Are We Done Adding Gears to Transmissions?


Staff member
Plot a graph of the average number of gear ratios offered across the market by year and you'll end up with a gently rising slope that suddenly hooks skyward. The Ford Model T had two, and it took decades for transmissions with three or four gears to see widespread use. But in the early part of the 21st century, we've seen the average shoot up as six-, seven-, and then eight-speed autos became commonplace. More recently, Ford and GM raised the bar to 10 with their jointly developed longitudinal box.

These modern gearboxes are complex pieces of engineering that allow substantial efficiency gains, especially when paired with turbocharged engines with plentiful low-end torque. Yet despite Honda's patent for an 11-speed triple-clutch automatic transmission, we are quickly approaching peak gearbox. That's because....READ MORE HERE