Gearbox wars: Honda patents 11-speed triple-clutch unit

Japanese carmaker Honda registers new type of gearbox with the aim of improving efficiency

Honda CR-V long-termer action

Honda has registered a patent in Japan for a new type of triple-clutch gearbox, with 11 speeds. It's a new automatic transmission that is aimed at improving efficiency even over modern dual-clutch gearboxes.

The patent description, spotted by AutoGuide, notes that the gearbox will allow “speed change to be more effectively restricted and a speed change response to be increased.” According to the source, it also reduces torque losses compared to a normal dual-clutch gearbox.

Great cars with manual gearboxes

What this means in practice is that the transmission will shift faster and more smoothly, reducing the jerkiness sometimes found when a traditional gearbox changes gear. With 11 ratios, the 'box will also be able to find an ideal gear for the drivng situation more easily. This will help with fuel economy and emissions - so it's expected to appear in an efficiency context rather than a performance one.

The Honda patent was published on 27 May this year, but don't expect to see it on a production car any time soon, if at all. There's no guarantee that Honda is going to use the technology but we now know it's in the thinking of the firm's engineers.

11 gears does sound like a lot but the gearbox arms race has been escalating for a while. The current Honda CR-V comes with a nine-speed automatic gearbox, and brands like Mercedes are pushing ahead with the tech as well. Both GM and Ford have 10-speed automatics ready to be fitted to models in the US and Ford is said to have filed a patent for an 11-speed unit but we've not seen one on the road yet. It's surely only a matter of time.

What do you think of the idea of an 11-speed, triple clutch gearbox? Let us know below...

Recommended

Honda pauses UK production due to supply shortages
Honda Swindon factory
News

Honda pauses UK production due to supply shortages

The sluggish passage of parts through congested UK ports has halted production at Honda’s Swindon plant
9 Dec 2020
Honda axes diesel power in the UK
Honda

Honda axes diesel power in the UK

Honda has quietly phased-out its diesel-powered models in Britain
19 Oct 2020
Honda SUV e:concept previews upcoming electric crossover
Electric cars

Honda SUV e:concept previews upcoming electric crossover

The all-electric Honda e:concept SUV could come to the UK
28 Sep 2020

Most Popular

'MG's sales must rank as the success story of the year, possibly the decade'
MG 2020
Opinion

'MG's sales must rank as the success story of the year, possibly the decade'

Mike Rutherford says plenty of big car brands could learn from MG's focus on cheap cars
17 Jan 2021
Brawny new Ford Ranger MS-RT launched
Ford Ranger MS-RT - front
Ford Ranger

Brawny new Ford Ranger MS-RT launched

Ford’s long-standing aftermarket partner, MS-RT, has launched a tweaked version of the Ranger with an aggressive body kit
18 Jan 2021
New 2022 Smart electric SUV to rival Peugeot e-2008
Smart SUV - front (watermarked)
Smart

New 2022 Smart electric SUV to rival Peugeot e-2008

The new Smart SUV will use an electric platform developed by Geely and our exclusive images preview how it could look
18 Jan 2021