What is a High Performance Transmission?

Most people know that the car’s transmission works to effectively apply power from the engine to its wheels. As it shifts gears — or its gears are shifted by the driver as the case would be for a manual transmission — the transmission powers the car to the speed you need it to go. A high performance transmission puts a special spin on this traditional concept though.

What Makes a Transmission High Performance?

A high-performance transmission is more likely going to be needed for engines that are built for speed and performance. While this used to be pretty much limited to those cars that were used for street racing or racing on the drag strip, there has been a blurring of the line in recent years.

Instead of reserving a specific car for those times, many enthusiasts these days are outfitting their daily drivers so it can be versatile enough to fill numerous roles. This often means restomodding their existing muscle car so that it meets both objectives — being a reliable daily driver by day while tearing up the track or street by night or on the weekends.

Matching the Transmission and Engine

One of the most important things to remember when this is your aim is to match your car’s transmission to its engine. In other words, don’t spend all your mod budget on beefing up the engine.

This is where a high performance transmission comes in. In order to get the most out of your engine, you need the transmission and converter to back it up. A high performance transmission provides the power and speed that are needed so you get the peak performance you expect from your racing engine — or other high performance type of engine.

The best way to do this is to make sure that both your engine builder and transmission builder are on the same page from the start of the project to its completion. Being very clear and upfront about your expectations for the vehicle as far as power, speed and durability, for example, and your goals for its performance, can help the two builders work together to satisfy you.

Horsepower Isn’t Everything

There’s a myth going around that puts horsepower up on a pedestal. However, like all finely tuned machines, your car’s engine doesn’t work in isolation. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you’ll need to pair that high horsepower engine with a transmission that can handle its output. For many applications, this means taking a good, hard look at high performance transmissions that are built to deliver.

The key here is to consult, and do business, with a transmission company that has the experience, expertise and drive to ensure that you have your expectations met. They’ll need to stand behind their work and being willing to form a partnership with you and other key players in the building and development of your vehicle.


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