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by George Skentzos

With the new Q5 SUV due to be launched in Australia next month, Audi has announced the new model would also showcase another of the brand’s progressive technologies – the seven-gear S-tronic transmission.

The dual-clutch transmission will feature as standard in the new range of Audi Q5 models, offering a fully automatic mode with both D (Drive) and S (Sport) programs as well as shift paddles as standard fitment for V6 models.

For the first time, the transmission has been designed for use with a longitudinally-installed engine and quattro all-wheel, previously only available for transverse applications in the Audi TT and A3 models.

2009 Audi Q5 boasts standard 7-speed S tronic

The seven-speed S tronic incorporates two multi-plate clutches using a sold shaft to direct torque for the odd-numbered gears and a hollow shaft which rotates around the solid shaft for even gears.

Both transmission structures are continuously active, but only one is connected to the engine at any one time – for example, when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second transmission structure.

This set-up means gear changes only take a few hundredths of a second with no interruption to traction.

The seven-speed S tronic is designed for engine speeds of up to 9000 rpm and can transmit torque of up to 550Nm, ideal for mid-range engines, delivering lightning-fast gear changes and uninterrupted power flow.