Re: Push-button gear change? Really?
Quote "Seemed like a brilliant idea."
Bollocks. Now try to join into traffic from a 15 degree gradient side street uphill. With someone behind you and minimal visibilty (something quite common in Spain, Italy, Greek islands, Dalmacian coast, etc). This is not just "uphill start". It is uphill start with "hesitation" which is an essential part of driving there.
With a normal manual handbrake you can easily nudge out, see someone driving across, stop, wait, nudge, stop wait then join on the 5th attempt. Your hand is on the handbrake, clutch is down, other foot on the gas. You do not move any of them between controls. Trivial with manual . In fact it is a mandatory driving exam exercise in a lot of countries (I had to do it 20+ years ago when learning to drive). Trivial with automatic too - the gearbox does it for you (slipping back on a hill will light up a gearbox fault).
With a magic handbrake? The moment you depress the clutch it deactivates so you are now committed to behaving like the proverbial german car driver - accelerating the Me109e onto an attack vector and the other drivers be damned. You cannot abort "the attack" without _MOVING_ a foot or a hand to another control. This is why it is a bad idea. Utterly stupid design - both Audi and GM.