• Jan 21st 2009 at 12:01AM
  • 42
The dual clutch gearbox installed in the Lincoln Concept C and Volvo S60 Concept that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show is now officially coming to Ford's lineup. The Getrag-supplied PowerShift gearbox was hinted at on the Fiesta micro-site that Ford recently launched and will be available in the new sub-compact when it launches at the end of the year. Like the DSG units used in a number of Volkswagens, the PowerShift allows full automatic control or clutchless manual shifting. Ford's first PowerShift is already available in the current European Focus with a 2.0L diesel engine. That unit is a wet-clutch system like most of the current VW DSG boxes. The new unit set to debut in the Fiesta is a dry-clutch system that's both lighter and more efficient. The 6-speed PowerShift weighs 30 lbs less than the 4-speed automatic currently offered in the U.S.-market Focus and should deliver 9-percent better fuel economy. The official press release is pasted after the jump.

[Source: Ford]



DETROIT, Jan. 21, 2009 – Ford Motor Company announced today it will introduce an advanced dual-clutch PowerShift six-speed transmission in North America in 2010 for the small-car segment.

PowerShift will deliver the fuel efficiency of a manual gearbox with the convenience and ease of a premium automatic transmission – making it a key enabling technology as Ford targets best-in-class or among-the-best fuel economy with every new vehicle it introduces in North America.

"PowerShift represents a true competitive advantage for Ford and is one of the many technologies that will help our global small-car platforms set a new world standard for efficiency and drive quality," said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering, who announced PowerShift's production timing at the 2009 Automotive News World Congress. "This advanced six-speed is an improvement over today's automatic transmissions in terms of fuel economy, while providing customers an even more fun-to-drive experience."

Overall, Ford has committed that almost 100 percent of its transmissions will be advanced six-speed gearboxes by 2013. Six-speed transmissions already have helped vehicles such as the 2010 Ford Fusion achieve best-in-class fuel economy, while at the same time allowing the Ford Flex and Ford Escape to achieve unsurpassed fuel economy in their respective segments.

Ford is leveraging six-speed transmissions, advanced internal combustion engines such as EcoBoost, hybrids, full electric vehicles, vehicle weight reduction and electric power-assisted steering to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions fleet-wide by 30 percent by 2020.

Automatic Comfort
Compared to traditional automatic four-speed transmissions, PowerShift can help reduce fuel consumption by up to 9 percent depending on the application.

PowerShift provides the full comfort of an automatic with a more sophisticated driving dynamic, thanks to uninterrupted torque from the dual-clutch technology, which consists essentially of two manual transmissions working in parallel, each with its own independent clutch unit. One clutch carries the uneven gears – 1, 3 and 5 – while the other the even gears – 2, 4 and 6. Subsequent gear changes are coordinated between both clutches as they engage and disengage for a seamless delivery of torque to the wheels.

In Europe, Ford currently offers a PowerShift transmission in the Ford Focus. This PowerShift uses a twin wet-clutch system to handle the higher torque levels of the 2.0-liter TDCI engine available in the Focus.

In North America, a dry-clutch derivative of Ford's PowerShift transmission will be used for added efficiency and durability. A dry clutch transmits power and torque through manual transmission clutch facings, while most automatic transmissions utilize wet clutch plates submerged in oil. As a result, the dry-clutch PowerShift transmission does not require an oil pump or torque converter, providing superior mechanical efficiency.

"A dry clutch is a real sweet spot for lighter vehicle applications," said Piero Aversa, manager, Ford Automatic Transmission Engineering. "PowerShift is more efficient, it saves weight, is more durable, more efficient and the unit is sealed for life, requiring no regular maintenance."

PowerShift, unlike conventional automatic transmissions, does not need the heavier torque converter or planetary gears. In addition, the dry-clutch derivative eliminates the need for the weighty pumps, hydraulic fluids, cooling lines and external coolers that wet clutch transmissions require. As a result, the dry-clutch PowerShift transmission can weigh nearly 30 pounds less than, for example, the four-speed automatic transmission featured on today's Ford Focus.

Differentiating PowerShift even further in terms of its customer appeal is its shift quality, launch feel and overall drive dynamic, which are all facilitated by an expert blend of Ford-exclusive electro-mechanical systems, software features, calibrations and controls. These unique driving features include:

• Neutral coast down – The clutches will disengage when the brakes are applied, improving coasting downshifts and clutch robustness as well as reducing parasitic losses for increased fuel economy.

• Precise clutch control in the form of a clutch slip to provide torsional damping of the engine vibration – This function improves noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) at low engine speeds and enables lower lugging limits for improved fuel economy.

• Low-speed driving or creep mode with integrated brake pressure – This function simulates the low-speed control drivers are accustomed to from an automatic transmission. The amount of rolling torque in Drive and Reverse is precisely controlled, gradually building as brake pressure is released.

• Hill mode or launch assist – Prevents a vehicle from rolling back on a grade by maintaining brake pressure until the engine delivers enough torque to move the vehicle up the hill, providing improved driver confidence, comfort, safety and clutch robustness.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ford is really serious about this game. Way to go FORD.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good. At least now when we slap down $1000 for a stinking auto, it'll actually be worth it. We've been getting gouged on the prices of auto transmissions for years and years. This better not be any more expensive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Would a Fiesta ST with a 2.0 NA or 1.6 EcoBoost with either a 6MT or the PowerShift for $20k or under be too much to ask for?

