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Kia unveils new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission


Kia has unveiled its all-new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, pointing the way for future transmission developments from the Korean brand.

Designed as a more fuel-efficient replacement for Kia’s existing six-speed automatic transmission, currently available as an option on the majority of Kia models, the new DCT combines the advantages of both manual and automatic transmissions while allowing for faster gear changes than both.

Throughout the development process, engineers have been targeting a 7% improvement in fuel efficiency and a 5% improvement in acceleration (0-100 km/h) over the existing six-speed DCT transmission.

NVH (Noise, Vibration & Harshness)  has also been a key focus for the team behind the DCT’s development, with an external damper ensuring a high level of refinement for the new transmission.

The DCT is made up of two dry clutches, each fitted with an electric motor-driven clutch actuator to improve fuel economy, and a pair of gear input shafts, one each for the odd and even gear ratios. This set-up enables the DCT to operate sequentially or to jump immediately to any of its seven forward gears (and reverse) depending on the driver’s requirements.

The continuous power delivery offered by the DCT minimises the loss of torque by the powertrain during gear shifting and ensures a smoother drive in all conditions. The wide ratio coverage afforded to the engine by the seven-speed gearbox results in improved fuel efficiency and performance over rival six-speed DCTs.

The new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will start to appear on production Kia cars in 2015.