An electric car maker tries an oddball U-turn

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EARLY RETRO: Uh-oh. Automakers seem to be starting to come to terms with the fact that consumer demand for electric vehicles might not be nearly as strong as they were hoping:


“Toyota’s latest engineering feat is an electric vehicle that behaves as if it has a stick shift, complete with revving sounds and faux gear shifts.

“Engineers who worked on the vehicle system said they wanted to preserve a driving experience that is appreciated by some car enthusiasts and older drivers—and might otherwise die out in the shift to EVs.

“The feature isn’t available yet but could be included in a new generation of EVs that will be rolled out from 2026, Toyota said at an event last week southwest of Tokyo showcasing the company’s EV technologies.

“’We want to be able to deliver a sense of “wow” to customers,’ said Takero Kato, head of a new EV group at Toyota, of the simulated stick shift and other models under development. [Emphasis added.]

OK! So they want to make their new technology look and sound like the old technology the new technology is supposedly rendering obsolete. Right. I’m no marketing or product development expert, but this makes absolutely no sense in a very basic way.

NO THANKS: And as if to underscore the above: