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  • Writer's pictureElite Automotive Customer Service

What is a DCT transmission, and why is dual clutch the way to go?

Why are "dual clutch" transmissions so good?

Dual clutch transmissions are found in many performance oriented vehicles today, but many do not know they were first developed in the 1930s! They were not implemented successfully however, until Porsche brought their "Doppelkupplungsgetribe" (dual-clutch) system to the race track in the 1980s.

 Today they are often found in Audis, BMWs, Lamborghinis, GTRs, Mercedes AMGs, Volkswagens, Alfa Romeos, and of course the most successful; Porsche.

A dual clutch transmission is essentially a manual transmission, without a clutch pedal for the driver! DCTs use a gear selecting process that depends on driving conditions, giving the vehicle the information it needs to select the correct gear. While the transmission is engaged in a gear, the next gear is already pre selected when in automatic mode. This is where having more than one actuating clutch, to engage the next gear, brings shifting speeds to mere milliseconds!

On the other hand, they can come with small drawbacks due to design. Daily driving scenarios can be much different with certain DCTs. For example, many find the quick shifts to be abrupt and uncomfortable. DCTs can also be hesitant when initially accelerating from a stop, and are not very precise when trying to creep forwards at extremely low speeds.

Not to worry! Since the development of the DCT, it has be modernized for more street oriented driving. Volkswagen was a standout in the industry when it came to implementing this concept into daily driving. Their "DSG" systems have been in vehicles for over 20 years, giving the design time to be reformed to suit driver needs. So while they may come with drawbacks for some, the performance is hard to match!

Pictured - Porsche & Lamborghini DCTs

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