Zeroshift boasts fastest gearchange yet

I know very little about what makes cars move – in fact I'm slightly convinced that it's a magic goose hiding under the hood – but I do have experience driving with manual, automatic and semi-automatic paddle shift gearboxes.  And generally, unless you can afford to spend big bucks on Audi's DSG "dual clutch" system or maybe the Ferrari equivalent, anything other than manual is all a bit jerky and unpredictable. 

Which is why Zeroshift's Automated Manual Transmission is so interesting.  The concept isn't particularly new – a manual gearbox is controlled automatically – but the way they've done it certainly is.  Zeroshift is boasting instantaneous changes between gears thanks to their complicated and clever syncromesh-replacement, which seems to rely on shifting and locking bullets and cogs, according to their demonstration clip.

Easy to swap into an existing manual car, the benefit of the Zeroshift system is that it's smoother and more efficient than a full-auto and less jerky than a semi-automatic.  Racers will be pleased by the shaving of time off each lap, too.

I can imagine one of the big luxury brands – Mercedes or BMW – who already have seven-speed auto boxes in their top-end barges picking this system up first, as a double boon of smoother shifting and better economy from the huge engines.

Zeroshift [via Gizmag]