Toyota wants to bring back the gear shift
Toyota is now working on a manual transmission simulation for electric cars, according to patents that have surfaced. Yes, you read that right. This involves a gearstick lever and a clutch pedal to pseudo-realise manual gear changes.
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However, the gear stick will remain more show than go: the actual gear changes are only simulated by the onboard electronics. The system is reportedly capable of simulating almost all aspects of a real transmission, with all the drawbacks that includes: “Simulated gear selection adjusts the amount of torque being delivered by an electric motor, adjusting simulated RPMs shown on a tachometer, all while a simulated clutch pedal delivers feedback similar to engaging a clutch. The system can even simulate a stall,” writes road and track.
Update 08 December 2022
In February we reported that Toyota is working on a manual transmission simulation for electric cars. Now the fake system with a gear lever, clutch pedal and rev counter has been installed and demonstrated in a Lexus UX 300e.
“From the outside, this vehicle is as quiet as any other BEV. But the driver is able to experience all the sensations of a manual transmission vehicle,” says Takashi Watanabe, chief engineer of Lexus’ E division. “This gave us so much fun that the project is now under serious development.”