What was once an area for unique engineering solutions and cool design twists has, like most facets of modern automobiles, become depressingly conformist. Thankfully, we've found, with reader help, five exceptions to the rule. Here's our five favorite pedal sets.
We limited ourselves to current production vehicles and to pedals that come stock on those cars. Thankfully, there's still quite a bit of variety. You'll note that the more exotic cars come with floor hinged pedals. That's a more classic look that takes a little bit of engineering and ergonomic gumption to get right. Top hinged pedals are more common as it's easier to get them to adjust and break away in a front end impact. Mounting them from the bottom is now a form of showing off, providing car buyers with a clear example of high-spec mechanical components and sexy engineering. Both designs can now apply equal force to the pushrod they're attached to.
Car: Renault Twingo Renaultsport 133 Cup
Pedal Arrangement: Bog standard top hingers with aluminum covers that mimic Playstation Buttons.
Why They're Cool: Playstation buttons! A little tacky, but still not something you see everyday.
What They Say About The Car: The Twingo Cup is fun, like video games. Young people these days like video games, right?
Car: Lotus Elise
Pedal Arrangement: top hingers that are incredibly small and close together. Built from wedged aluminum to save weight.
Why They're Cool: They're just so damn functional and spartan. You can barely drive with a pair of slim sneakers on, racing shoes are strongly recommended.
What They Say About the Car: I might have a poofy name, but I was built to do one thing and one thing only: go around corners.
Car: Ariel Atom
Pedal Arrangement: Tilton racing top hinged.
Why They're Cool: Not only are these high-spec racing pedals made for actual race cars, you can see them from the outside thanks to the Atom's tubular frame.
What They Say About The Car: I mean business.
Car: Spyker C8 Spyder
Pedal Arrangement: Aluminum floor hinged crazy things.
Why They're Cool: They're completely over the top, just like the rest of the car.
What They Say About The Car: If my pedals are this freaking crazy, just imagine how quickly I'm going to spin the first time you drive me.
Car: Lexus LFA
Pedal Arrangement: Two forged aluminum floor-hinged sex toys.
Why They're Cool: like the rest of the car, they're massively over-engineered, yet completely sober. There's no extra design flourishes here, just a component it took some Japanese engineer a decade to refine. The samurai sword of car pedals.
What They Say About The Car: I may only have two pedals, but I was made that way on purpose because anything that wasn't an ideal solution was engineered out of me over a 10-year long gestation.
A special note to girls that like to take videos of themselves pumping pedals: please stop obscuring our view of sexy-looking pedals with your high heels and your bare legs.