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Special fluid would only allow the driver to choose the correct gear

Walk into a room full of automotive enthusiasts and ask about manual transmissions and you'll likely get mixed responses. Sports car purists think a row-your-own, manual gearbox is the only way to go. However, many feel that the new semi-automatic gearboxes where shifts are made by clicking paddles behind the steering wheel are superior. Based solely on how quickly gear changes can be made, fans of the semi-automatic gearbox have a point.
Efficiency and speed aside, many sports car fans won't buy a car without a manual transmission. While BMW sells more cars with automatic or SMG gearboxes, a patent has surfaced that shows the traditional manual transmission still has a place with the BMW brand. The patent shows that BMW is considering a future with manual transmissions that have more than the normal six forward gears common today.
Many automatic transmissions are capable of better fuel efficiency than a manual transmission simply due to the fact that some have more forward gears with high seventh or even eight ratios to cut fuel consumption.
BMW's patent describes the problem was simply adding more gears to the current six speed manual transmission. The patent reads, "an 8 speed manual transmission would need four shift gates for the 8 gears alone." The problem with adding more gates is that it becomes difficult for the driver to shift gears and the potential for accidentally shifting into a lower gear and damaging the engine by over-rev grows.
BMW's solution of adding more gates and the growing complexity for drivers is both insane, and incredibly smart. BMW wants to design a manual transmission that will only allow the driver to shift into the correct gear. Anyone that's accidentally grabbed second on a 4 to 3 shift at speed will appreciate that innovation.
BMWs innovation creates shift gates that are surrounded by a magnetorheologic or electrorheologic fluid. That is a complicated way of saying that the fluid would prevent any improper shift when a voltage is applied to change viscosity of the fluid, therefore physically blocking any gear but the correct gear for downshift. The technology could be used on manual transmissions with a clutch pedal or without.
BMW sees an interesting potential by creating a shift-by-wire transmission where you can shift gears with a lever without having use a clutch pedal. This would be sort of a combination of an automated SMG and a traditional manual transmission. There is no indication of when this technology might come to market at this time, but it sounds like a very good idea.
Porsche already has a seven-speed manual transmission available in the 2012 911.

Source: E90 Post

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RE: More gears for a CVT effect
By Spuke on 6/8/2012 12:55:41 AM , Rating: 2
Also your comment about the EPA's involvement is laughable at best.
And you can't read either LOL! CAFE requirements have NOTHING to do with EPA fuel economy figures that are posted on that sticker on your car. PERIOD! Look it up.

Yes, I'm a car enthusiast, BUT WAIT, most of my cars have been 4 cylinders! Whaaa! Before it was fashionable, I always considered fuel economy in my cars. Never owned a car that had less than 28 mpg hwy. Broke that trend when I got married and the wife wanted horses (the only vehicles with more than 4 cyl I've owned).

Regardless, I don't look at the world with a niche point of view. That's something you can't do when you're married (because she's neither a nerd nor a car nut). The point is you're wrong, look at past sales. If people were begging fot that, The Ford F-series wouldn't be number 1 seller in the US for the past 30 years straight. Chevy trucks wouldn't be runner up. Another thing, people DO care about fuel economy. :) Take rates on the lower displacement cars are ALWAYS higher than the higher displacement one's. 4 cyl's sell more than V6's, V6's sell more than V8's, etc. It's always been that way.

RE: More gears for a CVT effect
By sigmatau on 6/9/2012 2:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
I don't need to look up anything. Why would I since that is your pathetic argument. Kind of stupid don't you think?

BTW, you might need to learn to read your own posts. You went into one viscious circle and made no sense at all.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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