It looks like the dual-clutch preselector transmission is emerging as the leader in automated manuals. Volkswagen's DSG has been around a while and offers fewer compromises than less purpose-built manuals. Ford's champing at the bit to get their own trick DSG-like transmission into production, and it looks like we'll see such a unit drop soon with the PowerShift moniker. Gearbox maker Getrag has several different variations on the theme, and word is they'll start off in PAG brand like Volvo first and then trickle down to other Fords as a premium option. Volvo is a logical entry point, as the marque's S40 T5 can be mentioned in the same breath as the A3 without the entire room snickering.

The core engineering seems to be essentially the same, with the packaging, max ratio spread and durability of the innards varying among the different configurations. Applications cover the various vehicle architectures of FR, FF, and MR, plus AWD, though we're not sure if the center differential is a seperate unit or integral to the trans. They're mostly six-speeds, although there is a seven-speed version with triple cone synchronizers and a max torque capacity of 750Nm. The exciting thing is that these transmissions reportedly have Job 1 dates in 2007, so we should see the debut soon in something. Europe will likely get them first in the diesel S40/V50s. There's a version rumored to be destined for the Fiesta, which is destined here, so before long, we may all be revelling in the perfectly executed blip-blip downshift as we clip the apex and get back on the power to exit fast while behind the wheel of a Ford vehicle.

[Source: GM Inside News]