Audi is turning away from dual clutch transmissions for its high-performance vehicles.
According to a recent report from Australia’s Drive, the German automaker is transitioning back to automatic transmissions on vehicles packing higher levels of torque. The company has already put an eight-speed automatic transmission in the new S4 and S5 models, a move it made because of “a torque issue,” said Florian Beck, powertrain engineer for the new S4 and S5 vehicles. Beck elaborated on why the decision was made, saying that up to 295 pound-feet of torque is the perfect combination for the dual clutch transmission, but both the S4 and S5 have more than that with 369 lb-ft of twist.
Instead, Audi finds the new eight-speed automatic transmission to be “very consistent and very efficient,” and it’s a move that other automakers are making as well. For example, Ford and GM teamed up to develop new nine- and 10-speed automatic transmissions, with Chevrolet boasting that the new 10-speed unit shifts faster than Porsche’s PDK, which is a dual clutch transmission. In addition, dual clutch transmissions aren’t as smooth as automatic units, with Beck acknowledging there are benefits to the low-speed driveability of an automatic.
Of course, you also have companies like Nissan touting a dual clutch transmission in its venerable GT-R, a sports car that clearly performs just fine without a traditional automatic transmission.