Lexus has revealed that testing is underway for an EV to be driven by a manual gearbox. The company has since released a video showing an electric Lexus being driven with a manual transmission.
The research prototype is based on the UX 300e – the company’s first fully-electric vehicle – which has been modified and fitted with a RPM meter, manual gear lever and clutch pedal. Also tweaked was the UX 300e’s performance mapping and gearing to reproduce the sensations of a manual transmission.
Lexus is developing a manual transmission for electric cars, and here’s a first look at a working prototype. Is this the future of the driver’s car? https://t.co/sUIaspEpeO pic.twitter.com/aaTUBz6qGg
— evo magazine (@evomagazine) December 5, 2022
The UX 300e prototype may be silent on the outside but it is capable of delivering all the sensations of a manual transmission. This includes all the perils associated with manual transmissions such as stalling and applying heavier loads when setting off on a slope – talk about being realistic!
As the system is software-based, Lexus claimed that it has been able to reproduce the driving experience of other vehicles. The company claimed that the various performance mapping of the electric motors will allow drivers to choose from different levels of performance.
“The project started when several Lexus engineers began reflecting on what they liked in traditional ICE vehicles and what they’ve had to miss out on in electric cars. The manual transmission was one thing they enjoyed in particular,” said Takashi Watanabe, chief engineer of Lexus Electrified.
“There is nothing more engaging for a passionate driver than to be able to shift gears manually for the right amount of torque at any time. It has delivered so much fun that this project is now under serious development. It might even be featured in our future BEVs (battery-electric vehicle),” he added.
One of the ‘future BEVs’ referred to is undoubtedly the production version of the Lexus Electrified Sport concept which was revealed earlier this year. On when a production version of it will be launched, the chief engineer said that while it can’t be revealed, he confirmed that the company is indeed working on one and reassured that the Electrified Sport concept isn’t merely a design concept.
GALLERY: Lexus Electrified Sport concept