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The Audi S tronic / Volkswagen DSG gearbox supplied by Borg Warner is a very nice compromise for someone who enjoys shifting manually but also needs, for whatever reason, an automatic transmission. Snapping off lightning-quick shifts in something like an Audi TT will put a smile on your face in a hurry, but the downside is that this experience has been limited to cars with torque ratings below 258 lb-ft. Not any more, though. Audi's new 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch system is VW-developed and is ready to accommodate more powerful vehicle offerings. Specifically, it can handle torque up to 406 lb-ft. That's a lot of twist, and things are about to get interesting for drivers across the pond.

The Europeans will first get the new gearbox in the Q5 SUV and the S5 coupe, where it'll supplant the 6-speed auto that's available as an option in the 2-door. Given the choice between Tiptronic S and this new S tronic, we'd happily choose the latter every time. Unfortunately, we won't be seeing it for the foreseeable future. While Audi plans to drop it into a number of Euro-spec models, including S and RS-series cars, the Tiptronic S will continue to be the offering for Americans who want a manumatic in vehicles such as the forthcoming Q5. Audi apparently thinks we'll find the shift action of the S tronic to be too harsh. If that's the automaker's worry, how about this: take the R tronic that's currently available in the R8, cast it into the ocean, and replace it with the the new, improved S tronic. Based on our experience, it might be exactly what the doctor ordered.

[Source: Inside Line | Photo: Alex Núñez]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder if this has anything to do with the advent of the PDK, as well.

      The PDK is laid out for a longitudinal (forward or reverse facing) layout, NOT a transverse layout.

      It also needs to be able to handle the output of the 911's 3.8 Direct Injected boxer, rumored to be up around 390hp or more.

      The Audi A4-A6-A8, and even R8 are longitudinal layouts, with higher torque than the transverse Audis and VWs... with a bit of a case dimension change for some of Audi's new quattro layout, with a divorced front differential for rearward engine placement, and forward front axle placement.

      I wonder if the guts of the new S-tronic are the same as the PDK, which are essentially robust versions of the transverse DSG, re-aligned longitudinally.

      The big differences are probably software, and the interior control devices feeding the computer controller. With a digital middleman, that stuff can be different, even if the guts of the dual-clutch transaxle are largely similar or the same.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And oh yeah, the S5 looks HOT in that pic, classy and muscular, awesome
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, they're gonna have to do a hell of a lot better than that for the R8 V12 TDI.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Audi has already developt a 1000Nm(738ft.lbs.) dual clutch tranny for the possible R8 V12 TDI and all other midengine powered cars in the Volkswagen empire.. Murcielago, Gallardo, R8, future Bugatti, future Lamborghini and possible future midengine Porsche. At the moment they work hard to get it into payable production costs, this dual clutch tranny is the key to the R8 V12 TDI... if they manage to produce it for payable costs and the tranny gets green light from the managing board it is most likely that the R8 V12 TDI went into production and that this dual clutch find their way into all midengines cars from Volkswagen companys
      • 6 Years Ago
      402 or 406??
      • 6 Years Ago
      Silly question, but would you be able to order an S5 with that transmission in there through Audi? Because if I were shopping I'd prefer that to the manual.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's a lottle torque for a lotta car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is, essentially, the very unit that is going in the Audis:

      http://www.luk.de/content.luk.de/en/press/press-releases/press-details.jsp?id=2405783

      For a while I thought they'd be clever and use the Ricardo-built unit from the Veyron in the higher torque/HP applications but they need to build them in volume.
        • 6 Years Ago
        this is the LUK dry dual clutch for Volkswagens low power eco cars 7 speed dry dual clutch tranny.

        The new Audi 7speed dual clutch tranny is a 100% Audi own development. Next to the torque the 7speed dual clutch from Audi has two other new thechnics..

        1. it can handle 550Nm (406ft.lbs)
        2. it can handle 9000rpm
        3. it has two seperated oil circulations with two different oil´s that allows the optimal use of each component without making compromise because of not perfect fitting oil..
      • 6 Years Ago
      S5 is a hot car. Saw one on the highway the other day.

      Kinda lame that those sexy LED DRL's have to turn off on the one side when the driver turns on that side signal to change lanes.

      Interestingly enough I saw a newer PT Cruiser that did the same thing, sans the LEDs.

