Lexus lets you shift: Manual "transmission" for electric cars (with video)
Created: 12/15/2022, 09:30 am
By: Marcus Efler
Do drivers in electric cars miss a manual transmission?
At least that's what Toyota's luxury brand Lexus believes - and tests a virtual gearbox.
Times are changing and with them the way of driving.
The automatic transmission, which was reserved for luxury limousines a few years ago, has now become standard equipment for many car models in all classes.
In normal cars, it works more comfortably than a manual transmission and saves fuel, in sports cars it changes the gear ratio faster, and motorsport is therefore unimaginable without it – especially since the driver can also select the gears manually with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Manual transmission: important for e-car drivers?
(Iconic image) © Petra Schneider-Schmelzer/Imago
Lexus lets you switch gears: Manual "transmission" for electric cars
Apart from the higher weight, the automatic transmission has only advantages over the manual, which is why many manufacturers such as Mercedes and VW are gradually eliminating the latter (while BMW wants to keep it for the time being).
Because of their consistently high torque, electric cars no longer need a gearbox at all; only sports cars such as the Porsche Taycan or the Audi e-tron GT portion the strong power with two gears.
With the Magneto, however, Jeep is planning an off-roader Stromer with six gears.
Apparently, even in the electric age, there are customers who are so used to "stirring the fuel" that they don't want to do without a shift lever in the Stromer - that's also what Lexus believes.
In any case, the luxury brand from Toyota (the Japanese are currently turning their electric strategy upside down) has installed a manual gearshift with clutch in the prototype based on the electric Lexus UX300e, as reported by the British sports car magazine
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Lexus lets you change gears: Virtual gearbox simulates different types of cars
This creates the feeling and the acoustics of the different speeds in different gears of combustion vehicles.
“From the outside, this vehicle is as quiet as any other battery electric car.
But the driver can experience all the sensations of a manual transmission vehicle,” explains chief engineer Takashi Watanabe: “It is a software-based system that can be programmed to reproduce the driving experience of different types of vehicles, allowing the driver to select their preferred mapping. So different vehicle types such as sports cars with V8 engines or small cars can be simulated.
This video on Twitter shows how this works:
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However, the technology is not mechanically connected to the engine, it only intervenes in the software control.
So the concept is not really a gearbox, but a simulation.
It remains to be seen to what extent this virtual circuit could help to lure die-hard combustion engine fans into an electric car.