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Shifting Debacle: BMW Patent Designs for 7-Speed Manual Transmission Exposed 8
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, BMW, Manual Transmission, News, Technical, Transmission on 06 8th, 2012

The transmission debacle in the eye of enthusiasts is just as frustrating as listening to the latest political ‘stories’ in the media. In knowing how the manual transmission is going the way of the dinosaurs, BMW still has one last hurrah in what is being exposed as their patent for a 7-Speed manual transmission.

The patent office is always a good place to start when you want to be on the verge of the latest ‘things to come’, especially in the electronics community and automotive world. Porsche has already had a jump on offering the first 7-speed manual transmission, which is available in the Porsche 911. The 7-speed manual transmission can be a mixed bag for enthusiasts. To look at it from the manufacturer’s point of view, it is all about efficiency while still essentially giving the driver what they want.

BMW’s design proposal, according to the recent uncovered manual transmission patents, has plans outside of just a 7-speed manual box. It seems the idea for even more gears, potentially 8 or 9 gears, may be considered. In such configurations, today’s technology will need to play a large part in preventing miss-shifts or driver confusion with having so many gears to select “manually”. The use of a computerized shifting module or “Shift by Wire” system could play a part. Think of this as the SMG unit having a gated shift box only the shifts are registered electronically by servos via hydraulic actuation.

It is great to have such innovative ideas to ultimately make the purist or true enthusiast happy. It remains to be seen if such technology will be favorable among our peers. For now, we are happy to know BMW is still on the very short list of those who have not given up on the manual transmission just yet.

[source: E90Post]

Porsche’s Seven Speed Gearbox, Explained 7
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Automotive Help, Kurt, Manual Transmission, PDK Gearbox, porsche, Technical, Transmission, video on 09 7th, 2011

Seven and eight speed gearboxes are the way of the future, since they offer up a blend of both performance and fuel economy simply not possible with five and six speed transmissions. Porsche is the first manufacturer to release a seven-speed manual transmission, and adding the seventh gear allows the automaker greater flexibility in improving the new 911’s performance while meeting ever-tightening U.S. and E.U. fuel economy requirements.

The seven speed pattern is your typical “double H” of a six-speed, with another “half H” added to accommodate the seventh gear (which is located to the right of fifth gear). Gears one through six are close-ratio, designed to maximize acceleration, while the seventh gear is essentially a tall overdrive, designed to reduce engine speeds at high vehicle speeds. In other words, only one to six will be used when driving in a spirited manner (since top speed is achieved in sixth gear), while seventh gear will be used exclusively on the highway (or faster secondary roads) to boost fuel economy.

Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch automatic is also now a seven-speed, with the same “overdrive” feature as the seven speed manual gearbox. As with most dual-clutch manumatics, the PDK will serve up the fastest lap times, since it executes gear changes much faster (and smoother) than a human being can. The trade off is the man-machine interface, and I’ve never driven a shiftable automatic (including Porsche’s PDK) that I prefer over a manual transmission for sheer entertainment value. Props to Porsche for offering customers the ability to choose, instead of just jumping on the flappy-paddle-shift bandwagon.

Source: You Tube via Left Lane News

Saab 9-4X Crossover Spied; Car Heads for LA Show 29
Posted by Alex Ion in automatic, Automotive News, car, Concept car news, crossover, engine, platform, Saab, Saab 9-4X, Theta, Transmission, Upcoming Events, wheel. on 09 29th, 2010

Pictures of the Saab 9-4X crossover have appeared online, in the form of spy images. The car, scheduled to make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, will be based on the same underpinnings as the Chevrolet Equinox GMC Terrain and the Cadillac SRX, which are built on GM’s Theta platform with all-wheel-drive.

It is expected that the car will be coming with a 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 engine. But there are some who suggest the possibility of the 2.0-liter turbo four which is seen in the new 9-5 (already out on the road). Both engines will most likely be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

There are also rumors that the tail lamps might look different when the production model comes out. Just wait until the car is unveiled at the auto show and you will know a lot more about it.

(Via Autoblog)

Hyundai RB Concept Revealed at Moscow Show (Video) 26
Posted by Alex Ion in Accent, Automotive News, bumpers, concept, Concept car news, engines, Event Coverage, Gamma, grille, headlights, hood, Hyundai, Moscow, power, RB, Saint Petersburg, sedan, spring, torque., Transmission, Verna on 08 26th, 2010

Hyundai has introduced a new sub-compact family sedan concept RB at the 2010 Moscow International Motor Show. Production version of this concept car, which is basically a repackaged Verna / Accent, is scheduled to begin at Hyundai’s first full-cycle plant in Saint Petersburg, in January 2011. It will join the Hyundai lineup in the spring of 2011.

