Lexus took us by surprise at the end of last year when parent company Toyota presented its EV strategy that also included the first glimpse of a swoopy supercar. Known as the Electrified Sport, the zero-emissions performance machine made the trip from Japan to Europe earlier this year for the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Arriving later this decade, it'll serve as an LFA successor, but with an EV setup instead of a naturally aspirated V10.
However, technical specifications largely remain shrouded in mystery, aside from a quoted 435-mile (700-kilometre) range and a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in the low two-second area. Thankfully, Top Gear magazine sat down and had a chat with Lexus President Koji Sato about the road-going equivalent of the hugely promising Electrified Sport. Plot twist – you might be able to row your own gears. Well, sort of.
TG learned the manual gearbox experience would be simulated through special software, which would likely artificially limit the power of the electric motor to make you change gears and unlock it. Ford had a different approach with the Mustang Lithium EV from the 2019 SEMA show as the concept used an actual Getrag MT82 six-speed manual with a Torsen differential sending power to the rear axle.
It's not set in stone as the faux manual gearbox is only an experiment at this point. Koji Sato refrained from announcing when the electric supercar will be revealed, but he did share some other titbits. The Electrified Sport will boast steer-by-wire as with all zero-emissions Lexus models, and he also said torque vectoring is on the agenda.
Carbon fibre will be used "as necessary" and battery placement won't necessarily all be under the floor because Toyota has the freedom to package it whatever it likes by designing their batteries in-house. When the concept car was originally unveiled, Lexus mentioned solid-state batteries would be supported, but Koji Sato told TG the tech still needs to evolve.
As a refresher, Toyota is likely going to be the first automaker to install a solid-state battery in a production car. It's due by 2025 but in a hybrid rather than an EV.
Gallery: Lexus electric hypercar teasers
Source: Top Gear