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Why does the TSW Speedshifter use an offset shift pattern instead of the traditional H-pattern?

When we designed the Speedshifter, we wanted a gated shifter that would not sacrifice performance for realism. An H-pattern shifter requires that you move the lever up, then over, then up again to go from 2nd to 3rd, or from 4th to 5th. That extra movement means you have to be pretty deliberate with the lever to avoid accidentally dropping it in the wrong gear, and that sacrifices precious tenths of seconds with each trip through the gears. Downshifting quickly through all the gears is a tricky task with that type of shift pattern. By offsetting the gears slightly as we have done, every gate position takes the same motion, a slight diagonal movement of the lever. At first it may seem odd, and the first time you shift with it, it may seem hard to get the desired gear without feeling the notch in the gate, however, I can assure you that with a bit of practice, the offset gate works amazingly, and you don't feel the notches in the gate at all. You are able to downshift from high gear all the way to low gear as quickly as you can with buttons/paddles, or with a sequential shift lever, and you never worry about missing gears. Some people have questioned the layout as being unrealistic, but with such a close shift pattern, it feels very natural to find each gear, just as it would in a real car. If this shift pattern were in any way inferior to a traditional H-pattern, we certainly would have gone that route, but it's so much better that we are willing to trade the element of "realism" for a better product.

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