Today in America more than 90% of new cars are sold with an automatic transmission. The adoption of hybrid and electric cars is only accelerating this trend away from shifting for yourself, though Lotus is hoping to offer customers an electric driving experience that includes fake shifting software that mimics a manual transmission.
The Lotus Evora 414E began life as a concept car, though Lotus has announced their intentions to bring the plug-in performance car to production. Utilizing a 17 kWh battery pack and two electric motors delivering 408 horsepower and 738 ft-lbs of torque. The concept included a seven-speed transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, which is where we find ourselves with a point of contention.
Lotus is toying with the idea of using a software system that will cut power to the electric motors periodically, mimicking the feel of a real transmission. This is an odd idea to be sure, as it is undermining one of the key advantages of an electric motor, the smooth, seamless onset of power. Those jolts between gears interrupt acceleration, and with Lotus being a company focused on performance, you’d think they’d want to avoid shifting.
But then again, many Lotus customers are looking for a “driver’s car” that has a more visceral feel than your typical family sedan. Rowing your own gears has always been associated with performance cars, and while EV’s don’t need transmissions…there may be those customers who still want that experience. And at the end of the day, the customer is always right…right?
Source: Green Car Reports