How Does a Dual-Clutch Transmission Work?


Quick Answer

A dual-clutch transmission, also called an automated manual transmission or semi-manual automatic, is a transmission with internal gears that shift using two electro-hydraulically actuated clutches. The vehicle's computer chooses the ratios automatically, or the driver can choose the ratios using a shift lever or shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Although the idea of a dual-clutch transmission was invented before World War II, it wasn't used until the 1980s when race car makers determined that a dual-clutch transmission can respond more quickly and accurately than a human driver could. This type of transmission is now installed in three configurations, and suppliers such as FEV have developed dual-clutch transmissions with electric motors for hybrids.

Many car makers have made use of the dual-clutch transmission, or DCT, including manufacturers like Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and John Deere. High-end car manufacturers, such as Porsche and BMW, have used dual-clutch transmissions that include single-clutch versions. Manufacturers are choosing to use dual-clutch transmissions because of their efficiency, savings in fuel economy and overall performance. Dual-clutch transmissions polarize two groups of people: those who appreciate the manual transmission's dependence on the driver's inputs and those who enjoy the efficiency of manual vehicles but would like an easier way to use them.

Learn more about Transmission

Related Questions