      I'm surprised that this tech will make it into a car such as the Fiesta that actually looks great and will be sold in the US. I think Ford should be looking good in the near future, Fiesta, Fusion, and Taurus are all great looking cars in my opinion and I would consider owning any one of them, something I never would have said just a few years ago.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Allen, the competition already is a joke.
      • 6 Years Ago
      the manual and hydrolic tranny will die in a few years. the DCT has all the advantages and none of the drawbacks except cost. cost will go down even come out cheaper than the automatics once the volume has been met. this is one reason that FORD is not bunch up w/the other american auto makers asking for bailout. they have superior products.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I seriously doubt this ecnomy mass produced DSG will handle GT500 torque levels. The DSG will also harm the aftermarket if it is limited to x amount of torque. I realize the v6 auto is the bulk of mustang sales, but I believe there are a certain amount of v8 buyers that opt for the manual transmission for a specific reason.

        I predict if ford releases mustangs with only this transmission two things will happen. Those who would have bought the v8 mustang will purchase the camaro instead. Second, there will be an aftermarket for a DSG delete kit that replaces the DSG with a borg warner 6 speed manual or a number of slush boxes for 1/4 drag racing.

        Pony cars are not like other cars out there where people define the showroom performance as set in stone. Pony cars are about a cheap platform that can easily be modified with an abundance of aftermarket parts (see FRPP catalogue). To implement a glass transmission that limits torque, it will kill supercharger sales, make a stroker pointless and a number of other combinations. Some people are not R-Tards and are capable of shifting a 6 speed. Bla bla bla faster shifts, hello it's a mustang, not a ferarri, so a few tenths faster is not worth being stuck at x hp/tq levels.

        Imagine the reactions if Toyota did in fact release a new supra but it came with a DSG that was limited to 500ft/lb of torque. Good bye to the 900rwhp days, hello to a glass transmission, hello to seeing the tail lights of Z06's, ZR1's, Camaros & GT500's every time and all the associated bs.

        For the econo cars this thing is great, same with the v6 mustang as I'm sure the extra mpg will help overall fleet numbers. V8 mustang, maybe a gimped girly GT, GT500 with a DSG HELL NO.
      • 6 Years Ago
      so Ford is launching more models with the Volvo-Getrag co-developed Powershift gearbox.

      Seems to be Ford stands to loose a lot more in selling volvo in terms of R&D loss and technology than they will gain by the short term cash earnings.

      volvo has huge potential as a brand. Seems a shame that Ford US management has lost interest in Volvo
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd be interested in seeing how much power this can handle. I'd love for it to be paired with a 5.0L V8 in the Mustang. With a 6 speed manual as an option as well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ford hasn't used a 5.0 in a mustang since '95 and any new 5.0 will be a DOHC Modular motor
      • 6 Years Ago
      "The 6-speed PowerShift weighs 30 lbs less than the 4-speed automatic currently offered in the U.S.-market Focus and should deliver 9-percent better fuel economy."

      This is very impressive.

      Focus, Fiesta + (TwinForce/) EcoBoost + PowerShift = Good work, Ford!
      • 6 Years Ago
      By 2013 6 speed automatics will be obsolete.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lets look at the F-150. It has ZF's 6hp28 (which is an improvement over the 6hp26),
        4.171, 2.34, 1.521, 1.143, 0.867, 0.691
        The ZF 8hp70 would be better
        4.7, 3.13, 2.1, 1.67, 1.29, 1, 0.84, 0.67
        Since Ford does not have four wheel drive in the F-150, you'd start in 2nd gear while in 4x2. When you use 4x4 (off road drive) you start in 1st gear. (also in 4x2 when you use tow/haul, which also locks out 8th gear)

        If ZF makes a transverse version of this transmission, the Land Rover LR2 would be a perfect recipient. 1st gear would the 'low range'
        Hyundai is going to have their own 8 speed auto for the '11 model year.
        What about GM's 8 speed auto, is the project on hold, or was it shelved?

        In 4 years from now, VW probably won't be making 6 speed DSG transmission, probably only 7 speed versions. (hopefully 8 speed for the next Bugatti Veyron)
        Mercedes hopefully will have a 9 speed auto
        Heck everything could be hybrid by then.
      • 6 Years Ago
      New Mazdaspeed6 with this and the ecoboost...!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hmmm... Nothing greatly achieved than this...

      Its time to levitatate ... to reduce road traffic and save Eco-System
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can haz launch control?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why so paranoid, Marvin?
        • 6 Years Ago
        woot SVT Fiesta: take one ecoboost 2.0-2.2L turbo 4, add a PowerShift DSG with a pinch of launch control, garnish with AWD if desired, add a good measure of decent handling chassis/suspension = Golf GTi/assorted euro hot hatches watch out!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Marvin: Nissan did it wrong. To look at how to do it right, check out the PDK.

        But then again, having a page in the operational manual that shows how many times the transmission is replaced does not speak confidence of the gearbox reliability.
        • 6 Years Ago
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