Chrysler To Get Dual Clutch Transmissions… By 2013
When Chrysler re-launched under Fiat, its Five Year Plan called for the Italian automaker’s dual-clutch transmissions (known at Fiat as Twin Clutch Transmission, or TCT) to make their way to the group’s D-segment models by the end of 2010. But here we are, at the end of 2010, and the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Intrepid have not been equipped with the fuel-saving transmissions. So what’s the deal? The only news on the topic comes from InsideLine which reports
By 2013 this TCT gearbox will be offered with all inline-4 and V6 engines from Fiat and Chrysler in North America. The aim is to have C-plus and D-segment cars like the Chrysler 200, V6-equipped Jeep models, and future Alfa Romeo Giulia lead the way with the TCT gearbox here.
But starting when? And with what vehicles? With Ford already offering dual-clutch transmissions in the Fiesta (with more to come), and Hyundai about to bet big on dual-clutch boxes next year, Chrysler is on pace to lag two years behind the market leaders. For a brand in Chrysler’s position, that’s a recipe for perennially playing catch-up on a crucial technology.
Dual clutch is just one form of compromise, just like a torque converter auto is another form. More gears and smart software has them approaching a good manual driver for fuel economy. Complexity is lower and they're lighter than 8 gear autos while service costs will come down. Having driven a diesel-turbo VW Golf with DSG for a prolonged period, you can leave the software in lazy/"slurrr'y" fuel-eco mode or you can switch it up to "sport", or you could control it yourself with the paddles. If you charge your speed suddenly the box takes a moment longer to react as it has a prediction penalty having selected the wrong gear 'next'. I never noticed it to be bad at all. The 911 Turbo implementation is brilliant, so to the GT-R. The only thing better would be a true sequential.
So does this mean the NA Fiat 500 will launch soon sans dual clutch? Thats a huge market disadvantage since most buyers will be lumbered with a pricey little 'robot' slouch. If Hyundai gets the formula right next year - they'll take this sectors cake and eat it. Chrysler needs a comparatively priced Hyundai basher that will bring the sales home like the K-car did. Not some quick & pricey boutique fix. Note: Wet dual clutch for the powerful, dry for the less so.
Dual clutch transmissions look like they are going to be but one of multiple competing technologies over the next several years. I don't see Toyota, Honda, Nissan or GM making any announcements about upcoming DSGs.
Chrsyler not having any for the next two model years seems rather insignificant.
The 392 challenger uses the tremec 6060 trans with twin 9.5 inch clutch discs.