310hp (320hp for other regions) K20C1 I-VTEC Turbo engine.
  • Interview with Honda Malaysia which was chaired by Shugo Watanabe (Executive Coordinator Honda Malaysia), Hideki Kakinuma and Akkbar Daniel (Group Vice President, Honda Malaysia)

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2018 HONDA CIVIC TYPE R (FK8R) SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 2L Turbo 4 cylinder
Power: 310hp
Torque: 400nm
Zerotohundred: 5.7 seconds
Top Speed: 272km/h
Transmission: 6 speed manual
Weight: 1,380kg
Price: RM320K
Website: Honda Malaysia


Type R in depth facts:

Bookings

Since the Type-R's sneak preview in October last month at the Malaysian F1 GP weekend, Honda Malaysia has received over 50 customer bookings for the 2018 Civic Type-R.

Honda Malaysia says they plan to order 150 units by March 2018

Customers are expected to wait a handful of months before taking delivery of their Civic Type-R due to popular demand worldwide.

Even Hideki Kakinuma-San, the Assistant Large Project Leader (ALPL) of All-New Civic Type R has to wait 6 months for his.

Hideki-San ordered his in black.

Apparently Hideki-San has owned a range of European cars but not the Type R until now. When asked why? he answered, "I've finally created the car I want."




Rev Matching

Rev Match function is said to work with experienced drivers and not against them. Should the discerned driver prefer to perform heel and toe on his / her own, they can. The rev match feature does not intervene, as long as the said driver executes H&T before the Type R does. Sounds fair enough. Nevertheless, one can easily disable the feature if they wish.

From my past experience driving the 6 speed manual Nissan 370Z, which featured a similar rev match function, I found it to be extremely accurate and dummy proof. I realised the auto throttle blip moment actually happens just before the shift lever enters its next gear. For example, with the clutch in, you can even take your own sweet time to downshift from say, 4th to 3rd gear and the system will blip the revs right when the said gear engages and just enough for a perfect match. I would think it'll work the same in the new Type R, or better, considering the 370Z is almost 10 years old now.

Type R Steering Rack



Chassis



Window Glass

ALL window glasses on this current FK8R are identical to the regular Civic, no special thin or lightweight glass here. Hideki-San says, "we felt we've achieved the minimum weight we wanted so we did not want to compromise on sound dampening especially during high speed driving, wind noise and such. The Civic Type-R is made for everybody so it needs to be practical as well"



Adhesive jointing

The new Civic Type-R is now 16kg lighter than its predecessor. It is based on the current Civic hatchback platform and is said to possess supreme body rigidity. Despite that, Honda Type-R engineers went one step further to stiffen things up a notch with what's called Adhesive Jointing. It is an application of a special glue whereby it is "painted" directly onto the seams and joints throughout the Civic's bare body. Adhesive Jointing is said to improve chassis rigidity during dynamic driving conditions.

K20C1 Engine







Type R 6 Speed Transmission




+ R Mode




More Power than Before

The new Type R is also a touch more powerful than before at 320hp in the new FK8R, from 310hp in the old FK2R. Although the version we get in Malaysia is rated at a lower 310hp, yes it's sort of a detune but I'll get to that later.

The new R being more powerful has to do with its exhaust system, says Hideki San. The torsion beam in rear axle of the predecessor FK2R was the hindering factor of an ideal flow. That has since been solved in this new FK8R bearing independent suspension.





Wider Track

The rear track of the FK8R had also been widened from before to increase rear stability, which is the defining factor of good handling performance cars. It also improves high speed stability, and that contributes to the Type-R's new approach - to be fit for a daily performance car, such as to commute on the European highways at over 200km/h continuously.

Aero



Airflow Management




Still sticking to 2WD?

Honda Type-R engineers didn't want to explore 4WD to keep to their philosophy of simplicity where light is fast. After all they have managed to build the fastest FF today

Honda these days prefer to build Type-R cars based on their C segment Civics not just because it is their best selling Type-R, but it is also the best platform for the Type-R to shine, considering their prowess in formidable 4 cylinder engines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YSjItQneNM


Nurburgring Record

Tyres:
The famed Lap Record in the FK8R's Nurburgring run was achieved on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, one of the best road tyres available off the shelves.

