Reports of new patent images out of Europe suggest that BMW is developing a new seven-speed manual for future models.
The concept of a seven-speed manual most recently captivated fans with the launch of Porsche's all-new 911. In manual form, the sports car features a seventh gear as a type of overdrive.
Uncovered by enthusiast website Bimmerpost, the images detail a manual shifter with a seventh gear to the right of the regular six, along with a new approach to locking out improper gear shifts.
The shift module would use sensors to determine which gears should be available at certain speeds, sending a charge through the fluid and blocking other, dangerous, shifts.
According to the report, a magnetorheologic or electrorheologic fluid inside a special shift module will change viscosity when required, preventing the driver from shifting into the 'wrong' gear.
The report adds that while the patent application specifies a seven-speed arrangement, the system has been designed to work with as many as eight cogs.
When, or if, we'll see this system in a production car - likely an M flagship - is unclear.