Gearheads, this one's for you: Take everything you know about transmissions and toss it out the window.
Well, perhaps not all of it -- you'll need some of that knowledge to understand just how revolutionary the new D-Drive transmission could be. The "D" stands for "Durnin," as in Steve Durnin, the Australian plumber and plumbing inspector who, over the course of thousands of hours of tinkering, created a system that Gizmag is calling "ingenious" and, possibly, "the holy grail of gearboxes."
What's so revolutionary about the D-Drive is that it's an infinitely variable transmission -- not continuously variable, but infinitely variable. Thanks to a set of planetary gears and independent rotating shafts, the transmission facilitates an ideal level of mechanical advantage between the motor and its output, from top gear all the way down through neutral and even, amazingly, reverse. Not only that, but it requires no friction tools, such as a clutch or torque converter, which sap efficiency -- especially under heavy torque demands.
As Gizmag points out, the whole concept is a bit of a brain buster, which is why we're lucky to have a handy video explaining the whole thing.