The car comes with redesigned bumpers, grille, hood and headlights. It will be powered by Hyundai’s new 1.6-liter or 1.4-liter Gamma petrol engines.

By replacing the old Alpha engine with Gamma, the sedan promises more power and torque, as well as best-in-class fuel economy. The estimated power and torque of 1.6 Gamma are respectively 124 PS and 156 Nm, while those of 1.4 Gamma are 107 PS and 135 Nm.

Hyundai RB Concept2
Hyundai RB Concept
Hyundai RB Concept1

Both the engines will be mated to a four-speed automatic transmission or a standard five-speed manual transaxle. Watch the video below)

“Save The Manuals” – Will The Manual Transmission Become Extinct? 4
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, Automotive Help, featured, Manual Transmission, Technical, Transmission on 08 4th, 2010

It has been estimated that less than 10% of new cars sold in America are equipped with manual transmissions.

Are manual transmissions going the way of the dinosaurs? It looks like it. Somehow, due to technology advancements just in the past 10 years, we are witnessing a virtual meteor destroy the raw mechanics that allowed purists to really ‘DRIVE’ their car like they stole it and feel good about it in the process. We have reached a paradox of the mindless driver over-taking the automotive world which will be left replaced with flappy paddle gearboxes and automatic slush-boxes.

Car and Driver has started a campaign to “Save the Manuals” with Consumer Reports joining in on this endeavor to resurrect a natural part of automotive enthusiast’s DNA to manually shift their car. This may be prove to show that there are some die-hard gear-heads still left in this dire economically stricken world. Remember the days you could buy an SUV with a manual transmission? Today, you would be hard pressed to find one. Even in today’s high powered sports cars, the option (what use to be standard) to outfit it with a manual transmission is just about gone. Their only remains a short list of vehicles that can be purchased new with a manual transmission.

The technological advancements that have trickled down to automotive transmissions are truly remarkable. For instance, take the Nissan GT-R’s double-clutch box. You would end up breaking something if you even attempted to shift a manual transmission that fast. Ferrari is another one. They are notorious for creating a vehicle specifically designed around a floppy paddle gearbox technology that shifts in an unbelievable short 60 milliseconds. I am not even sure if you can blink your eye that fast. These types of transmissions work great and can be a lot of fun at times. But nothing compares to a good-old manual transmission. You can ask just about any tobacco chewing car-nut out there. Okay, they don’t have to chew tobacco. I am sure you get my drift.

So what current day cars can you still buy new with a manual transmission? Below is a list compiled by Consumer Reports. Hopefully we can fight to at least keep these cars on the list and maybe add a few along the way.

Current new cars available with a manual transmission:
Acura TL, TSX
Audi A3, A4, A5, R8, S4, TT
BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, X3, Z4
Cadillac CTS
Chevrolet Aveo, Camaro, Cobalt, Colorado, Corvette, Cruze, HHR
Dodge Caliber, Challenger, Ram 2500, Ram 3500, Viper
Ford Escape, F-250, F-350, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Mustang, Ranger
GMC Canyon
Honda Accord, Civic, CR-Z, Element, Fit
Hummer H3
Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tucson
Infiniti G
Jeep Compass, Liberty, Patriot, Wrangler
Kia Forte, Optima, Rio, Sorento, Soul, Sportage
Lexus IS
Lotus Elise, Evora
Mazda B-Series, MX-5 Miata, RX-8, Tribute, Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda5, Mazda6
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, SLK
Mercury Milan
Mini Cooper, Cooper Clubman
Mitsubishi Eclipse, Lancer, Lancer Evolution, Outlander Sport
Nissan Altima, Cube, Frontier, Juke, Sentra, Versa, Xterra, Z
Porsche 911, Boxster, Cayenne, Cayman
Saab 9-3, 9-5
Scion tC, xB, xD
Subaru Forester, Impreza, Impreza WRX/STi, Legacy, Outback
Suzuki Equator, Grand Vitara, Kizashi, SX4
Toyota Camry, Corolla, FJ Cruiser, Matrix, Tacoma, Yaris
Volkswagen CC, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, New Beetle, Tiguan
Volvo C30, C70, S40, V50

[sources: Car and Driver, Consumer Reports]

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