Roll Cage:
The entire internet had noticed and pointed out that the FK8R had been outfitted with a roll cage during its 7:4X Nurburgring run. So what was that about?

Hideki-San had then clarified that the roll cage were sitting on rubber mounts instead of being directly bolted or welded to the car's floor. So no part of the roll cage was integral to the FK8R's structural rigidity, thus not cheating in any way.

3 Exhaust Tips




Why 310hp in Malaysia and not 320hp?

Okay here goes. Hideki-San says it all has to do with our region's available fuel quality and not the hardware. Honda had actually considered the average fuel quality of the entire Malaysia and subsequently tuned the Type-R to not just accommodate but still perform on low quality / low RON fuel. The changes are mostly software based fortunately.



The good news from all of these effort and not so preferred detuning? One can actually pump as low as RON 91 as the majestic Type-R is made for it. Hideki-san says owners should choose RON95 because it was the fuel type used for its 310hp rating. RON95 will be just as good as RON97 or higher. Having said that, Using higher RON fuel will not harm the Type-R nor will it improve power much in default tune.


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Brakes




First Impressions

Honda Malaysia prepared a bite sized autocross arena for the Type-R test drive. It consists of a braking zone, a slalom sector and finally a reaction left / right zone. It was just long enough for the Type-R to max out in 2nd gear. The tarmac was in poor condition and littered with sand, so not the most ideal way to savour the new R but that would do for now.




Power

Taking off at standstill, the Type-R felt large, a little reluctant in the beginning but then the surge of power comes. Does it feel like 310hp? Maybe yes but it was incredibly civilised. The pull from gear to gear felt so long, it's as though they'd taken gear ratios from a BMW M3 instead.

The Type-R felt:

  • A lot more mature in general
  • Very easy to drive, clutch is light and gears just slot in like magnets
  • Much more forgiving than previous Type-Rs for sure
  • So refined, the car just drowns out all driving mistakes, such as potential bad manual shifting and such.






Suspension
Despite the appalling tarmac conditions, and the FK8R running on 20" wheels with 30 series tyres, the ride felt very refined - for a civic that is, and a Type-R at that. It is honestly well tuned for for a hot hatch and is one that could even beat the current Merc C Class in ride quality as a comparison.



Cockpit
Speaking of Mercedes, just in this teaser drive alone, I could tell instantly, that this new Type-R is more livable than any AMG today. It feels very ergonomic, the cockpit design is on the dot, spot on. Since it is based mostly on the outgoing Civic, you can bet it is a near perfect execution. But don't expect any bling, expensive materials or luxury in the Type-R. The minimalist interior pales in comparison to the AMG.




What's different here in the new R are anodized red + faux CF accents, Type-R specific instrument cluster, and the all important red sport seats. Type R Engineers have put a lot of thought into developing these pair of thrones which totally adds to the entire Type-R experience, or rather defines it.





Pretty awesome pair of seats to be honest. Best in class? Likely. Comfort wise, these totally trump those in the Megane RS and AMG 45, which are benchmark seats in their own right, yet have always felt hard or less cushioned. Type-R Seating position is second to none, in here it sits lower than before. But let's just say they work better than they look.


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Gear shifts
In terms of operating the new R, this one is definitely the easiest, most forgiving of the entire Type-R generation and of all hot hatches in town right now for that matter. Everything from the gear lever to the pedals to the steering feels more heavy duty yet light to use. Maybe a little too light but it's a refreshing change.

It's not as direct as the FD2R and it's not as bang, bang, bang quick as before either. It's as though Honda's added an extra joint in between the line somewhere, diluting the intensity somehow. Despite that, doesn't make it any less enjoyable to drive.


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Verdict

Its hard to sum up the new FK8R from this short drive in the said terrain, not being able to extract its full potential especially in the handling department. But just based on this short course alone, it is obvious how mature the Type-R has become.

