The Vienna Motor Symposium is where automakers and suppliers gather annually to discuss topics like new engines and powertrains, fuels, emissions and coming legislation. During last year's gathering Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said his in-house engineers were working on a ten-speed DSG transmission. This year in Vienna the topic was picked up again by brand development head Hans-Jakob Neusser, who divulged a few details on the new shifter but not when we would see it.
The brands in the Volkswagen Group have shown that they can develop some of the world's best diesel engines for passenger cars. At the Vienna Motor Symposium taking place May 8 and 9, Audi has an updated one to add to its lineup. It's launching a new version of the 3.0 TDI V6 with better efficiency and more power than the version currently in the US.
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
Chrysler has delayed plans for a dual-clutch gearbox in the United States, according to The Car Connection. The high-tech gearbox was slated to be introduced with the 2012 Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200, but refinement issues have reportedly put that introduction on hold. At present, the best automatic offered with the front-wheel-drive sedans is a conventional six-speed automatic.
Chrysler has delayed plans for a dual-clutch gearbox in the United States, according to The Car Connection. The high-tech gearbox was slated to be introduced with the 2012 Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200, but refinement issues have reportedly put the introduction on hold. At present, the best transmission offered with the front-wheel-drive sedans is a conventional six-speed automatic.
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.