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Honda Patents 11-Speed Transmission With 3 Clutches

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2016

Honda has filed a patent with the Japan Patent Office for a new transmission that has 11 forward gears and three clutches. This is an unprecedented number of gears and clutches -- the rest of us were stuck somewhere around nine gears and two clutches -- and its likely goal is to improve gas mileage.

The patent, uncovered by AutoGuide, describes exactly how the 3-clutch setup will work, with the third clutch acting to counteract the torque drop that comes with a dual-clutch transmission's upshifts. Honda says the result will be better gas mileage and even quicker upshifts than a standard dual-clutch. The automaker has not yet announced what vehicle will use the transmission, but given that its aim seems to be improving fuel economy, it could find its way into a small car (like the Fit) or a midsize sedan (like the Accord).

Although there aren't any other 11-speed transmissions on the market, they're coming. Ford also recently filed a patent for an 11-speed transmission, which would top the 10-speed transmission on the upcoming F-150 Raptor. And many automakers have already gone to 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions in an effort to improve gas mileage and boost acceleration.

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Honda Patents 11-Speed Transmission With 3 Clutches - Autotrader