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Ford Debuts New 6-sp Dual-Clutch PowerShift Tranny For 2010

Posted in Car Tech, Cars, Ford, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Newsworthy by Suzanne Denbow | January 21st, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

Tirelessly pushing forward to meet their goals for a more fuel-efficient future, Ford Motors announced today they will be introducing a new, 6-speed dual-clutch PowerShift transmission to the North American market in 2010. Designed exclusively for Ford’s small-car segment, the new PowerShift tranny reportedly combines the desirable gas-mileage of a manual transmission with the ease-of-use of an automatic. Currently, PowerShift technology is already available as a powertrain option on the European Ford Focus, utilizing a twin wet-clutch system to meet the demands of the Focus’ 2.0L TCDI engine. Seeking to apply PowerShift fuel-efficiency to a broader range of vehicles, the North American adaption will use dry-clutch version, delivering power through manual clutch-facings and thereby eliminating the need for gas-guzzling automatic fixtures like an oil pump, torque converter, or planetary gears. “A dry clutch is a real sweet spot for lighter vehicle applications,” explained Ford Automatic Transmission Engineering manager, Piero Aversa. “PowerShift is more efficient, it saves weight, is more durable, more efficient and the unit is sealed for life, requiring no regular maintenance.”

Although the technical engineering in general is not entirely unique, the Ford PowerShift transmission features many experience-enhancing details that were derived completely in-house. Among them, the most notable include:

  • Neutral coast down – The clutches will disengage when the brakes are applied, improving coasting downshifts and clutch robustness as well as reducing parasitic losses for increased fuel economy.
  • Precise clutch control in the form of a clutch slip to provide torsional damping of the engine vibration – This function improves noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) at low engine speeds and enables lower lugging limits for improved fuel economy.
  • Low-speed driving or creep mode with integrated brake pressure – This function simulates the low-speed control drivers are accustomed to from an automatic transmission. The amount of rolling torque in Drive and Reverse is precisely controlled, gradually building as brake pressure is released.
  • Hill mode or launch assist – Prevents a vehicle from rolling back on a grade by maintaining brake pressure until the engine delivers enough torque to move the vehicle up the hill, providing improved driver confidence, comfort, safety and clutch robustness.

Ultimately, Ford intends to integrate the high-tech engineering of PowerShift into all Ford vehicles by 2013, a goal which the company believes will serve as a significant tool in launching Ford back to the top of the market. “PowerShift represents a true competitive advantage for Ford and is one of the many technologies that will help our global small car platforms set a new world standard for efficiency and drive quality,” said Barb Samardzich, vice president of Global Powertrain Engineering. “This advanced six-speed is an improvement over today’s automatic transmissions in terms of fuel economy, while providing customers an even more fun-to-drive experience.”

Source: Ford

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