Toyota’s New Electric Vehicles May Come With Fake Manual Transmissions


  • Future Toyota electric vehicles could include simulated manual transmissions.
  • The new models will even simulate the experience of the car stuttering if drivers mess up.
  • Drivers can choose to disable these features if returning to manual is too daunting.

Toyota’s future electric vehicles may come with an extra hit of nostalgia for seasoned drivers: a fake manual transmission.

The feature would allow drivers to simulate manual transmission through a fake clutch that would send signals to the engine that create the feeling of switching gears, according to a May 2023 patent report filed by Toyota and obtained by CNN.

These models would include a clutch pedal and even simulate downshifting, allowing drivers to slow the vehicle using the transmission rather than the brake, according to CNN.

Those who never learned to drive a manual car will even be able to experience that initial terror of making mistakes. The cars will simulate the consequences of using the clutch poorly, CNN reports, with the models programmed to jolt and buck if drivers shift into the wrong gear. It won’t stall, however, sparing new drivers of that awkward moment of being stuck in the middle of an intersection.

The addition appears to be strictly fanfare, with CNN even calling the move “just for fun.” The fake manual transmission won’t actually have any functional purpose. Drivers will also have the option to disable the feature entirely.

But these potential future models might be appealing to drivers interested in an extra hit of nostalgia every time they get behind the wheel — or perhaps those interested in making their driving experience feel less electronic and more mechanic. 

Toyota did not respond to requests for comment ahead of publication regarding which future models might contain this feature, or whether the simulated clutch would present a cost increase to consumers.


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