Chevy Camaro ZL1 10-speed auto shifts faster than Porsche PDK

Company claims first to second, second to third, and third to fourth are all faster than the German dual-clutch.

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Touting the Camaro ZL1's new ten-speed automatic transmission, Chevrolet has made the bold claim that its torque-converter-equipped automatic shifts faster than Porsche's phenomenal PDK dual-clutch transmission. That gearbox, available throughout the company's sports car range, is quite possibly the best two-pedal transmission on the face of the planet, so Chevy's boast is a big deal. It's akin to showing up in prison and making a name for yourself by finding the biggest, meanest guy there and punching him square in the face. It shows you've got guts, and will hopefully keep the other inmates off your back.

According to Chevrolet, the new ten-speed automatic excelled in testing. The company claims upshift speeds from first to second, second to third, and third to fourth are 36-percent, 27-percent, and 26-percent quicker than Porsche's PDK, respectively. Now, the PDK is already among the fastest shifting gearboxes money can buy, so picking out the performance difference between the two will probably be impossible outside of a closed testing environment. But that doesn't make this claim any less impressive. How is Chevy pulling it off? Clutches. Lots of clutches.

The new ten-speed has six clutches and they allow this automatic to behave a lot like a DCT. For example, when the driver calls for an upshift, the transmission already has the next gear primed and ready to go, just like the PDK. At the same time, there's a torque converter, like a normal automatic. According to GM Global Propulsion Systems Vice-President Dan Nicholson, the combination gives drivers "world-class shift times on par with the world's best dual-clutch transmissions and the refinement that comes only from a true automatic."

We can't wait to put that claim to the test.

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