Next-Gen Ford Mustang Could Get Manual With No Clutch

Technology / 14 Comments

Hopefully, this doesn't spell the end for a proper three-pedal setup.

The Ford Mustang is and always has been an ode to affordable and accessible performance, but it needs to come up with some new tricks if it is to beat the Dodge Challenger and regain its sales crown. Fortunately, a new Mustang is on the way. Bearing the internal code S650, we've spotted the new pony car being developed for the 2024 model year and confirmed that it will offer the Coyote V8 once again. Sure, that's not a new engine, but perhaps the transmission it's connected to will be. A new patent has been uncovered by Muscle Cars & Trucks, and it details an automatic transmission that is meant to simulate a manual gearbox's feel.

2015-2017 Ford Mustang Coupe Steering Wheel Controls Ford USPTO USPTO
2015-2017 Ford Mustang Coupe Steering Wheel Controls

The patent concerns a "manual transmission with electric clutch," and was published by the United States Trademark and Patent Office last year. Herein, Ford explains a system that allows the driver to manually shift gears without the hassle of actually using your left leg to depress a clutch pedal. Unlike in a conventional system, operating the clutch will be controlled electronically based on sensor inputs to an algorithm. Basically, the system "would feature a control module designed to automatically actuate the clutch, allowing the driver to simply shift geats by moving the gear stick alone." Different directions of input or levels of pressure exerted on the lever could have different features, with the patent suggesting that the magnitude with which one would "crush the knob" would determine what the system does. In some cases, the squeeze regulated by the driver would cause the transmission to behave much like slipping the clutch in a regular car.


Other inputs could shift you into neutral instead of physically shifting the lever to that position. Interestingly, Ford says that vehicles equipped with such a system could still come with a clutch pedal, except that this would be linked to the control module instead of being physically connected to the clutch master cylinder. Ford filing goes on to say that the system could work in a longitudinal manual transmission, as found in the upcoming Mustang or the Bronco, but front-drive vehicles could also benefit. No mention is made of performance or efficiency gains, but it's cool to see that the manual may stick around in some form, even if it's less engaging than a traditional manual gearbox. Then again, Ford could well decide that this system is not worth the effort, so it may never see the light of day.

Motrolix/Youtube Motrolix/Youtube Motrolix/Youtube
Source Credits: Muscle Cars & Trucks

Join The Discussion



Related Cars

To Top