For many drivers, the control and engagement provided by a manual transmission is an important part of an enjoyable driving experience. Lexus has investigated how a battery electric vehicle might be equipped with a manual transmission – a project that has progressed to focused development using a research prototype based on the UX 300e compact SUV, equipped with a gear lever and a clutch pedal.
Takashi Watanabe, Lexus Electrified Chief Engineer, explained: “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. It is a software-based system, so it can be programmed to reproduce the driving experience of different vehicle types, letting the driver choose their preferred mapping.”
With the DIRECT4 and One Motion Grip systems also being software-based, Lexus will be able to explore new opportunities for performance customisation to provide a personalised experience for each driver.
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