Mitsubishi Pioneered 6+ Gear Manual Transmissions

Toyota Files Patent for 14-Speed EV Gearbox, Remembering Mitsu’s Twin-Stick

Toyota has certainly been stirring up interest lately with their newly patented simulation technology for electric vehicles, incorporating as many as 14 ratio gears. Nevertheless, credit must be given to Mitsubishi who created a manual transmission exceeding 6- speed ranges way before it was fashionable. In the late seventies, they engineered the Super Shift gearbox, a four by two system boasting 8 shift speeds.

The gearbox historically known as Twin-Stick first originated from a conventional four-speed layout manufactured for the initial Mitsubishi Mirage. Yet, this cutting-edge eight-speed assembly presented an innovative two-speed high-low selector. The requirement of its positioning beneath the motor created the demand for a novel method to energy distribution, resulting in the incorporation of a further “idling” section. This shaft turned into an independent two-speed gearbox controlled by another change lever along with the chief shifting handle situated within the automobile’s interior.

The outcome was a transmission with a regular four-speed H-pattern shifter, complemented by an extra two-speed high-low selector. This rather effectively doubled the amount of gears, giving drivers eight forward speeds to choose from. Incredibly, the Super Shift transmission furthermore allowed for the utilization of the two-speed selector in reverse providing successful operation of two reverse gears. In the majority of vehicles, this selector was marked as Power for the lower range and Economy for the higher assortment, with an instrument panel light system indicating the selected technique.

While the transmission was equipped with eight gears, which added versatility and practicality, operating it posed a problem. It was difficult to use all the forward speeds in sequence as it required manipulating both gearsticks at once; a tricky feat impossible without both hands. Most people chose the easier option of utilizing the low Power mode, only occasionally switching to the secondary selector for when they needed the high Economy mode while in fourth gear.

A selection of Mitsubishi-manufactured automobiles featured the implementation of the transmission, including the Mirage, Colt, Tredia, Cordia and Chariot. Variations of several of its models were distributed by Plymouth, Dodge and Eagle too. The end of production of both the Tredia and Cordia yielded the ceasing of this component in 1990.

It’s noteworthy to mention that Porsche and Chevy have dabbled in the notion of a manual transmission boasting more than six gears. Porsche offers select, global models of the 911 with an available seven-speed manual gearbox at no additional cost as opposed to the automated dual-clutch PDK alternative. The Corvette C7 featured a three-pronged configuration coming in at seven gears and was manufactured by Tremec. Aston Martin also offered their Vantage with a seven-speed dog leg manual gearbox. Additionally, the Pagani Utopia provides a option of a seven-speed manual transmission.

Investigating the prospect of a 14-speed manual gearbox for electric automobiles, Toyota’s development looks intriuging and may appear baffling at this moment. Nevertheless, in comparison to Mitsubishi’s rendition, it appears more convenient and sophisticated. Up until this point, one could only operate up to seven moving parts in modern ride systems, yet that number could very well duplicate in the future.

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