Toyota developing manual gearbox that acts like an auto
Toyota look to be in the midst of developing a manual that can act like an automatic in order to save petrol.
A patent published this month by the world's biggest car maker shows off a new sort of gearbox that looks predominantly manual, but can engage the characteristics of an automatic presumably to save on fuel.
It is operated in a traditional, three pedal way, but when the car is coasting an electronic control unit can disengage the clutch and drop engine speed in order to increase efficiency.
It will also employ locking pins to stop the driver shifting into an inappropriate gear while coasting. This will prevent the engine either being lugged or over-revved.
As it stands, the gearbox is still yet to be confirmed as "in existence." A patent certainly says a lot but until Toyota show it off and say it will be used in so-and-so cars, we'll have to hold off on too much excitement for the future of the stick shift - just in case.
Toyota's upcoming Supra rebirth has so far only had BMW-sourced automatic gearboxes attached to it, according to leaked documents. Of course these are unconfirmed, but maybe Toyota was holding off on going concrete with a manual until this new transmission was well on the way? We'll have to wait and see.