Toyota is growing a brand new computerized transmission for motorsports that the automaker claims mimics the texture of a handbook gearbox. The undertaking is supposed to get extra folks concerned in motorsports.
Referred to as the Direct Automated Transmission, the brand new auto field was mentioned in a current concern of the official Toyota Occasions publication (through Motor1), with Japanese racing driver Hiroaki Ishiura praising the brand new transmission’s responsiveness.
Toyota GR Yaris
“It locks in from the second you set off, responding linearly to fuel pedal enter and permitting you shave lap instances with none loss,” Ishiura mentioned, contrasting the “slippery” and disconnected really feel of standard automatics. The Direct Automated Transmission additionally routinely downshifts for corners by sensing exhausting braking, the driving force mentioned.
The concept for the Direct Automated Transmission reportedly originated with former Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, who sought to make motorsports extra accessible. Toyoda, who lately drove a GR Yaris outfitted with the Direct Automated Transmission in a five-hour race as a part of Japan’s Tremendous Taikyu Collection, famous that many individuals cannot drive stick and he needed to “unfold the enjoyment of driving,” in keeping with Naohiko Saito, undertaking basic supervisor for the Direct Automated Transmission and former GR Yaris chief engineer. That is what spurred the undertaking.
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Saito mentioned improvement work on the Direct Automated Transmission started within the second half of 2020. It was examined in rallying beginning in 2021, adopted by circuit racing earlier this yr.
The brand new transmission hasn’t been permitted for manufacturing, however Toyota seems dedicated to sports activities vehicles, so there needs to be a house for it if it does get approval. Whereas the transmission is supposed for motorsports, that form of direct really feel can be enticing for Toyota’s sports activities vehicles, although the corporate has made no claims that it’ll seem in such vehicles.
Because it appears to enhance computerized transmissions for internal-combustion vehicles, Toyota can also be attempting to carry handbook transmissions to electrical sports activities vehicles. In 2022, quite a lot of patent filings associated to a handbook transmission for electrical vehicles surfaced, detailing how vehicles may recreate the handbook expertise with out a number of ahead gears.