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Hyundai dual-clutch auto nears

Boxing clever: The ix35 will be Hyundai's first model to receive a new dual-clutch transmission.

Twin-clutch automated manual transmission from Hyundai is just months away

4 Nov 2010

HYUNDAI’S first dual-clutch automatic transmission is just months away from debuting in South Korea in the ix35 compact crossover and its sister model, the Kia Sportage, GoAuto has learned.

It remains unclear when or if the European-style automated manual transmission - with which the Korean car-making giant will match the likes of Porsche, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and Ford - will replace the conventional six-speed automatic transmission available in both models in Australia.

1 center imageLeft: Hyundai i45, Below: Kia Sportage.

However, Hyundai-Kia Motors R&D division president Woong-Chul Yang told GoAuto the company’s first dual-clutch transmission, which is now in the final stages of development, will become available in South Korea from the second quarter of 2011.

The new automated manual transmission will also replace the conventional torque converter-type six-speed automatic transmission fitted as standard to Australia’s Hyundai i45 – known as the Sonata elsewhere - before being fitted across a range of smaller Hyundai group passenger models.

“We will be employing all available technologies,” said Dr Yang when asked whether the dual-clutch gearbox would be applied to smaller models such as the popular i30.

“We are very much concerned about fuel economy. It is a top priority for our cars,” he added, indicating that - as with rival systems like Volkswagen’s pioneering DSG and Porsche’s PDK – Hyundai’s DCT will bring fuel consumption as well as performance and driveability advantages.

Confirmed to emerge first in six-speed guise, before an Audi and BMW-matching seven-speed version replaces it within two to three years, Hyundai’s newest gearbox was developed in conjunction with German transmission specialist LUK, which it dubs it the Parallel Shift Gearboxes (PSG).

Like other similar transmissions, the robotised manual LUK PSG transmission comprises two computer-controlled clutches – one for first, third and fifth gear, the other for second, fourth and sixth – to pre-select and engage the next higher or lower gear, resulting in quicker and more direct gearshifts (and lower fuel consumption) than in a torque converter auto.

Rather than employ the new DCT for larger models, however, Hyundai has developed its own in-house conventional eight-speed automatic transmission, which will debut in the large Genesis large sedan and coupe and the top-shelf Equuis limousine in 2011.

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