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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Ford begins production of 'PowerShift' transmission

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Ford begins production of 'PowerShift' transmission

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Monday marks the official start of production for Ford Motor Co.'s new PowerShift dual-clutch transmission, which will debut in the U.S. version of the new 2011 Ford Fiesta this summer.

The PowerShift is an automatic transmission that works like a manual. It will be the first six-speed offered in a subcompact, and is expected to deliver a best-in-class highway fuel economy rating of at least 40 miles per gallon.

It is being manufactured for Ford by Getrag Americas at a new factory in Irapuato, Mexico. The assembly plant will also produce a similar transmission for the new Ford Focus.

"We believe this new automatic transmission for the Fiesta will be the most advanced in the segment, offering far better performance than our competitors," said Piero Aversa, team leader for PowerShift development. "It's an advanced gearbox that reduces complexity, saves weight, increases responsiveness and performance -- all while helping keep the engine in its peak efficiency mode -- resulting in class-leading fuel economy."

The dual-clutch system is designed to eliminate the tradeoffs that have traditionally made automatic transmissions less efficient and less responsive.

"Ford's advanced new six-speed automatic transmissions will really surprise our customers, and our competitors," said Barb Samardzich, Ford's vice president of powertrain development. "They provide the convenience of traditional automatics with fuel economy leadership, as well as responsive performance and driving dynamics that make these cars fun to drive. And we're adding six-speed transmissions to our most accessible vehicles, not just our luxury offerings and high-performance models."

The new transmission is a dual dry-clutch system that uses electronically controlled twin internal clutches to shift gears quickly and smoothly without interrupting torque flow. When it goes on sale in the Fiesta this summer, it will be mated to 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine.

"A dual dry-clutch transmission provides some real dividends on small car applications," Aversa said. "PowerShift with dry-clutch facings and new energy-saving electromechanical actuation for clutches and gear shifts saves weight, improves efficiency, increases smoothness, adds durability and is sealed with low-friction gear lubricant for the life of the vehicle. This transmission requires no regular maintenance."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100329/AUTO01/3290355/1148/Ford-begins-production-of--PowerShift--transmission#ixzz0jZI3IPBW

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