The technology for automatic gearboxes has advanced rapidly. From dual clutch transmissions to torque converters with ratios reaching double digits, the latest piece of news from Honda will surely raise some eyebrows.
A report from AutoGuide stated that Honda had just patented an 11-speed automatic transmission, which is also a triple-clutch gearbox! The patent, published in May at the Japan Patent Office, mentions that the new transmission will allow “speed change to be more effectively restricted and a speed change response to be increased.” In other words, adding the third clutch will reduce the drop in torque from a regular dual-clutch transmission (DCT).
Theoretically, the obvious benefits with this gearbox are faster gear changes and improved fuel economy. However, it’s uncertain as yet which Honda model will come fitted with this transmission.
On the flip side, Honda’s history with dual-clutch transmissions haven’t been as promising. In 2014, Honda suffered from three recalls related to the transmission software in the seven-speed DCT fitted into the Fit and Vezel (HR-V) models sold in Japan. Apart from Japan, most markets get either the automatic torque converter or the EarthDreams CVT.
Is this a classic example of one too many, or will this gearbox become one of Honda’s greatest engineering feat since the glory days of VTEC?