FK2R Review:
http://www.zerotohundred.com/2015/primo-2015-fk2r-civic-type-r-turbo-first-drive/

Yes it has lost all of the NA fireworks and "purity" that were the highlight of the previous FD2R generation. It is no longer as hard or dramatic, nor does it scream and shout like a teenager.

Much like a grown up in its 20's, it is no longer interested in skipping around. It is now wiser, more composed and purposeful. This new R has buffed up quite a fair bit and there's no denying how big its new found muscles have become, having gained considerable power and torque. The FK8R is definitely here for the long haul, no longer living a quarter mile at a time.


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vr2turbo

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vr2turbo

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We know the price also cannot book. They book without knowing the price. We are totally out of their league......lol
 

ixeo

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ixeo

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Seriously? An electronic parking brake? Who the hell made that decision? Who thought its a good idea? Why would anybody who buys a CTR want an electronic parking brake?

Red seats..now I know why Elantra Sport has red seats. Omg la.
 

Tom

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Tom

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We know the price also cannot book. They book without knowing the price. We are totally out of their league......lol
yeah, although these things can be forfeited, so it's not the biggest commitment anyways

Seriously? An electronic parking brake? Who the hell made that decision? Who thought its a good idea? Why would anybody who buys a CTR want an electronic parking brake?

Red seats..now I know why Elantra Sport has red seats. Omg la.
Global car + Bigger range of customers + young hype driven millennials + rev match = this car is meant for everyone, so why not retain the brake hold since it probably comes with the regular, manual civic?

Update: My bad, i've completely mistaken your e-e-brake for brake hold

come to think of it, the Elantra Sport is 40% of the Type R's value. thought of the day

So the roll cage set on rubber mounts is for what, purely for safety??
yeah, pretty much, although there's no photo proof of the contraption
 

ixeo

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ixeo

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yeah, although these things can be forfeited, so it's not the biggest commitment anyways



Global car + Bigger range of customers + young hype driven millennials + rev match = this car is meant for everyone, so why not retain the brake hold since it probably comes with the regular, manual civic?

come to think of it, the Elantra Sport is 40% of the Type R's value. thought of the day



yeah, pretty much, although there's no photo proof of the contraption
I am pretty sure you can R&D brake hold together with a manual hand brake lever. I mean, for a performance track car like the CTR, no handbrake turns? Seriously?

Sure, not everybody needs an electric oven (track weapon), so you buy a toaster (normal passenger car) instead.

But why are they making the electric oven like a toaster, just more powerful? It doesn't make a difference that it is now 2.5 seconds faster than the conventional toaster.

After all the CTR is rated a 5.7s 0-100km, whereas a normal Civic 1.5T is 8.2s 0-100km. Sure, you don't need to do a handbrake turn on a normal Civic since its for the masses, but on the CTR? pfft. Because horsepower isn't everything.

People have told me that downhill @ Genting, AWD track monsters with almost double the horsepower of a FD2R can't get ahead of it downhill.
 
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Izso

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Izso

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It's a "either you like it or you don't" car.

I'm neutral. I wouldn't pay that kinda money to buy one but if you gave me one I'd be happy to drive it around.
 

Tom

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Tom

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I am pretty sure you can R&D brake hold together with a manual hand brake lever. I mean, for a performance track car like the CTR, no handbrake turns? Seriously?

Sure, not everybody needs an electric oven (track weapon), so you buy a toaster (normal passenger car) instead.

But why are they making the electric oven like a toaster, just more powerful? It doesn't make a difference that it is now 2.5 seconds faster than the conventional toaster.

After all the CTR is rated a 5.7s 0-100km, whereas a normal Civic 1.5T is 8.2s 0-100km. Sure, you don't need to do a handbrake turn on a normal Civic since its for the masses, but on the CTR? pfft. Because horsepower isn't everything.

