I mean yeah, of course there’s still a huge choice of fast cars available to buy today, and arguably their chassis technology and all the fun stuff is better than it’s ever been. But why have all the car-makers collectively decided to kill off the traditional manual handbrake?
THE ANGRY MANThe only reason I can figure is that they don’t want you to dick about with it, which frankly isn’t playing fair. It’s my decision how I use that handle. If I choose to, say, change my mind about which direction I’m driving in at night in a deserted car park and feel I should quickly be pointing 180-degrees the other way, that should be my lookout. If I’m having some fun up a hill on a country lane which is richly studded with tight hairpins and I want a little skiddy rear-end assist, or I’m on a drift day on track and I want to play skids without admitting that I suck at pulling off the perfect clutch kick, these are all situations in which a handbrake handle is useful.
The electronic handbrake is one of the stupidest inventions of the modern era. The idea of a ratchet handle operating a cable is pleasingly simple, and it’s worked well for generations. Why replace that fuss-free setup with a whole load of wires and solenoids and chips and stuff that’s just adding in more things to go wrong in the future? What possible benefit does an electronic handbrake provide? Why do it? It’s a simple answer. It’s because they don’t want you misbehaving in Halfords car park. It must be. Why else would they invent something so complicated?