New patents filed by BMW show that the company is investing in a new 7-speed manual gearbox. While it would not be a world-first (Porsche already claimed that with the new 911), the transmission would certainly be a first for BMW. Also, it would herald a brand new concept in gear changes, something that would be a world-first.
According to files in the European patents offices, a 7-speed manual gearbox was applied for and detailed by the company from Bavaria. It is in line with increasing emissions laws that demand car makers reduce C02 carbon emissions drastically over the next 10 years. Put very simplistically, the more gears a gearbox has, the more it saves fuel (terms and conditions always apply). But so far manufacturers have only gone for the 6-speed manual, with automatic being the more adventurous one at a high of 8-speed or CTV (unlimited gears).
A much more interesting prospect is one where BMW is said to also be investigating the use of a an automatic gearbox that looks and behaves like a manual, but cuts out the clutch pedal. Thus drivers get to change gears as if they were driving a manual using a gated gear lever, except with only two pedals to contend with – brake and accelerator. No more stalling! Best of both worlds.
At IN4RIDE have always wondered why no one has devoted time to this concept yet, and are quite excited that BMW is at least looking at it.