People have told me that downhill @ Genting, AWD track monsters with almost double the horsepower of a FD2R can't get ahead of it downhill.
My bad, i've completely mistaken your e-e-brake for brake hold. Been asked about the brake hold feature being in a hot hatch lately

anyway, yeah, they could have put in a manual e-brake if they wanted to.
but to be honest, personally I don't see the fuss with cars without handbrake, maybe because I'm not a handbrake turn kind of guy. I don't see the need for it other than for parking or the occasional stunt. For me, it's good to have and I'll use it if it's there, but certainly not a need and I don't miss it one bit.

are handbrake turns still in fashion by the way?

yeah, the downhill run is a whole new game altogether. Being a public road, there's so many aspects to consider but mostly balls and experience. You don't even need a FD2R to beat the AWD boys. Even a humble Satria might just whoop them all.
 

ixeo

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ixeo

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It's a "either you like it or you don't" car.

I'm neutral. I wouldn't pay that kinda money to buy one but if you gave me one I'd be happy to drive it around.
If you drove it, I believe you'll like it. I don't fancy the looks that much -- they are catering to the millennials. But I do not doubt its drivability of it.

My bad, i've completely mistaken your e-e-brake for brake hold. Been asked about the brake hold feature being in a hot hatch lately

anyway, yeah, they could have put in a manual e-brake if they wanted to.
but to be honest, personally I don't see the fuss with cars without handbrake, maybe because I'm not a handbrake turn kind of guy. I don't see the need for it other than for parking or the occasional stunt. For me, it's good to have and I'll use it if it's there, but certainly not a need and I don't miss it one bit.

are handbrake turns still in fashion by the way?

yeah, the downhill run is a whole new game altogether. Being a public road, there's so many aspects to consider but mostly balls and experience. You don't even need a FD2R to beat the AWD boys. Even a humble Satria might just whoop them all.
Handbrake turns are still in fashion like how manuals are in fashion.

Let's agree that modern performance automatics can shift faster than manuals, from a performance standpoint there's no reason to use manuals, yet here it is. The same can be said of the handbrake.
 
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Tom

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Tom

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Handbrake turns are still in fashion like how manuals are in fashion.

Let's agree that modern performance automatics can shift faster than manuals, from a performance standpoint there's no reason to use manuals, yet here it is. The same can be said of the handbrake.
I can understand how a manual handbrake can add to the pleasure, but you can't relate that to manual shifting. One needs the shift knob to operate the car, but one doesn't need a handbrake to drive a car, no?
 

6UE5t

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6UE5t

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...

yeah, the downhill run is a whole new game altogether. Being a public road, there's so many aspects to consider but mostly balls and experience. You don't even need a FD2R to beat the AWD boys. Even a humble Satria might just whoop them all.
Yeah totally agree with this! Downhill is more about how big is your balls, how familiar you are with the roads, and how skillful as well. A pro with just a normal car can still smoke any other regular drivers with an A45 going down Genting. Going downhill at speeds really take some big balls to do.
 

6UE5t

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6UE5t

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If you drove it, I believe you'll like it. I don't fancy the looks that much -- they are catering to the millennials. But I do not doubt its drivability of it.



Handbrake turns are still in fashion like how manuals are in fashion.

Let's agree that modern performance automatics can shift faster than manuals, from a performance standpoint there's no reason to use manuals, yet here it is. The same can be said of the handbrake.
I can understand how a manual handbrake can add to the pleasure, but you can't relate that to manual shifting. One needs the shift knob to operate the car, but one doesn't need a handbrake to drive a car, no?
I agree that manual handbrake is not essential but for a car like this, it would be much better suited with manual handbrake. Even I dislike the foot brake on my Mark X! There's a guy in our club who fully converted his Mark X parking brake to a handbrake drift system complete with extra calipers at the rear, then he can happily doing donuts and whatnot during meet ups. :biggrin:
 

ixeo

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ixeo

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I can understand how a manual handbrake can add to the pleasure, but you can't relate that to manual shifting. One needs the shift knob to operate the car, but one doesn't need a handbrake to drive a car, no?
Well, now we are moving to shift stalks like the Mercedes, which I kinda like, saves space on the console, and your hand travels less -- from steering to stalk, versus steering to console shifter.

You are right in the sense that manual or automatic, you need it to operate the car. But hand brake and e-brake, the hand brake can do stuff the e-brake can't do.

