Lotus Preparing a Dual-Clutch Transmission
If documents filed in the British patent office are any indication, Lotus seems to be toying with developing its own dual-clutch gearbox. The company, always known for innovation, will likely use the transmission in its own cars and possibly sell the technology (or parts) to other automakers.
We're not too surprised that Lotus, purveyor of sports cars, is looking into the technology. DCTs can provide lightning-quick shifts between gears, executed quicker and faster than any human could ever perform. On the downside, they also initiate controversy. Some enthusiasts believe DCTs enhance the driving experience, while others swear they reduce the driver's involvement. We wouldn't be too surprised if Lotus gives customers the choice of either a manual or dual-clutch transmission, allowing those who prefer a three-pedal setup to buy their ideal car.
Few details on the transmission have emerged, although the patent drawings show Lotus' design to carry eight speeds (seven forward and one reverse), and is being designed for both front- and rear-wheel-drive applications. Given Lotus' mantra of "simplify, then add lightness," we wouldn't be surprised if the gearbox is lithe and full of clever design ideas.