Save the Manuals: Lexus Could Bring a Row-Your-Own Option to EVs


The manual transmission was already far down a slippery slope before EVs came along, and the move to electrification has all but signed its death warrant, or so we thought. Lexus recently confirmed reports that it was testing a manual transmission for electric vehicles, and there’s even a video of it in action.

Due to the way EVs make torque, there’s really no need for a manual transmission, but Lexus engineers have worked on this project for three years because they found it fun. The good news is that their tinkering could become a reality, as an engineer hinted to CarScoops that it could make its way into future electric models.

The video shows a person smoothly shifting through the gears in a Lexus EV. Simulated engine sounds help the driver judge shift points, and there are clearly three pedals in use. Fake engine sounds are not new for Lexus, so it’s at least nice to see them being used for something useful here. There’s also a rev counter mounted on the dash to help with shifts, but it’s unclear where the “redline” is.

To be clear, this “manual” is not really connected to the powertrain but in the future it could be. Toyota also has a manual-transmission hydrogen fuel-cell concept.

Lexus and Toyota were slow to jump into EVs, but the luxury automaker has developed some exciting innovations in the space. The new RZ 450e electric SUV features a unique yoke system that enables better steering and precision, and its Direct4 all-wheel drive system offers electric torque vectoring for improved handling and stability.

[Image: CarScoops via YouTube]

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