GMC Terrain: Electronic Precision Shift


gmc terrain


Above all else, the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain is proof of GMC’s attention to detail. Every element you touch, see, and feel within Terrain’s interior has been painstakingly conceptualized, designed and developed by GMC designers and engineers – and that most certainly includes Terrain’s new Electronic Precision Shift system, featured on all 2018 Terrain compact SUV models.

automatic transmissions

For quite some time, automatic transmissions have used electronic controls to determine when to execute a shift between gears – but the actual act of selecting a drive range – like park, reverse, drive, and so on – had typically been selected by way of a mechanical linkage.

Terrain’s electronic transmission

Electronic Precision Shift fully leverages Terrain’s electronic transmission controls to their fullest. As a result, instead of moving a shifter and linkage, Terrain drivers essentially “shift-by-wire.” Gears are selected by way of a series of intuitive push/pull switches placed at the bottom of the centre stack, where they can easily be viewed and reached by the driver.

automatic transmission

When compared to traditional automatic transmission controls, Electronic Precision Shift provides two distinct benefits. First, it allows engineers to remove a physical noise path within the vehicle, allowing us to further elevate the sense of refinement expected of a GMC.

“Mechanical linkages, compared with electrical wiring, require larger openings somewhere in the vehicle floor or body structure, which can act as a noise path directly into the cabin,” said Rick Spina, executive chief engineer for the 2018 Terrain.

GMC designers

Electronic Precision Shift also allowed GMC designers to free up usable space within Terrain’s centre console for both the driver and front passenger to store their belongings.

“Electronic Precision Shift really allowed us to open up the centre console,” says Michael Stapleton, director of interior design for GMC. “Not only does moving away from a console-mounted shifter give us more room to accommodate larger storage areas on the upper surface of the console, but eliminating the mechanical linkages allowed us to open up areas underneath the console that are large enough to stow a small clutch purse or small tablet device.”

Electronic Precision Shift

While different at first glance from a traditional shifter, Electronic Precision Shift quickly becomes intuitive to use. While park and neutral are selected by pushing their respective switch, selecting reverse or drive requires the driver to pull a toggle in order to avoid confusion with any other conventional button. And, like any other automatic transmission, the driver must press the brake pedal before shifting out of park. As safety is a key characteristic of the 2018 Terrain, Electronic Precision Shift also incorporates other safeguards. For instance, it will not permit a shift into park unless the vehicle is travelling less than 5 km/h. Likewise, it will not allow a shift into reverse unless the vehicle is moving slower than 10 km/h. Electronic Precision Shift will also automatically shift into park if a driver shuts the engine off while drive or reverse is still engaged.

Electronic Precision Shift is standard on all 2018 GMC Terrain models. For more information on the all-new 2018 Terrain, click here.