Toyota in late 2021 announced plans to launch 30 electric vehicles across the Toyota and Lexus brands by 2030, including sports cars.
Toyota has confirmed the Lexus will deliver a 0-60 mph time in the low two-second range and have a manual transmission. The manual won't actually connect to the powertrain, though. Instead it will only simulate the sensation of shifting gears by adjusting the torque of the electric powertrain and generating sounds mimicing an engine's revs building and dropping.
Very little has been said about Toyota's own electric sports car, though Toyota Chairman—and former CEO—Akio Toyoda revealed a few details in an interview with Automotive News (subscription required) during last weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Toyoda said he's personally involved in the development of Toyota's electric sports car and confirmed it will have a manual transmission (complete with a clutch pedal) and will generate engine sounds just like the Lexus. He also said anyone driving the car “probably wouldn't be able to tell” that it is an EV, from the driving experience.
Timing for the Toyota electric sports car's release wasn't mentioned. Toyoda also said that he doesn't know whether the car will make it to production.
Though sports cars don't sell in high volumes, Toyoda sees their development as an important step of improving more mainstream models. When discussing the reasons for developing the LFA a decade ago, Toyoda likened sports car development to the Japanese ceremony known as Shikinen Sengu. This ceremony involves relocating a major shrine from east to west, or west to east, once every 20 years. In doing so, skills and techniques, including the sourcing of materials for building the shrine, are passed on, he said. In the case of the LFA, new technological breakthroughs were also developed, particularly in the area of materials, and this has since been incorporated into other vehicles.