A new patent from General Motors could be providing us with a hint that the C8-generation Chevrolet Corvette may get a manual transmission.
Since spy videos of the new Corvette started to emerge online, it’s seemed that all prototypes have been fitted with a quick-shifting dual-clutch transmission. This patent suggests a stick-shift could be in the works and it all comes down to a new type of clutch slave cylinder.
The patent, uncovered by Jalopnik, depicts a clutch-by-wire system that doesn’t need hydraulic lines.
Whereas a traditional clutch pedal is mated to a clutch master cylinder that passes through the firewall and sends hydraulic fluid to the slave cylinder on the transmission, GM’s new system is drastically different. It ditches a master cylinder and instead uses a sensor mounted on the clutch pedal that sends an electronic signal to an actuator mounted on the slave cylinder that directs the movement of the clutch plate.
The advantage of this is obvious. Whereas a mid-engine or rear-engine vehicle with a manual gearbox has hydraulic lines running from the pedal box through to the rear-mounted transmissions, GM’s system makes do without these lines. Such a system could therefore work perfectly on the C8 Corvette which will be mid-engined.
While this is all very exciting, we don’t recommend getting your hopes up too high at this early stage. Not only is there a chance that GM’s electronic slave cylinder won’t see the light of day, there’s no guarantee it will be used on the C8 Corvette rather than one of the automaker’s dozens of other production vehicles.