A few years of experience in the Energon Wars have gone a long way in Downshift. Once an impulsive speedster, he has learned patience and consideration from his mentor, Hot Shot. Where he once would have raced straight into battle against even overwhelming odds, relying on his speed to get him out of tight spots, he has now learned to observe and enter a fight cautiously. His keen eye and quick reflexes allow him to exploit even the smallest opportunity to bring down Decepticons much bigger and stronger than him.
Downshift makes for a very cool-looking robot. The hood of his classic car mode makes for his chest and gives him a stocky look. He is still very posable, though, and the detailing is pretty nifty as well. The head resembles both those of his direct successor Energon Downshift
and G1 Wheeljack. Apart from the cool look, Downshift also offers some fun features. He carries two missile launchers he can either hold in his hands or, and that looks cooler IMO, attach them to his shoulders. Additionally he has a Cyberkey gimmick, of course. Inserting the key into the slot on his back causes his chest (the front of the car) to open up and extend a grappling hook. Not the best Cyberkey gimmick ever, but fun. So to sum it up, a pretty good robot mode. No complaints here.
One of the main attractions of this figure is, of course, the vehicle mode. In a series that features mostly very futuristic cars, Downshift becomes a 1971 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda (or something that looks very much like it without actually having to pay licensing fees to Plymouth). The car looks absolutely fantastic and I would have been content with just this car mode. But it offers two gimmicks as well. You can attach the missile launchers to the side to arm it and you can also use the Cyberkey (with the slot well-hidden so you don't see it normally) to extend the grappling claw from the front. So to sum it up, a great, great vehicle mode.
Downshift marks my 30th birthday, so he gets extra points for that one. Not that he needs it. Downshift is an excellent Transformers, standing out among the Cybertron series because of his classic car mode. He is also very nicely designed and just a plain fun robot. The only slight point against him is that he never appeared in the series, but that's only for people who care about that. To sum it up, buy this figure!