This electric supercar will be the successor to the LFA
Toyota patented a system that could simulate having to change gears in electric cars
Ford presented an electric Mustang Concept that was equipped with a real manual transmission in 2019
Lexus is studying the possibility of giving its upcoming electric supercar a pretend manual transmission that would let drivers change their own gears.
With gasoline engines set to be entirely replaced by electric motors in the coming decades, enthusiasts are worried about the fate of the manual gearbox, but Lexus could have a solution.
Since electric motors don’t need to spin independently of the wheels and can operate at very high revolutions, they don’t require a transmission as combustion engines do.
This means that the manual gearbox will become entirely obsolete once electric vehicles become the norm.
In order to allow future drivers to continue to enjoy rowing their own gears, Toyota patented a sort of manual transmission for electric vehicles last year.
According to rumours, this technology could be introduced in the upcoming electric supercar from Lexus, which makes sense since it will be a vehicle aimed directly at enthusiasts.
In order to replicate the feel of a manual transmission, this system will most likely limit the output of the motors in lower gears and make it so that drivers will have to “shift” to get a boost in acceleration.
The original patent also mentions an automatic mode that could act as a regular electric vehicle when the driver doesn’t want to bother with gear changes.
This mode will likely be the quickest and most efficient, which should allow a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in close to two seconds and a range of around 700 kilometres.
This is not the first time a manual transmission has been fitted to an electric performance car since Ford showed an electric Mustang concept that featured a real Getrag gearbox, but it could be the first time this technology reaches production.
Of course, the launch date for this model has yet to be announced so it could still be years away and simply having a patent doesn’t necessarily mean that Toyota or Lexus will ever use this new technology in a production vehicle.