Dual Clutch Transmissions – How They Are Different from Single & Double Clutch Trannies
If you are a self-proclaimed gear head or maybe on your way to becoming one, you might have heard about dual-clutch transmissions. The mention of a dual-clutch transmission sounds a bit intimidating and technically complex, but you don’t have to be a sports car enthusiast or mechanical engineer to understand what it is all about. Let us walk you through some important information about dual-clutch systems. We apologize if it makes you want to replace your traditional tranny with one of these!
What is a Dual Clutch Transmission?
A dual-clutch transmission is an automatic transmission that relies on two distinctly different clutches for even and odd gears. A DCT may have either two dry gear plates or two wet gears. Essentially it’s two unique manual transmissions and clutches housed within one compartment. These components work in unison to propel the vehicle to higher or lower speeds in a seamless manner. Dual-clutch transmissions in passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs do not need the driver to initiate gear changes, because they change gears when needed just like traditional automatic transmissions.
Is a Double Clutch Automatic or Manual Transmission?
Though the vast majority of dual-clutch transmissions function in automatic mode, some are capable of permitting the driver to manually shift from one gear to the next in what is referred to as “semi-automatic mode” or his and hers modes.
Dual-clutch trannies are sometimes referred to as double-clutch or twin-clutch transmissions.
The Merits of Dual-Clutch Transmissions
Dual-clutch transmissions are growing in popularity because of their benefits over old fashioned automatic gearboxes including:
- Increased Fuel Economy
- Fast Gear Shifting
- Rapid Upshift at High Speeds
- Reduction in Shift Delay
This transmission provides improved fuel economy, excellent driving performance and a much more responsive feel compared to Continuously Variable Transmissions and conventional automatic transmissions. Dual-clutch transmissions are also coveted as they allow for rapid shifting, making it quite easy to accelerate into higher gears in little time. Ask any track car aficionado and he will testify that a dual-clutch transmission is preferable to a traditional gearbox primarily because of its ability to hit high speeds with excellent fuel efficiency and minimal delay. Though plenty of car-lovers enjoy shifting through the gears with a manual transmission, a dual-clutch automatic transmission certainly has its own merits.
Why America’s “Pony Car” Will Likely Feature a Dual-Clutch Transmission
Ford is rumored to be equipping the new Shelby GT350 with a dual-clutch transmission. If this rumor is true, dual-clutch transmissions could soon receive a considerable boost in publicity. Though Ford representatives have yet to admit that the Shelby GT350 will rock a dual-clutch transmission, industry insiders believe the so-called “Pony Car” of America will be equipped with this complex technology. According to Mustang6G.com, it is possible that this style of transmission will be featured on the next Shelby GT350, or the following year’s model.
Ford will likely make the transition away from the GT350’s traditional 6-speed manual transmission in order to propel the vehicle toward better lap times. The addition of a dual-clutch transmission will also position the GT350 as an elite high-performance vehicle. After all, the cream of the crop (Porsche, BMW) rely on dual clutch transmissions for their upper echelon vehicles.
While ideal for the Ford Shelby GT350, automotive experts who know their stuff will admit that dual-clutch transmissions are not ideal for every type of vehicle. For example, behemoth Super Duty-style pickup truck and diesel work trucks should not feature this technology. Gear heads in-the-know are adamant that this style of transmission is best reserved for sporty vehicles where fuel efficiency is a primary concern. As a result, dual-clutch transmissions are more likely to be featured on diminutive vehicles in the upcoming years. In a nutshell, drivers who desire a compact vehicle with the no-worry nature of an automatic transmission will obtain considerable utility from a dual-clutch transmission.
Install a Dual Clutch Transmission
Are you considering replacing your car’s transmission with a double clutch model? Call (281) 550-2249 to speak with a member of our team at one of our transmission shops across the Houston area. We have garages in Katy, Northwest Houston, West Houston, and Kingwood. Various financing options are available to help minimize the financial burden of unexpected repair costs. Estimates are always free!