Honda has announced a good-sized recall of two popular Japanese-market hybrids: the Fit Hybrid and the Vezel Hybrid are both headed back into the garage. The problem this time around lies in the software program that controls the 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) that could "cause a delay in the ability to begin driving or the inability to move at all." In total, 81,353 units are affected (70,929 Fit Hybrids and 10,424 Vezel Hybrids) and all were made in Japan between July 2013 and February
Although a report last year indicated that the seventh-gen Chevrolet Corvette could be getting an eight-speed automatic transmission, it looks like General Motors might have some other plans in mind. General Motors recently filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and CorvetteForum.com makes the obvious guess that this performance-enhancing gearbox could find its way a future version of Chevy's performance coupe.
Last week, in the midst of Detroit's first days seeking relief in Chapter 9 of the bankruptcy code, Automotive News contributor Larry P. Vellequette penned an editorial suggesting that American car companies raise the white flag on dual clutch transmissions and give up on trying to persuade Americans to buy cars fitted with them. Why? Because, Vellequette says, like CVT transmissions, they "just don't sound right or feel right to American drivers." (Note: In the article, it's not clear if Velleq
UK-based transmission engineering and control specialist Vocis wants to take electric vehicles in another direction, one with dual clutch transmissions. Vocis says its dual clutch transmissions provide seamless shifting and up to 15 percent improvement in EV efficiency. Vocis' DCT is currently on display in a Mercedes-Benz Vito minibus demonstration vehicle.
A patent filing has revealed that General Motors, in partnership with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), is indeed developing a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for front-wheel drive applications. It's rumored that this trans will eventually find its way into The General's passenger car models like the four-door Chevrolet Cruze and the upcoming Cruze hatchback.
What did we tell you? It's all about synergy, people. Automakers around the world are aligning themselves into a constricting cadre of corporate groups, all in the aim of sharing resources. So when Fiat, for example, has a winner on its hands – be it a new platform, a new transmission or anything in between – you know it'll only be a matter of time before it finds its way to Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills. Likely in Sergio Marchionne's hand luggage.
Why do automatic transmissions now get better fuel efficiency than manuals?
Not so long ago, it was common for automatic transmissions to be referred to as slushboxes, since that's how they often behaved. Rather than use a mechanical clutch, traditional automatic transmissions use a fluid coupling between the engine and the gear-sets to transmit drive torque. This provides some benefits, but isn't a perfect system.
Affordability as the watchword Tuesday as automotive engineers at the SAE World Congress discussed how to meet the new 2016 corporate average fuel economy standards. Automakers will have to get their fleets to an average of 34.1 miles per gallon (35.5 equivalent with other factors for the EPA CO2 limits). Most automakers are already well on their way to this level with their next-generation designs. However, to do it they will have to make improvements to virtually every model in the entire flee
Try explaining turbocharging to someone who doesn't know cars, and if you do a good job, you're likely to get a reaction something along the lines of, "then why don't they put turbochargers on all cars"? Well, that's a perfectly fair question, and the answer of course is turbo lag. It's one major downside to using spools, and it's what's keeping Ferrari, for one, from implementing them immediately.