Honda Won't Build Fake Manuals For Its EV Models

Electric Vehicles / 6 Comments

Honda's CEO is not a fan of artificial manual gearboxes.

Electric vehicles are well-known for blistering acceleration. The maximum torque is delivered from 1 rpm, and the power isn't transferred to the wheels via anything as rudimentary as a gearbox. It's just a constant delivery of copious amounts of torque.

But the above is also one of the criticisms often leveled at EVs. Shifting is a valuable form of self-expression, so we get it. That's why several manufacturers are working hard to add ICE characteristics back into cars, but more on that later.

For now, gearboxes. Toyota has filed a patent for a stick-shift EV. It's an excellent concept, but not all EV makers are interested.

Honda's CEO recently announced that he has no intention of adding fake gearshifts to its EV portfolio. Buy a Honda Civic Type R while you can, folks.


We know Honda is working on two electric sports cars, and we also know that the Japanese brand is well-versed in providing glorious shift actions. For reference, see the Honda S2000.

Honda's CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, and its head of electrification, Shinji Aoyama, recently sat down for a round table discussion with the media. They revealed to Car and Driver that Honda would not pursue simulated or artificial manual transmissions.

"Artificially, we can do it. Mechanically, it is not easy," said Aoyama. This matches Toyota's abovementioned system, which is 100% simulated. Mibe added that it is important for Honda's electric products to be "edgy" but added, "I'm not sure if we can replace the manual transmission."


To us, this sounds like a logical argument for appreciating EVs for what they are rather than trying to imitate something people are used to. It's worth stating that Toyota is one of the few manufacturers left trying to save the manual gearbox, but any reasonable person can see that it's living on borrowed time.

Instead of trying to emulate a manual gearbox, it might be better to focus on other parts of the ICE driving experience, like vibration and noise. Hyundai recently patented a seat vibration system to mimic an ICE engine, while Automobili Pininfarina uses a low-frequency noise to please the ears and the buttocks.

Source Credits: Car and Driver

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