I dunno, I feel that for a car like this, that its for the purists, the e-brake is sacrilege.
 

s.marz

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s.marz

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Well, now we are moving to shift stalks like the Mercedes, which I kinda like, saves space on the console, and your hand travels less -- from steering to stalk, versus steering to console shifter.

You are right in the sense that manual or automatic, you need it to operate the car. But hand brake and e-brake, the hand brake can do stuff the e-brake can't do.

I dunno, I feel that for a car like this, that its for the purists, the e-brake is sacrilege.
Even the F80 M3 still retain the handbrake, I am guessing it's something to do with cost saving. The whole 3 Series line up still has handbrake, if the F30 is using e-brake I would bet the F80 is going to come with e-brake too.
 

Izso

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Izso

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I agree that manual handbrake is not essential but for a car like this, it would be much better suited with manual handbrake. Even I dislike the foot brake on my Mark X! There's a guy in our club who fully converted his Mark X parking brake to a handbrake drift system complete with extra calipers at the rear, then he can happily doing donuts and whatnot during meet ups. :biggrin:
I know an Alza that does left foot on-off action to activate rear brake locks. It's messy but it's possible. HAHAHA
 

g4i8y0t

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g4i8y0t

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It's very hard for them to stick to NA engines this time because of emissions regulation and to keep up with their competitors in term of horsepower. However, I'm glad that Honda didn't jump in the bandwagon and retained the manual gear box in this new Type-R.
 

pwhyze

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pwhyze

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The buzzwords I see in this, such as more refined, more comfortable, more forgiving, matured...all are good and well but when it all comes in a package that LOOKS the way it does and bearing the Type R badge, I donno...feels like something is out of sync or some sort.

Make no mistake, this generation of Type R is definitely different in spirit to previous Type Rs. I can't decide if that's a good thing or not though...lol
 

RENESIS VIII

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RENESIS VIII

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The buzzwords I see in this, such as more refined, more comfortable, more forgiving, matured...all are good and well but when it all comes in a package that LOOKS the way it does and bearing the Type R badge, I donno...feels like something is out of sync or some sort.

Make no mistake, this generation of Type R is definitely different in spirit to previous Type Rs. I can't decide if that's a good thing or not though...lol
Very true. Previously, Civic Type R or generally almost all Type R cars are track focused cars. Excels sharply at one aspect while doing that well in other areas like refinement, comfort, ease of driving, etc. But on this new Type R here, I can't help to think that it is leaning more towards continental cars approach like Golf GTi where the car is more of an all rounder instead of focusing sharply on one aspect.

The good thing about this new approach is that it will appeal to more people out there especially the younger generations who emphasize a lot on creature comfort features over pure performance. The bad thing that I felt would be this Civic had lost some of its old charm and identity. Sure, those old Civic Type R may be harsh, unforgiving and not comfortable to use as a daily drive but when it comes to track performance, the car truly shines brightly which makes it so memorable and iconic. The new FK8 is a good car but it seems like it does not stand out as much as those older Type R did before. Is like you said, different in spirit compared to previous Type R machines. No longer the brutal, raw and screaming machine like how they all used to be.
 

6UE5t

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6UE5t

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I know an Alza that does left foot on-off action to activate rear brake locks. It's messy but it's possible. HAHAHA
Yeah I know it is possible if you really wanna practice it but as you said, it's messy and I'm just too lazy to practice it even though I'm a left foot braker when driving auto.
 

Tom

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Tom

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Well, now we are moving to shift stalks like the Mercedes, which I kinda like, saves space on the console, and your hand travels less -- from steering to stalk, versus steering to console shifter.

You are right in the sense that manual or automatic, you need it to operate the car. But hand brake and e-brake, the hand brake can do stuff the e-brake can't do.

I dunno, I feel that for a car like this, that its for the purists, the e-brake is sacrilege.
I am still skeptical about Merc's stalk shifter.
I have instances where I unintentionally flick that stalk during driving where it engages Neutral.
For example, when wanting to activate the windshield wiper etc. Now even that is built in the indicator stalk. Ironically it doesn't happen when driving the regular Mercs, but in the AMGs instead. Namely the C63s Coupe.