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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Lexus Thinks You'll Enjoy Driving A Car With A Fake Manual Gearbox


Lexus thinks its shift to all-electric vehicles shouldn’t equate to the loss of engagement and driving fun; after all, they’re busy touting their so-called Lexus Driving Signature. To that end, they’re working on a manual transmission specifically for EVs.

The system, which is now being trialed in a special version of the Lexus UX 300e may appear in the production version of Lexus’s BEV Sport Concept (see lead photo).

This manual gearbox has a physical gear shifter, tachometer, and a “clutch-like” pedal. However, everything’s simulated via software—the third pedal isn’t connected to a clutch and the gearbox doesn’t actually have multiple gears or a synchro.

Takashi Watanabe, chief engineer of Lexus Electrified explains that the system works on a “simulated drive force map with pedal and shift positions reproducing the feel of a manual transmission.”

It’s so realistic that the driver can jerk the car if he dumps the clutch. He even faces the possibility of stalling the car or rolling backwards on a hill start. And since the system is governed by ones and zeroes, each driver can choose their preferred “gearing” without having to swap out cogs of varying ratios.

Watanabe says the project started when some Lexus engineers started reflecting on what they liked about internal combustion vehicles, and what they’ll miss out on the shift to electric cars. The manual gearbox, naturally, is one of those things.

Aside from the simulated manual, the rumored all-electric replacement to the Lexus LFA supercar may come with all-wheel drive, steer-by-wire, and brake-by-wire. They are also targeting an ultra-quick 0 to 100 km/h time of just 2 seconds.

2 comments:

  1. why not, as long as they can imitate the feeling real close. This is also a good differentiation/selling point for them in the future, for now Evs are just all about mileage (and screens, sadly), but when everyone becomes efficient enough, an EV that is fun to drive can really set itself apart.

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  2. Is it still considered a real manual transmission even if simulated?

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