Insider confirms patent, but says there are no plans for production
Apparently Honda isn’t done pushing the boundaries when it comes to transmission technology. The automaker already has a unique eight-speed dual-clutch automatic with a torque converter and a new nine-speed auto (albeit sourced from ZF), but AutoGuide recently dug up a patent filed by Honda detailing a triple-clutch, 11-speed automatic transmission.
Honda submitted the patent to the Japan Patent Office back in May, but the link is currently broken or has been taken down. But according to AutoGuide¸ the patent’s description claims the addition of a third clutch would decrease the loss of torque experienced between gear shifts in dual-clutch gearboxes. The triple-clutch unit would also allow “speed change to be more effectively restricted and a speed change response to be increased.” Since the description was translated from Japanese, we assume it means even quicker gear shifts compared to dual-clutch units.
Autocar followed up on the patent and spoke to a Honda insider who confirmed the patent filing. However, the insider said the automaker currently has no plans to approve the triple-clutch gearbox for production. The unnamed source expressed doubts that it would be used in any of Honda’s new models on the horizon, including the next-gen CR-V.
The automaker currently uses dual-clutch automatics in a number of models including the Acura TLX sedan and NSX supercar. It has also increased its usage of continuously variable transmissions in vehicles like the 2016 Honda Civic and Accord.