Honda patents 11-speed triple-clutch transmission
A patent application recently filed in Japan suggests Honda could introduce the auto industry’s first-ever 11-speed automatic transmission.
Spotted by AutoGuide, the application explains the 11-speed transmission is essentially an evolution of a dual-clutch automatic transmission that uses a third clutch to reduce torque loss. “The gearbox allows speed change to be more effectively restricted and a speed change response to be increased,” according to the application, which has been loosely translated from Japanese.
In simpler terms, a triple-clutch transmission will shift even faster than a dual-clutch and provide quicker acceleration times. The extra gears also promise to improve efficiency.
Honda hasn’t commented on the patent application, so we don’t know which model(s) the 11-speed will power, or when it will arrive in showrooms. Automakers apply for patents on a regular basis, and the fact that the 11-speed showed up in Japan’s Patent Office doesn’t guarantee that it will ever make the transition to production.
However, the company will have to act fast to become the first brand with an 11-speed on the market. American rival Ford patented three different automatic gearboxes with 11 cogs about three years ago.