Kia gave a little glimpse into the near future when they showed off their new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) at the Geneva Motor Show.
This new state-of-the-art automatic transmission is a first for Kia, as they look to deliver improved fuel efficiency, improved performance, and a sportier driving feel to their vehicles.
The idea is to use this transmission to replace the existing 6-speed automatic that is delivered as an option on a number of different Kia models.
The new seven-speed automatic gearbox (DCT) takes the best of manual and automatic transmissions and combines them to deliver faster gear changes.
7-speed DCT improves performance & fuel efficiency
The goal of the engineers as they designed the transmission was to deliver a 7% increase in fuel efficiency and a 5% improvement in acceleration over the existing 6-speed automatic transmission.
Kia’s research and developmnet team has also been focusing on NVH through the development process. The use of an external damper means that the new automatic gearbox is a lot more refined.
A pair of dry clutches are used in the DCT, each of which has an electric motor-driven clutch actuator to help improve fuel efficiency. There are also two gear input shafts used in the odd and even gear ratios.
This set-up means that the DCT is able to immediately jump to any of its seven gears, or be able to do it sequentially, depending on what the driver needs at any given time.
The automaker’s new DCT unit is able to minimize the amount of torque lost during shifting by employing continuous power delivery, which also helps make each gear change incredibly smooth.
The 7-speed transmission offers wider ratio coverage than the 6-speed alternative, which in turn results in a much improved fuel efficiency rating.
Kia has penciled in 2015 as the year in which this transmission will start appearing in their cars.