      Is this some new law that you cannot have a DRL and a turn signal on at the same time? Or just car companies making the signal light more visable by turning off the DRL?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Your guess is correct; due to the proximity of the turn signal to the headlamp, many automakers now shut off then DRL lamp when the turn signal is activated to make the signal more visible. I used to see this all the time with Chrysler vehicles on the road and thought it was a prevalent fault until I found out the true reason.
      • 6 Years Ago
      anyone know why is "provided by Borg Warner" written then crossed out?
        • 6 Years Ago
        BW supplies the wet clutches and the hydro-mechanical controls module for this S Tronic, as they do for much of the other VW group DSG models. Autoblog struck it out because it suggested BW supplied the complete transmission. The transmissions are assembled by VW/Audi.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, same reason why the 402 lb-ft in the story got changed to 406 lb-ft to match the title (and the actual spec).

        It's just an edit.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I realize gearbox isn't provided by them. I was asking because some corrections are just changed (like the 202 to 406) while others use strikethrough. I thought it might be an indirect reference to something.
        • 6 Years Ago
        probably because it isn't provided by borg warner, even though they wrote that initially. It's a correction. You look at the comments? Try reading nagmashot's comment. This isn't really complicated. You never seen a strikethrough before or something?
      • 6 Years Ago
      does autoblog authors ever realize that Borg Warner never delivered a gearbox to VW Audi... they only deliver the clutch not the tranny..and they only deliver the clutch for the wet DSG, the dry clutch for the 7 speed DSG is delivered by LUK..all VW Audi tranny are build in the VW tranny plant in Kassel were they have already build more than one million DSG trannys!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is not correct. The 7-speed FWD transmission in the small-engined (1.4L - 1.9L) VW cars is a dry DCT, with a DRY clutch supplied by LuK, as explained on their website.

        The Audi S-Tronic 7-speed is a wet clutch design, similar to the original VW DSG.

        A dry clutch would not be sufficient for a high-HP application like the S5! This is why the new Nissan GT-R, BMW M3, Porsche PDK, and Ferrari California transmissions all feature wet clutch design.

        Just because the number of speeds is the same between the new VW and Audi transmissions, don't draw wrong conclusions, and spread misinformation!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Jason next time read more carefully!!!!!!!!!

        I wrote the dry clutch for the 7speed DSG (DSG is only used by VW, Audi´s dual clutch tranny is called S-Tronic!!!!!!!!!) clutch is delivered by LUK.. I never claimed that the 7speed S-Tronic is a dry dual clutch tranny!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Read my comment down the list were I wrote that the Audi 7 speed S-tronic use two oils system to improve perfromance.

        I only wanted to clear that Borg Warner only deliver the clutch disks a small part for the DSG tranny and that only for the 6speed wet dual clutch tranny!!!!!!!

        Most authors of autoblog sound like that Borg Warner deliver the complete DSG tranny to VW/Audi and sometimes they sound that VW´s DSG is a Borg Warner development. Borg Warner only build one part of the DSG and that part was developt by by Audi/VW.

      • 6 Years Ago
      It's got nothing to do with harsh shifting and everything to do with cost and the devaluation of the US dollar. Same problem with TDI and so many other cool technologies that never makes it stateside anymore. Talk to Mr. Bernanke...
        • 6 Years Ago
        We can also thank the EPA for making it incredibly expensive for manufacturers to offer more options for sale in the US. Every single engine/transmission/drive train has to be tested and certified individually, each for an astronomical cost.
        It just isn't cost effective to offer options.
      • 6 Years Ago
      stupid Audi and their stupid nonsense decisions. they make inane excuses to allow them to hold to a low status quo for their American deployments. Too harsh shifts? What a bunch of nonsense. Bring it here or GTFO.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sadly when Audi interviews potential customers of Luxury cars in the United States, the research indicates that the average American is a pansy and doesn't want to feel the shifts. So thanks a lot to you few people who made the decision for all of us. I would have really liked that the Dual Clutch system was available here and now will never get the chance to enjoy!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm curious if the marketing group had actually driven a dual-clutch car. Mine (A3) is by far the smoothest auto transmission I've ever driven. The rev matching makes the shifts completely transparent. It is almost CVT smooth. Every now and then you get a hiccup and there's a little backwards roll when you first lift your foot from the brake on a hill, but otherwise it is far superior to a standard automatic.

        Nope, again, I'm calling BS and sticking with cost as the driving factor in this decision.
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