The rise of the new era of handbrake is here! New research has revealed the decline of the traditional manual handbrake in terms of actual production from automotive companies. The prognosis isn’t good, as most new cars have electronic handbrakes.

Just three in every 10 new cars sold comes with a handle-operated cable handbrake, says the study by CarGurus. In other countries, they have slowly abandoned the handle-cable systems altogether which includes automotive giants; Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. Instead, they use electronic button and toggle-operated systems.

I’m pretty sure you may have experienced the feeling of looking for the traditional handbrake when you’re tasked to drive your friend’s new car. What this new breed of technology doesn’t allow for is the classic handbrake turn – a sad loss for young drivers everywhere looking to impress their friends.

Happily, most new cars that still have manual handbrakes are smaller, cheaper models. Suzuki and Dacia use them across their ranges, while in the world of the hot hatch, the Renault Megane RS also has a lever between the front seats.


Electronic handbrakes first appeared in 2001 on the BMW 7 Series. This year, 70 percent of new cars had them. That’s a significant jump from 2018’s 63 percent figure. Expect the traditional manual handbrake to be almost extinct within five years.


It’s not all doom and gloom however. There are several benefits to electronic handbrakes, including extra cabin space, hill hold control and automatic application when you turn the engine off. Expect a lot more of these newly found technology to be implemented by Automotive giants across the globe.


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