The C8 Corvette E-Ray’s Hybrid DCT Transmission is Potentially Revealed in Patent by Tremec

The C8 Corvette E-Ray's Hybrid DCT Transmission is Potentially Revealed in Patent by Tremec

Photo Credit: KGP Photography

As much as I am excited about the forthcoming 2023 Corvette Z06 and its unique engine, there’s another Corvette on the horizon that may also be a game changer and its unique 8-speed DCT transmission may just have been revealed in this patent application by Tremec.

Tremec applied for the patent in 2019 and it was officially published by the USPTO on January 13, 2022. The patent document details an 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission with an integrated motor-generator designed for “high-performance sports cars.” As Tremec’s only customer of 8-Speed DCTs is Chevrolet, it sure looks like this advanced DCT is being created for the rumored C8 Corvette E-Ray.

Those of us that have been championing the E-Ray may have held somewhat simplistic views when it comes to detailing exactly how Corvette engineers will be creating the first hybrid model. “It’s already got the tried and tested LT2, just slap an Ultium drive motor on the front axle, throw some batteries in the center tunnel, and set the regen braking to 100%” is pretty much my goto elevator pitch when it comes to describing the E-Ray, but this patent filing details a whole lot more fun on the horizon for those willing to take the hybrid plunge.

The Regen on Demand button

Photo Credit: KGP Photography

This find comes courtesy of The/Drive who discovered the details and posted the pics. For those who want the full experience, you can download the patent application (pdf) here, although we recommend staying at a Holiday Inn Express prior to reading.

Drawings of the E-Ray’s DCT show a motor-generator integrated into the transmission that could be used to power the wheels. This would be huge in terms of understanding if the ultium drive motor is there to assist the internal combustion engine only, or, as the patent appears to show, the DCT will be able to power the wheels directly from electrical power and may be able to shift through four gears (half of the 8-speed’s gears) independent of the gas-powered V8.

Tremec 8-Speed DCT Patent

The patent actually appears to support that idea of electric propulsion by suggesting that such a set-up would use lower gears for faster acceleration and while that would limit the top speed of the car in pure electric mode, the patent states that using a lower gear in electric mode might create “tyre-grip-surpassing acceleration” aka burnouts, while a higher gear could provide “better, sportier acceleration with a higher maximum vehicle speed.”

Other benefits of the motor generator on the 8-Speed DCT may see the car switching between the ICE V8 and hybrid power while the car is at speed on the highway or when applied from a standstill for enhanced fuel savings. The one little warning bell in the back of my mind is this feature sounds a lot like the “Stop/Start” technology that no Corvette enthusiast has ever said they wanted to see on their sports cars. The motor generator on the DCT can also be used for starting the engine as well as charging the hybrid batteries while driving or it can charge the regular battery while the car is standing still.

Tremec 8-Speed DCT Patent

Lastly, we note the details also show the DCT could be configured to provide “enhanced shift feelings” for a more sportier drive in hybrid mode:

“Shift feeling may be an intentional increase in acceleration during gear changes; this is known as shift interrupt. Shift feeling may be an intentional increase in acceleration during gear changes; this is known as shift boost. It is a desirable feature of manual ICE vehicle cars and in hybrid mode, the motor generator can be used to enhance both effects by aligning changes of power supplied by the motor generator unit with the gear change.”

That’s our first take on this new DCT transmission and it certainly seems to offer much more to the E-Ray than E-AWD. What are your thoughts on the E-Ray and this hybrid DCT transmission? Let us know in the comments below!



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