11-Speed Automatic Transmission Patent Filed by Ford Motor Company With the USPTO

Ford F-750 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift 6-speed automatic transmission 2 photos
Photo: Ford
Ford 11-Speed Automatic Transmission patent
So the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor and its 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 employ an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. Even though the new-gen Raptor isn't ready for production at the moment of writing this story, FoMoCo is already working on an 11-speed automatic transmission. Yup, e-le-ven!
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, the Blue Oval filed the patent for the slush box on October 4, 2013. After careful inspection and assessment, the USPTO published the patent document on April 9, 2015. Speaking to the peeps from AutoGuide, Ford spokesman Paul Seredynski was coy on details.

“As a technology leader, we submit patents on innovative ideas as a normal course of business. Patent submissions help protect our new ideas but do not necessarily indicate future business or product plans,” he declared to the publication. Alas, we're left with a rumor-laden subject in terms of possible applications for the 11-speed automatic transmission. Why eleven and not ten?

As a general rule, the addition of a single ratio in the cog swapper helps improve the highway mileage of anything from a Fiesta to a pickup truck. Of course, it would've been easier and less costly to improve the Raptor's 10-speed automatic with a taller tenth gear, but automotive engineering has its limitations.

The patent application is similarly coy on details. What matters most from the attached PDF document is the following paragraph: "a transmission gearing arrangement produces eleven forward speed ratios and one reverse speed ratio by selective engagement of three shift elements in various combinations."

Excuse us for the jibber-jabber, but the first of the 11-speed transmission's embodiments features four simple planetary gear sets, four clutches and two brakes. The second includes three simple planetary gear sets, two axis transfer gear pairs, four clutches and two brakes. The third and final embodiment employs four simple planetary gear sets, four brakes and two clutches. What happens next is mum's guess...
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 Download: Ford 11-Speed Automatic Transmission (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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