It’s called “PowerShift” and it’s Ford’s new six-speed dual clutch transmission, which has just been introduced on the Focus and C-MAX ranges in the UK.
- Anthony Crawford
This is certainly good news for Ford fans and we can only hope that the potent XR5 Ford Focus is a recipient of this Getrag built gearbox.
While this transmission might be new to Ford, the technology has been employed in selected Audi and Volkswagen models for several years now and is mostly an outstanding driving experience.
While most modern automatic transmissions today are generally smooth shifting, especially those by the German ZF Group, there is still a significant loss of tractive power between ratios.
Not so, with the Twin clutch set up. Shifts are almost imperceptible with next to no loss power when either upshifting or downshifting. It’s quite incredible from a driving perspective as you can pretty much be in the correct gear, whether into or out of a corner.
Sounds complex? Not really. Just select “D” for drive, as you would in any other automatic car and off you go. But don’t expect to feel any sudden gear changes, because there aren’t any.
I reckon the ZF six speed gearbox currently employed by Ford, is one of the smoothest and quickest shifting transmissions on the market today. But while that may be true, the shift time between ratios is still around 350 milliseconds.
That's slow compared to the 8 milliseconds on the upshift with the twin-clutch unit! That’s right; Ford’s new PowerShift is a lot quicker than Ferrari’s current 599 supercar, which is near enough to 100 milliseconds. It's even faster than a current Formula One car.
The residual benefit is just as impressive, with overall fuel consumption and C02 emissions between four and eight percent less in a car with a twin clutch gearbox, which is good for your budget and even better for the environment.
While there is usually a premium to be paid on a car with dual clutch transmission, it is most likely a box you will tick after just a short test drive.