The company says this transmission will be used in its upcoming electric sports car.
Since it is software-based, different driving characteristics could be selected.
The company is currently testing this technology on a UX 300e in Europe.
Over the last few months, rumours have said that Toyota and Lexus might be working on a manual transmission for electric vehicles but now, the automaker has actually confirmed this information, showing a prototype version testing on public streets.
Currently being tested in a UX 300e electric crossover in the streets of Europe, this new type of transmission could be used in the upcoming electric sports car showcased by Lexus.
In order to offer similar sensations and a high level of driver engagement, this transmission will feature a clutch pedal and a traditional manual shifter.
Of course, electric vehicles don’t need a transmission that can change gears and they also don’t need to have the motor spin without the wheels being powered, which defeats the purpose of a normal clutch.
Instead of adding these physical elements that would only add weight and complexity, the automaker says everything will be done via software and electronics.
This means that when drivers move the shifter or press the clutch pedal, a signal will be sent to the vehicle’s powertrain control module, which will imitate the behaviour of a typical manual transmission car.
To make the experience more authentic, Lexus says the vehicle will be fitted with a rev counter and a driver error could cause the vehicle to stall.
A benefit of this system is that drivers will be able to choose between different settings that affect the behaviour of the powertrain in order to suit their preferences.
Since manual transmissions are currently only equipped in 2% of new vehicles sold in the United States, only enthusiasts are likely to be interested in a simulated version for EVs, which is why it will probably be offered only in performance-oriented electric vehicles.