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Ford starts production of six-speed dual clutch PowerShift transmission

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Filed under: Car Buying, Plants/Manufacturing, Technology, Ford

Ford PowerShift transmissions on the line - Click above for high-res image gallery

The new Ford Fiesta will be the first product vehicle from any of the Detroit automakers to have a dual clutch transmission, and production is starting today. The Ford PowerShift gearboxes are being built at the Getrag Americas joint venture factory in Irapuato, Mexico. At launch the plant is employing 200 people, a number that will double later this year when the plant also starts building the same transmissions for the 2012 Focus.

A dual clutch transmission can almost be thought of as two traditional manual transmissions, each with its own clutch operating in parallel and alternating shifts. The Ford unit is a six-speed with one clutch acting on gears 1, 3 and 5 and the other used for 2, 4 and 6. As first gear is engaged, the 2-4-6 clutch is disengaged and the second gear cogs are engaged. At the appropriate time, the 1-3-5 clutch is disengaged the other is engaged. While in second gear, the other side moves from first to third. The process is repeated with quick smooth shifts and none of the of the efficiency loss normally associated with torque converters.

The Ford gearbox also uses dry clutches, which are more efficient than the wet clutches previously used in some earlier Volkswagen DSG gearboxes.

The 1.6-liter Fiesta with PowerShift transmission is expected to get an EPA highway rating of at least 40 miles per gallon. The new Focus will use a 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine with the PowerShift transmission and may also approach 40 mpg, something Ford is surely hoping for in light of the just announced 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco and its unofficial highway mpg of 40 mpg or more.

[source: Ford]

Continue reading Ford starts production of six-speed dual clutch PowerShift transmission

Ford starts production of six-speed dual clutch PowerShift transmission originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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