GM Patent Filing Reveals New 7 Spd. Gearbox from China

GM is developing a new 7-speed dry clutch transmission similar in concept to what’s found in cars like the Porsche 997 PDK and Volkswagen’s GTi hot hatch – but the patent filings that came to light last week show that GM’s Chinese partners SAIC are listed right alongside GM.  SAIC’s high-level involvement has caused some (well, me) to speculate that GM may follow in Honda‘s footsteps by building major components (if not complete cars) in China for export to Western markets.

GM and SAIC have been tight-lipped about the, project, but perhaps the biggest “tell” is that this is a seven-speed unit was revealed at the same time as a new turbocharged and direct-injected ICE displacing up to 1.5 liters, suggesting that the two will be designed to work together – which is potentially big news for fans of the cars like the Chevy Cruze and Sonic.

Why?  More gears means more torque multiplication off the line and around-town, so that 1.5L engine might feel more like a 2.0L in traffic, but (since there are more gears up top as well) sip gas like a 1.0L on the highway without resorting to heavier, more expensive technology like electric motors and battery packs.

You can check out filing for the transmission itself, below.

SourceAuto Evolution.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.