Bosch promises eClutch for smoother shifts and fuel savings
Bosch – world-renown German auto part supplies – has developed a new system that is supposed to close the gap between manual and automatic transmissions.
Called the eClutch, their system is based on an electronically controlled clutch that works to decouple the transmission from the engine via an actuator.
Bosch sais that the system will net a ten percent saving in fuel consumption and will also make driving a manual car in stop-start traffic easier because it allows the driver to engage first gear without the use of the clutch.
According to Bosch, their eClutch system will automatically decouple the engine from the transmission if it detects a reduction in throttle pressure before then stopping the engine altogether so as to further improve fuel economy.
The eClutch only automates the clutching in and out process so it will still require gears to be manually selected, so it is a step shy of a conventional automatic transmission.
According to the German supplier there are additional advantages of the system including making gear shifts smoother, thanks to a sensor that detects the start of a gear shift and then adjusts the engine speed accordingly, and there’s also the potential to team it up with electrified powertrains.
The eClutch would also make the coupling of a manual transmission with a hybrid drive system possible ‘for the first time’. Technically this has been already seen with Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist system on the Civic Hybrid but not on ‘full’ hybrid models such as the Toyota Prius for instance.
Bosch also considers that besides the fact that their eClutch system will cost considerably less than conventional automatic transmissions, and that the unit also has the potential to reduce the cost of entry-level hybrid vehicles.
Despite Bosch’s excitement surrounding their electronically controlled clutch, it is yet to announce any production plans or deals with any car makers.
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