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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
General Motors has filed for a patent for a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, hinting that there might soon include be such a gearbox in the Corvette.
Manual transmissions have always been idolized and are generally reserved for the ultimate sporty-cars, but how does a stick shift compare to its automated counterpart?
In the quest to find a new car, there are a lot of questions that need to be asked. Questions about cargo room, technology, options, luxuries and other various elements will come up more than a few times while shopping for a new car. However, from the car driver’s perspective, there are just three main questions: How comfortable is the driving experience? How fun is it to drive? How good is the car on fuel?
A major factor in answering those three questions has to do with the right transmission. Let’s face it, manual transmissions aren’t for everyone. They require familiarity and a level of perfection to get just right. With a traditional automatic transmission, drivers have been able to experience a fairly comfortable, yet less engaging experience. Still, an automatic transmission can leave any driving enthusiast unsatisfied. Luckily, progress has been made in the world of automatic transmissions that can help alleviate those woes.
Somebody ought to call Scooby Doo and the Gang because there’s something fishy going on at Bugatti.
We’re not making any accusations, but put your thinking cap on and mull this one over. Midway through last year the automotive media started reporting that Bugatti officially decided to discontinue the Veyron. Sad as we all were to see the god-among-men go, we had come to terms with the idea.
That is until this morning when Ricardo, the company contracted to make the Veyron’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), announced that they had another two year contract with the company to continue production.
Riddle us this, where would you be hiding if you were a Veyron transmission? Probably a Veyron, right? Well, not necessarily. Bugatti will be releasing a new luxury sedan called the Galibier, though the date is still a little murky. The last time we reported something on the car, it had been pushed to 2015, which makes us wonder what’s going on. A two-year contract means significant production, yet we’re three years away from the Galibier based on what CEO Wolfgang Durheimer said.
There are only a few conclusions we can see: more Veyrons, the Galibier getting a surprise debut, or Bugatti just really liking surplus transmissions. The idea of a contract that would expire before the Galibier’s supposed release date seems nebulous at best and let’s be honest and transmissions are as boring as plain milk. We’re going all-in on the world getting more Veyrons after all.
GALLERY: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
Lotus recently announced its intention to build an in-house V8 engine for its upcoming line of exotic sports cars. Making as much as 570-hp from a displacement of just 4.8-liters the sophisticated powerplant may be joined by an equally high-tech automatic transmission.
Back in January of last year it was revealed that Lotus was working on a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and now, according to Lotus Cars USA PR Boss Kevin Smith, there’s a very good chance the Esprit will be the first model to use the unit. “We’d like to do a manual and a dual-clutch transmission for the Esprit,” he remarked during the recent launch of the Evora S in the US, “and now that we’re dong our own engines there’s a better chance.”
Adding to the possibility is the fact that Lotus has delayed the Esprit by one year as it develops its own engine for the car. Look for the production model to arrive, likely at the Geneva Auto Show in 2013, with an on-sale date later that year or early in 2014.
GALLERY: Lotus Esprit Concept
Dual-clutch transmissions are becoming increasingly popular offerings by all automakers in the search to save every drop of fuel. But the auto-boxes have another benefit: not only do they shift faster than a traditional slushbox, they easily out-match your best manual-transmission heel-toe efforts.
Combine those two qualities and you’ve got a solution that will please the greenies and performance junkies, so it’s no surprise that everyone from Hyundai to Ford are now offering dual-clutch gearboxes.
But long before it was popular, Volkswagen introduced its DCT, the DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox). Debuting in the golf R32 and Audi TT in 2003, VW is now celebrating 3.5 million DSG units produced. Initially offered for mid-range vehicles, VW has since developed versions compatible with smaller engines, and more recently with high-performance large-displacement engines for the Audi brand.
Almost all of the DSG units were manufactured at the automaker’s Kassel Plant in Germany, while just over 100,000 have been manufactured in China.