A filing by Lotus at the U.K. Patent Office has revealed that the British sports car maker is working on a dual-clutch transmission. The quick-shifting unit is reportedly a lighter unit than anything on the market and is a simpler design although you’d never guess it from the details of the patent filing, shown above and listed after the jump.
It’s hard to tell from the drawings as well, but this is a seven-speed setup with seven-forward gears and one reverse gear.
News of a dual-clutch setup from Lotus is exciting, as the quick shifting and fuel-efficient transmission technology certainly fits with the company’s overall philosophy. The option of a dual-clutch automatic transmission setup will also make Lotus models more accessible to even more drivers, something that will no doubt help Lotus sell more units.
No doubt camps within the manual-transmission-loving Lotus faithful will resist this new technology. The good news, however, is that it allows the automaker to become a bit more mainstream while retaining the brand’s hard-core identity.
It’s possible that this new dual-clutch setup could be for the upcoming Evora, which is currently only offered with a manual transmission. Alternatively, this setup might not be for Lotus at all, as the company’s engineering division is constantly working on new innovative products for other manufacturers throughout the world.
[Source: UK Patent Office via Jalopnik]
Read the Lotus dual-clutch transmission patent filing after the jump:
“With reference to Figure 2, the present invention provides a transmission unit comprising: a first set of shaft-mounted input gears (206, 207, 208, 209) each of which meshes with a respective one of a first set of shaft-mounted output gears (220, 221, 222, 223); a second set of shaft- mounted input gears (210, 211, 212, 213) each of which meshes with a respective one of a second set of shaft- mounted output gears (224, 225, 226, 227); a first clutch (215) associated with the first set of input gears (206, 207, 208, 209); and a second clutch (216) associated with the second set of input gears and the second set of output gears (210, 211, 212, 213). At least one of each meshed pair of input and output gears can freely rotate on the shaft on which the gear is mounted and a gear ratio selection mechanism (231) is provided to select a gear ratio by locking a freely rotatable gear to the shaft on which the gear is mounted. In use of ‘the transmission unit (200) either the first clutch (215) is engaged and the second clutch disengaged (216) and drive is transmitted via a selected pair of the first set of input and output gears or the second clutch (216) is engaged and the first clutch (215) disengaged and drive is transmitted via a selected pair of the second set of input and output gears.”