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May 28, 2008
Chrysler will debut its first dual-clutch transmission in Australia in an all-new SUV, the Dodge Journey, in 2009.

It says the new transmission, developed in conjunction with leading European manufacturer Getrag, will provide environmental benefits for drivers, reducing CO2 emissions by 6 percent.

"Chrysler’s new dual-clutch transmission is the next step in transmission technology, offering consumers improved fuel economy along with smoother and quicker shifting," says Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development.

"This important technology is one of several initiatives we have in place to directly focus on improving fuel efficiency across our vehicle line-up."

The dual-clutch transmission is an automatic transmission which utilises dual launch and shift clutches with a manual transmission style lay-shaft gear arrangement, instead of a conventional torque converter and planetary gears.

One clutch drives the odd numbered gears and reverse, while the other clutch drives the even numbered gears.

During shifts, the next gear is anticipated and pre-selected. Then one clutch is opened while the other is closed, allowing shifting without torque interruption. The result is quicker acceleration and refined shift quality.

Further, with the lay-shaft arrangement of gears, there is increased flexibility to optimise gear ratio selection for performance and fuel economy.

The all-new dual-clutch transmission does not require a torque converter to transfer engine torque to the transmission.

Instead, it uses two wet multi-plate clutches where the clutch components are bathed in lubricating/cooling fluid in order to provide adequate thermal capacity.

The wet multi-plate clutch system uses hydraulic pressure to actuate the clutches and provide for gear selection.

With this system, the power flow from the engine to the transmission is not interrupted during a shift, resulting in a power-on shift.

This means that there is less torque disturbance than a conventional planetary automatic transmission with torque converter.

Also, by eliminating the torque converter and reducing the number of shift clutches, parasitic losses are reduced leading to improved fuel economy.

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