Honda patents 11-speed gearbox with 3 clutches

The contest to have the highest number of gears in an automatic passenger car transmission seems to be a never-ending one. The widely acceptable number of gears in a passenger car had been 5 for a long period but before we knew it, that norm has been shattered and we are already looking at a 11-speed gearbox!

Honda has reportedly filed a patent for a 11-speed gearbox with 3 clutches. A report in Auto Guide claims that the patent was filed in Japan on May 27, 2016, with Izumi Masao listed as its inventor.

New Honda Accord at 2016 Bangkok Motor Show

Nothing much about the patent is clear as of now since it’s no longer a public record. The description suggests that the new triple clutch setup would help the transmission to avoid drop in torque which is observed in dual-clutch transmissions.

In other words, the shift time will be quicker than the already quick DCT. The increased number of gears could be viewed as one way of compensating for the engine downsizing. With more gear ratios, it is possible to extract more work out of a small power plant.

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It’s too early to say when the new transmission will come to light. Honda is likely to adopt a top-down approach to introduce the 11-speed gearbox with 3 clutches. Perhaps, Acura will lead the charge.

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