Mid-Engine Corvette to Come With a Manual Transmission
Clutch-by-wire patent showcases how manual transmission could work with mid-engine C8 Corvette.
The mid-engine Corvette may be the most anticipated new car of all time. With the rumor mill churning along steadily for months, years, and even generations, we hesitate to add to the fires of speculation. However, this particular rumor has some meat to it.
With the mid-engine Corvette finally confirmed, the microscope now turns on to the details of the production car. As forward-thinking and cutting-edge as the new Corvette may be, we’re glad to see at least one familiar attribute that may make its way to the production car.
According to Motor1, GM has filed a patent for a clever clutch-by-wire system that would allow mid-engine Corvette owners to shift their own gears. We’re not just blowing smoke or making noise, here. You can check out the patent filings for yourself; they’re public knowledge.
The system eliminates weight and complication by doing away with what would otherwise be a lengthy hydraulic line setup to actuate the clutch. Instead, a sensor attached to the clutch pedal would communicate with an electric motor on the transmission itself to operate the clutch slave cylinder.
While a hydraulic clutch system on a standard front-engine car makes a ton of sense, that’s less so the case when the engine and transmission is moved several feet behind the driver. On C5 through C7 models, the transmission is indeed located at the rear of the car. However, the clutch and flywheel are still attached to the engine, connected to the rear transaxle through a torque tube.
While there’s no guarantee that this system will ever see production, it’s a distinct possibility and one we’ll gladly entertain. We certainly hope that the Corvette of the future still allows owners to shift their own gears.