Is the shaft too long? Is it too stiff? Too sticky? Does it lack comfort or feel? Well, no. In fact, in the case of the ST250, the Getrag MMT6 is generally a pretty good gearbox – especially by front-wheel-drive standards. From the factory it’s slick, precise and quick to select cogs.
Until, that is, you try an ST with a short-shifter installed.
Suddenly you realise the stock gearchange is lethargic and somewhat devoid of sensitivity. Suddenly you realise you need to order a Steeda short-throw shifter and bracket kit.
Like all Steeda products, the short-shifter kit is expertly-engineered and manufactured in the USA. It’s been tested to ensure it not only works well, but remains as reliable as any unmodified car. For me, that’s a crucial element to any alterations made to my everyday Fondeo.
Of course, it also has to improve driving enjoyment – and the Steeda kit doesn’t disappoint. It instantly transforms the gearshift from feeling forgettable into something noticeably sporty and slick. Something that makes you change gear simply for the sake of it.
The kit costs £199.99 and comes as two parts – a bracket connected at the gearbox end under the bonnet, and a new stick inside the cabin. The bracket is a simple job and the stick is more involved, although each is well within the limits of any DIYer.
I fitted the bits on separate days, and the bracket alone was a revelation. Adding the shifter allows adjustment of throw reduction, simply heightening the pleasure. And it performs the job admirably.
Not long from now, all cars will have automatic transmission and a complete lack of driver involvement. Isn’t it great that we can still enjoy a bit of manual stimulation.