BMW plans 7-speed manual gearbox? image

After Porsche, who started to offer the seven speed manual transmission exactly one year ago, BMW is planning the same idea – to offer a seven speed manual gearbox on some of its cars.

E90 Post, a site dedicated to the last-generation 3-Series, uncovered images and information that show what appears to be a standard BMW gear lever with a seven-speed pattern on it, as well as a more complex rendering that shows off a new technology designed to optimize gear selections.

Interestingly the patent involves more than just the shift pattern, it also explains the use of a magnetorheologic fluid around the gear selector which when subjected to an electrical current will prevent the driver from shifting into a gear not conducive to the vehicle speed – think of the costly shift to second when looking for fourth at 150 km/h…

If the pictures aren’t just rumors and the brand actually brings a seven-speed manual to market in competition with Porsche, we could see another evolution of BMWs with the fun-to-drive standard transmission and even better fuel economy.