[ad#post_ad]A lot of thought went into the paddle shifter found in the Chevrolet Volt.
Lead interior designer Tim Grieg noted back in 2008 when the car was first unveiled that because the car has no transmission and is purely electric, it gave designers the opportunity to "re-invent the shifter."
The group chose to go with a large flush-mounted paddle placed very forward and actually within the center stack. The unusual forward position gives extra room along the top of the center console for such things as the cupholders.
Indeed over the years since the unveiling many people have commented about the shifter, though often finding it too large for their taste.
GM has apparently been listening and adapting.
An astute GM-Volt reader named 'baltimore17' discovered that in the latest Volt prototype in red photo, the shifter appears to be thinner.
It turns out he was correct.
According to director of Voltec design Bob Boniface, the design has been changed.
"The shifter design has changed a bit during development in order to provide more thumb clearance for the user's hand," he said. Putting it more bluntly, Volt vehicle line director Tony Psawzt said "it's thinner to avoid any thumb pinching."
Boniface explains how the decision was made and how GM feels about it.
"It was something that we, along with our HMI engineers, felt would be the most comfortable solution for the customer," he said. "It still looks very modern but it is now a more
pleasent experience to use."