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BMW has invited itself to a party that Porsche started. Someone trolling trawling through patent filings found drawings submitted by BMW for two slightly different takes on a seven-speed manual transmission. The first take is a more conventional setup that provides an honest clutch pedal. The second variant uses a shift-by-wire system to swap gears through an electromechanical actuator. To prevent drivers from accidentally engaging an engine-damaging gear in such a closely spaced pattern, both r

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Perhaps the manual transmission isn't as dead as a few Italian automakers would like you to believe. Porsche has declared that as long as there is demand it will continue to supply automobiles with do-it-yourself gearboxes, and the German automaker has outfitted its 2012 911 with a seven-speed manual gearbox. Now it seems General Motors is following suit, and the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette will reportedly offer up seven forward gears, as well.

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Although Porsche has released photographs showing the interior of an automatic-transmission-equipped 2012 911, we're still waiting on a clear look at the shift-yourself variety. Chas Hallet from WhatCar.com managed to get up close and personal with the newest 911, and he was kind enough to snap a picture of the shift pattern.

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