Honda has reportedly filed a new patent for an 11-speed triple-clutch gearbox. Filed in the Japan Patent Office, the application was published in the end of May, with Izumi Masao credited as the inventor of the mechanism.
The transmission has been designed to improve efficiency while decreasing the loss of torque when changing gear (something that can often occur in dual-clutch systems), as well as reducing shift times and allowing for gears to be skipped.
The manufacturer currently uses single-speed continuously variable transmissions (CVT) in its smaller cars. These gearboxes are renowned for being more fragile, so are better suited for smaller cars where simplicity and ease of use is key. Seeing as the new gearbox has been designed to increase efficiency, it could warrant usage on any number of models.
Despite a patent being filed, it’s unclear as to when it will make production. A source at Honda told our sister publication Autocar UK: “Honda has patented a new triple-clutch, 11-speed transmission system. However, we’re unable to confirm the plans of its use. We have both the new Civic and new CR-V coming soon, but as it’s only just been patented, it’s very unlikely it’ll be on any batch of cars for a while.”
If Honda puts the new system into production and it’s a success, expect to see other manufacturers following suit. Ford’s patent for an 11-speed automatic gearbox was accepted early last year as well. The patent document included details of three variations of the 11-speed gearbox, using multiple planetary gear sets, clutches and brakes.