Toyota is in the process of engineering a novel automatic transmission system specifically designed for motorsport applications. According to the automaker, this transmission will offer a driving experience akin to that of a manual gearbox. The initiative aims to attract a broader range of participants to the world of motorsports.
The new transmission system, referred to as the Direct Automatic Transmission, was recently covered in the Toyota Times official journal. Japanese professional racer Hiroaki Ishiura extolled the high level of responsiveness this new technology offers.
Toyota GR Yaris Model
Ishiura noted that the Direct Automatic Transmission offers immediate engagement from the point of acceleration, responding proportionally to throttle inputs, thereby enabling the driver to achieve reduced lap times without any performance deficit. Unlike traditional automatic transmissions, which often feel unengaging, this new system even senses hard braking to automatically downshift when approaching corners, Ishiura added.
The conceptual foundation of the Direct Automatic Transmission can be traced back to former Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, who envisioned making motorsports more inclusive. Toyoda, who recently participated in Japan’s Super Taikyu Series driving a GR Yaris equipped with the new transmission, stated his intent to “amplify the pleasure of driving,” as reported by Naohiko Saito, the Project General Manager for the Direct Automatic Transmission and previously the Chief Engineer for the GR Yaris. This vision served as the catalyst for the development project.
2024 Toyota Supra 45th Anniversary Edition
Saito revealed that the development of the Direct Automatic Transmission commenced in the latter half of 2020. Initial trials were conducted in rally racing events beginning in 2021, and subsequently, the technology was tested in circuit races earlier this year.
Although the Direct Automatic Transmission has not yet received formal production approval, Toyota’s ongoing commitment to sports cars suggests a potential market should the technology get the green light. While the primary focus is on motorsport applications, the direct and responsive nature of this new transmission could be well-suited for Toyota’s lineup of sports cars, although the company has not made any formal announcements to that effect.
In parallel to enhancing automatic transmission systems for internal combustion vehicles, Toyota is also exploring the possibility of integrating manual transmissions into electric sports cars. Patent filings that emerged in 2022 shed light on how electric vehicles could simulate a manual driving experience without the need for multiple forward gears.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Toyota Direct Automatic Transmission for Motorsports
What is Toyota’s Direct Automatic Transmission?
The Direct Automatic Transmission is a novel automatic transmission system that Toyota is developing specifically for motorsport applications. According to Toyota, this transmission aims to mimic the driving experience of a manual gearbox.
Who is Hiroaki Ishiura and what did he say about the new transmission?
Hiroaki Ishiura is a professional Japanese racing driver. He has praised the Direct Automatic Transmission for its high responsiveness. Ishiura noted that the system offers immediate engagement from the moment of acceleration and responds proportionally to throttle inputs. This allows for reduced lap times without any performance loss.
Who initiated the idea for the Direct Automatic Transmission?
The conceptual foundation for the Direct Automatic Transmission came from former Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda. His vision was to make motorsports more inclusive and accessible, which served as the catalyst for the development of this new technology.
When did development work on the Direct Automatic Transmission begin?
Development of the Direct Automatic Transmission began in the latter half of 2020. Initial trials were conducted in rally racing starting in 2021, followed by circuit races earlier this year.
Has the Direct Automatic Transmission been approved for production?
As of now, the Direct Automatic Transmission has not received formal approval for production. However, Toyota’s ongoing commitment to sports cars suggests that there could be a potential market for this technology if it receives approval.
Will this new transmission system be incorporated into Toyota’s regular sports car lineup?
While the Direct Automatic Transmission is primarily developed for motorsports, Toyota has not made any formal announcements regarding its inclusion in their regular lineup of sports cars.
Is Toyota also exploring manual transmission options for electric sports cars?
Yes, Toyota is simultaneously working on integrating manual transmissions into electric sports cars. Patent filings that emerged in 2022 detail how electric vehicles could simulate the manual driving experience without requiring multiple forward gears.
The Super Taikyu Series is a motorsport racing series in Japan. Akio Toyoda, the former CEO of Toyota, recently participated in this series driving a GR Yaris equipped with the Direct Automatic Transmission. This indicates the real-world application and testing of the technology.
Who is Naohiko Saito and what is his role in this project?
Naohiko Saito is the Project General Manager for the Direct Automatic Transmission. He was previously the Chief Engineer for the GR Yaris. He has been involved in reporting the aims and progress of the Direct Automatic Transmission project.
While the text does not explicitly mention patents related to the Direct Automatic Transmission, it does note that Toyota filed patents in 2022 regarding manual transmissions for electric sports cars.
More about Toyota Direct Automatic Transmission for Motorsports
- Toyota Official Website
- Toyota Times Publication
- Hiroaki Ishiura Professional Profile
- Super Taikyu Series Official Site
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
- Motor1 Automotive News
- GR Yaris Overview
- 2024 Toyota Supra Information
- Manual Transmissions in Electric Sports Cars