The high-performance car sector is anticipated to transition to electric power shortly. While this shift may please many, those who favor manual transmission vehicles might feel left out as no current electric vehicles (EVs) provide this option. This scenario might change soon as Toyota, under the leadership of former chairman Akio Toyoda, is now developing an electric sports car that might incorporate a manual transmission.
Toyoda shared his experiences with Automotive News, describing a test drive he had with a Gazoo Racing prototype during the 24 Hours of Le Mans event last weekend. He stated, “It gives the feel of a traditional vehicle with engine noise within the cabin, a manual transmission, and a clutch. It’s barely noticeable that one is driving an electric car, with the only discernible absence being the scent of gasoline.”
While Toyota has introduced a Sports EV concept, the firm has yet to make an official announcement about its launch. However, its luxury vehicle division, Lexus, is actively engaged in creating an electric replacement for the LFA and has conducted tests on a transmission that mirrors a manual gearbox. This endeavor aims to infuse a more exhilarating driving experience into electric vehicles. Additionally, Lexus has also modified the UX300e by integrating a manual shifter and a clutch simulator.
Although the engine noise within the car’s interior may be artificially generated or amplified by the vehicle’s electric motors, this development marks a significant shift in the EV industry. The advent of Toyota’s simulated manual transmission for electric vehicles is an exciting concept that holds the potential to reshape the landscape of EV driving experiences.