New GM Patent Could Allow the C8 Mid-Engine Corvette to Have a Manual Transmission

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New GM Patent Could Allow C8 Mid-Engine Corvette to Have a Manual Transmission

Photo Credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien


One of the biggest conceptions about the C8 mid-engine Corvette is that it might not have a manual transmission. That’s been the prevailing thinking following a cache of CAD images that were shared on the Corvette Forum last year that showed only an automatic transmission.

Although the recent generations of Corvettes average somewhere in the 25% area as the take-rate for manual transmissions, that customer base is often the loudest when it comes to proclaiming their favorite choice of transmissions. The good news is that GM may have been listening as the automaker just received approval of a new patent that shows an electronic clutch system for manually shifted vehicles.

The new patent, called “Electric Slave Cylinder for Manually Shifted Vehicles” utilizes electric sensors connected to the clutch pedal that are in communication with a slave cylinder and actuator that controls the clutch. This clutch-by-wire could allow for a manual transmission without the use of hydraulic lines that are found in typical manual transmission set-ups.

The benefits of the system seem to favor a mid/rear-engine car where both the engine and transmission are behind the driver. However, since C5 generation, the transmission has already been in the rear anyway so I am not sure if that’s the main reason. Another of the benefits suggested in the patent is that the computer can be programmed for several other functions including allowing the computer to shift automatically in stop-or-go traffic to prevent driver fatigue.

This patent could also provide a way to deal with the “Emergency Stop” systems as they become mandatory in a few years. Our thinking is that as sensors engage the brakes, the computer could deactivate the manual transmissions during emergency braking.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has previously announced that Emergency Stop systems to become standard in 2022.

The patent itself says nothing about whether this is intended for the Corvette, but in reality, how many manual transmission cars does GM offer these days? (I actually looked this up and came up with this list: Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet Sonic and Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet SS, Cadillac ATS/ATS-V.)

We have added the patent publication Electric Slave Cylinder for Manually Shifted Vehicles to our archives where it can be viewed or downloaded. Some of the images from patent are below:

New GM Patent Could Allow C8 Mid-Engine Corvette to Have a Manual Transmission



New GM Patent Could Allow C8 Mid-Engine Corvette to Have a Manual Transmission



New GM Patent Could Allow C8 Mid-Engine Corvette to Have a Manual Transmission




Source:
USPTO.gov via Jalopnik.com

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This New GM Patent Application Hints at a Future Adaptive Instrument Cluster
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4 COMMENTS

  1. With all due respect for those who favor automatic transmissions, a Corvette without a manual transmission is a wimp mobile, and I say it that way to be polite, in mixed company.

  2. Great news, if it indeed is for the C8. I will get a manual if it’s available; otherwise, I’ll stick with my C7. Yes, I know that manuals are slower, but I’ll never ‘need’ that extra speed anyway. Some of us just find more fun in what we perceive as more active engagement with the vehicle. I get that not everybody needs or wants that — but I think the roads would be safer if they did, as it forces drivers to pay attention. When I want a car just to take me somewhere without regard to how much fun it is getting there, I’ll use a self-driving car. Why have just an automatic transmission when the entire car can be automatic? Eventually the self-drivers should take the place of all cars, except for those with manual transmissions, foot brakes, accelerator pedals, and steering wheels.

  3. ….manual…it is a sportscar afther all….altough as Dodge suplliet the Viper with a automatic, it stil would be around…..sommetimes you have to compromise for the greater good….

  4. @Gerard Harings
    You wrote: “manual…it is a sportscar afther all….altough as Dodge suplliet the Viper with a automatic, it stil would be around…..sommetimes you have to compromise for the greater good….”

    What proof do you have of that? I just don’t believe that caused the demise of the Viper. They never made more than about 1500 Vipers per year so it was always a low-volume car. But it was also a halo car and as such, when the bean counters begin dropping the ax, those types of cars are usually the first to go. FCA has been having financial difficulties and it’s hard to justify manufacturing 1500 copies of a certain vehicle per year when you can sell half a million pick up trucks per year.

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