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by Brett Davis

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.

  • Rick

    Well done Chrysler can’t wait for the new cars to arrive . shame all we are getting is the 300c and jeeps would be nice if we started to get the chargers ,challengers and durango and given the great reviews on the new Chrysler 200 would be nice as well . It’s good to see Chrysler learn from their mistakes , wait and get something perfect , instead of the old way of slapping something together and throwing it into showroom and hope it sells . This is good news

    • Charger

      Couldnt agree more i never throught that the FIAT merger would assist Chrysler/ Shows how bad Mercedes treated Chrysler!

  • D

    They will be being careful because Ford is copping a lot of bad press with the Focus and Fiesta PowerShift. Most of it is because most drivers in the US have never driven, let alone been in a manual so they don’t understand why a dual clutch automatic feels so different to drive.

    • David

      How does dual clutch feel different to a normal auto?

    • theillestlife

      D, im guessing you havent driven a dual-clutch either? because it feels no different to a conventional auto… the dual-clutch is just better…

      • D

        I have done about 1000 miles in a Focus and driven VW DSGs so I do know what they are like. I believe they feel very much like a manual (with no pedal of course). You can feel direct gear changes, hill starts feel like a manual (revs increase, take up at the friction point and the car moves away) and as you slow down to a stand still you can (potentially, depending on road speed, programming etc) feel a slight vibration as the engine reaches the bottom of its rev range before the clutch is released.

        Americans are very used to torque convertor autos with no lock up or only locking in top gear so they find the dual clutch autos too jerky. An unlock torque convertor gives a very smooth transition between power and deceleration, which a dual clutch auto does not do in quite the same way.

  • Westie

    Apparently, it “feels differently”!
    English as she is goodly spoked.
    I presume the DCT doesn’t slur like a good ole 727 Torqueflyte.
    Probably nowhere near as bomb proof, either!

  • ERIC

    I have been driving a 2006 Jetta Turbo with Dual clutch for nearly 6 years. Its an excellent transmission although its not that dissimilar to a good quality normal auto. Much better of course than regular auto. Have not driven other brands with dual clutch other than VW so not sure how to compare to the Ford Focus etc. There are too many varying dynamics…vehicle weight, power, cylinders, brand etc.

  • PhantomHamster

    Weirdly enough the DSG in the Fiesta is really good, we have one in our fleet, and everytime I drive it, I realise how good it is… still puzzles me cos its in a Ford. I mean Im not ford hater by any means (I’ve owned 2) but it really is good, especially considering it’s in such a cheap car and a ford at that….

  • Mr Gaspo

    I predict the dual clutch autos will fade away as 7+ speed tourque converter autos with lockup become available… The difference in efficiency will be marginal without the complexity and the different driving feel of dual clutch. I also believe that the US market will drive this change.