oh, those silly guys. I am actually going to mock up an arm rest to prove that an arm rest will interfere with shifting. Perhaps because I am short and have T-rex arms, I can't use an armrest while driving that doesn't interfere with shifting. My brother has one in his Focus and hates it! It falls down and then he hits it when he shifts. Sitting upright, it looks stupid.
Our Escape has an arm rest, and my arms never touched it while on a road trip last weekend. I was too busy with both hands on the steering wheel, making the SUV fly around corners faster than any SUV should. The Fiesta was at home with a hole in the tire, so the Escape was called into action for the twisty roads that line Lake Michigan. With both hands on the wheel, there is no way my elbows could touch the arm rest.
Now a proper dead pedal has value, way more than an arm rest. If the US car comes with one, I will be calling Marc to send me a peoper center console without the lazy arm rest from a dealer in Europe.
I was out driving my Fiesta yesterday for about 45 minutes on the highway, and thought to myself that the armrest in the center is never going to work. The cup holders are under my elbow, which is where the arm rest would need to be placed in order to actually use it for an arm rest. Sometimes I drive my brothers Focus ZTS when he drives the Fiesta for a day. His car has an arm rest and is a 5-speed. I am always catching my arm hitting the arm rest, and it is folded up! We even installed a short throw shifter, otherwise your arm would get stuck between the rest and the shifter.
I do have a manual transmission car with an arm rest in the center, and that is my Mustang. However, the arm rest is so far back on the console, it could never be used for an arm rest. The car also has no cup holders.