Chrysler has held back introducing its first ever dual-clutch transmission due to doubts over refinement and whether it would suit US buyers. Chrysler was set to release a dual-clutch auto in the 2012 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger.
Borrowed from Fiat, the new six-speed dry dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission is currently in use behind various engines in Europe. Even so, Chrysler is holding back on adopting the transmission for its new models.
According to Chrysler spokesman Vince Muniga, the decision to delay its introduction was made a couple of months ago. Mr Muniga said in an Automotive News report that Chrysler was “concerned about the refinement and how the American customers might perceive the transmission”.
Another Chrysler spokesperson, Kathy Graham, also spoke about why the decision had been put off, saying that the dual-clutch transmission
“feels differently than what consumers are used to in the United States,” and that Chrysler “felt additional development work to ensure we fulfil the market expectations and driving requirements by US consumers was the right decision.”
She also added that this plan would fall into line with Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne’s plans, saying,
“Mr Marchionne has been on record since Fiat bought us that our products need to be perfect.”
Despite the ability for dual-clutch transmissions to provide reductions in fuel consumption and lower emissions, Chrysler will continue with a six-speed automatic until further development is completed.
The company is in a joint venture deal with transmission company ZF for production of a nine-speed auto as well, which will be used in upcoming front-wheel drive models.