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Dual-clutch transmissions are the current Holy Grail when it comes to transferring underhood power to the wheels of the car. Nearly every automaker that does serious business around the world offers DCTs, and the ones that don't very likely soon will.

It's easy to understand the draw of the DCT: better performance and greater efficiency. But there are also problems. For instance, two clutch mechanisms mean (theoretically, of course) twice the potential repair costs, and DCTs are generally more expensive than either standard manual transmissions or conventional automatics with torque converters.

Xtrac, a company firmly entrenched in transmissions for racing applications, has developed a new technology called the Instantaneous Gearchange System, which uses a ratcheting mechanism to couple the gear hubs with the main shaft. The system has been under development for two years and has reportedly been put into race duty by multiple motorsports teams.

Apparently, the IGS technology will be less costly than other dual-clutch transmissions and could potentially be adopted by various global automakers. Hat tip to David!

[Source: Gizmag]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ok, I guess being a 3-pedal fan I might as well start accepting these things. With that said, here is my wish for a 2-pedal manual transmission. I want a 6spd gearbox, but the real kicker is a true gated shifter. No straight back and forth BS, if it's my gearbox then dammit it's going to have an H-gated shifter. It can do this in 20 microseconds or whatever other time frame they need for their brochures for all I care, but I just don't like the back and forth or paddle shifters.

      In conclusion, take a standard 6spd shifter that whenever I push or pull on it to get out of its gate then the fancy gizmos inside the tranny disconnect what needs disconnected and then I can shift on to another gate. If they can do it by push or pull, surely to God they can do it this way as well. Maybe something like this already exists and I just don't know of it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, that'd be easy. A Junior EE student could pull that off with no sweat.

        The only problem is whether the marketroids would "validate" such a design.

        What I love about the old fashioned 3 pedal is that that 3rd pedal lets you modulate the clutch. You can' t do that with all this digital business. If you must nix the 3rd pedal, how about this: An analog-like system where the position of the shifter within the respective gear select channels of your H-gate determines the grip of the "clutch". Of course, give a bit of push-back so the driver can feel the position.

        Another good thing about the sift gate is that you can pick your own gears as you like.

        If we just --have to-- lose the clutch pedal then this is the --only-- way to make up for it.

        Either way, I still hate all this because it forces more stupid complexity into one of the most elegant mechanisms in automotive history.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's my feelings too. To keep it from being too easy on them it will need the ability to drop from 6th to any lower gear, and most DSGs can only go two gears at a time I believe. For boost control I can have micro switches in each gate slot, and this isn't asking much more than that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1. I'd like to be fooled into think i drive a manual. No clutch, no paddles, just give me the gear lever with gates and no 3rd pedal. When i move the stick into 3rd, it better engage 3rd, the end, I could care less how it does it, the engineers can figure out the rest
        • 4 Years Ago
        It does - it's the Logitech G27 racing wheel :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well the fact that almost all of these cars that use paddles or shifters are doing it digitally, it should be pretty easy to drop in a H-gate shifter. Of course this is comparing race cars which tend to use pneumatic or ratcheting systems for the paddles/shifter.
        • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here goes another Zeroshift...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope the "race duty by multiple motorsports teams" does not allude to the horrendously troublesome gearbox that hobbled Virgin, Lotus and HRT's efforts in Formula 1 and led to the latter two dumping Xtrac gearboxes for next year :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yea that would be a great selling point for cars:D
        • 4 Years Ago
        Remember all the Honda troubles? Yeah, let's not rely on F1 unreliability to judge this product's worth.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is big news. Thanks for posting it. Please follow this story.
      • 4 Years Ago
      is it green?
        • 4 Years Ago
        tribute- apples to apples, DSG's typically are LESS fuel efficient than their MGB counterparts. jus' sayin.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes... greener then an auto would be, and likely greener then a conventional manual too as are the dual clutch set ups.
        • 4 Years Ago
        taken from manufacturers website:
        Porsche 911:
        Manual Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK)
        City (estimate) 18 mpg 19 mpg
        Highway (estimate) 25 mpg 27 mpg

        bmw m3 sedan
        Fuel consumption
        City
        14 [14] mpg
        Highway
        20 [20] mpg
        Figures in [ ] reflect 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (MDCT) with Drivelogic

        • 4 Years Ago
        They can run 1 extra gear (7 speed vs 6). Either way a heavier car with a PDK gets both faster acceleration and better mpg. Also perhaps the fact that power delivery is never interrupted because one clutch is always engaged ads a tiny bit to the mpg. Everything else being equal the computer controlled clutches will still be more efficient then a single human controlled one. The faster engine power is on the more power will be used and the less power wasted as heat in the clutch.
      • 4 Years Ago
      been driving manual transmissions for over 18 years. I'm so over it and love the new DCT.

      • 4 Years Ago
      This reminds me of Zeroshift. I wonder if they have a license from that company.

      http://www.zeroshift.com/
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well that was creepy. Both mentions of Zeroshift within minutes of eachother.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is an overrunning clutch?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freewheel

      I can't see how this would work for both up and downshifts. One direction isn't going to be able to freewheel.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wanna take my answer back and go with what nitrostreet says. This looks like a box which is actually just a normal synchromesh transmission but it also has a dog engagement system instead of splines so it can be VERY rapidly switched between two different meshed gears driving the output shaft.
      • 4 Years Ago
      IGS for everyone!!

      Ford could have FIGS
      Dodge could have DIGS
        • 4 Years Ago
        Can anyone say Eaton Snapper?

        Ought to be some interesting discussions on this gearbox technology.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And Nissan could have...

        a CVT!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Or a class-action lawsuit ;-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      The trick is...

      These, DCTs, or other automated gearboxes like lambo's new single-clutch automated gearbox...

      should REPLACE AUTOMATICS.

      CVTs for econo-box tin cans... and automated gearboxes in cars that are anywhere slightly sporty.

      With a manual gearbox option along-side on econo-boxes and sporty cars.

      And I hope Subaru is one to adopt some of this tech. They need new, stronger gearboxes BIG TIME, to take better advantage of their engines' capabilities. The Subaru flat 6 is capable of more than it is currently limited to, to save the 5-speed auto gearboxes from failure under more torque potential.
      • 4 Years Ago
      whatever the case, I hope they use helical gears in production ;)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Good point. I wonder if this design can use helical gears, or if the resultant side loads cause problems with the ratchet mechanism. Or, duh, the syncros work like any other modern trans, and the gears themselves remain always engaged but not always locked to the shaft.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No, thanks, I'll stick to rolling my own still.
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