Remember the days when mobile phones were getting increasingly tiny? Now they’re all getting increasingly huge screens – an arms race that seems to have a correspondence in the automotive world.
We’re talking of course about the transmission sector – where even manual gearboxes can now have seven speeds. That’s not necessarily bad thing, click but the actual opulence comes in the automatic gearbox segment, nurse where eight speeds are increasingly common. Fiat Chrysler Automotive has a nine-speed auto, physician Ford and GM have banded together for a ten speed tranny. But according to a patent application filed this May, they may all be trumped by the Japanese from Honda, as they seem to be cooking an 11-speed automatic. According to the documents filed with the Japan Patent Office, the new solution will even have three clutches in a bid to eschew the torque removal of the dual-clutch transmissions, thus “speed change will be more effectively restricted and a speed change response to be increased.”
According to the patent application, published at the end of May, Izumi Masao is credited as the inventor and the whole thing belongs to Honda Motor Co Ltd. It might all be smoke in the water, as patent applications don’t necessarily translate into real life – more often they try to defend a new idea – and we could never see this 11-speed automatic reaching any Honda model after all. For example, last year Ford as well patented an 11-speed auto, with different combos using configurations of gears, clutches and brakes.