Will the mid-engine C8 Corvette have a dual clutch transmission?
Well, Road & Track says the evidence is pointing that way more and more every day. The magazine is reporting that an employee newsletter from the supplier of a machine used to produce a DCT transmission for GM seems to indicate that General Motors and Ford may be sharing such a gearbox from Tremec, with the newsletter speculating that the C8 Corvette and the Mustang GT500 would be the lucky recipients.
While GM hasn’t even confirmed the existence of the mid-engine Corvette yet, let alone what kind of transmission it will have, we did find out today for sure at the auto show in Detroit that at least half of that newsletter speculation is coming true, with Ford announcing that the GT500 will indeed have a Tremec TR-9007 DCT transmission.
According to the newsletter, the new transmission, which reportedly can handle up to 664 lb-ft of torque, was developed in Belgium and manufactured in Mexico, with final assembly in the U.S.
The supplier, a company named Fassler which spilled the beans about all this in a newsletter in late 2017, apparently earned a contract to supply a gear honing machine in June 2017 for a project known as “GM-DCT,” which would be General Motors’ first DCT transmission.
Tremec started pilot production after receiving the first Fassler machine in January 2018, which is used to hone all 23 gears, shafts, and wheels used in the new transmission. Gears that have been honed instead of ground reportedly offer excellent wear characteristics, are extremely quiet and offer better resistance to micropitting.
Furthermore, the newsletter goes on to point out that Tremec ordered two more such machines from Fassler in late summer 2017 for another project called “Ford-DCT.” The newsletter speculates that GM and Ford could be sharing these high-tech gearboxes and that they could be slated to handle the high performance needs of the GT500 and C8 Corvette.
Road & Track also notes that social media profiles for a Tremec employee in the Mexican city where the transmissions are being manufactured indicate they’re working on gears for a new DCT transmission for GM and Ford.
Since half of this theory has been confirmed, we’ll just have to wait and see if it also proves true for the C8 Corvette.
A dual-clutch transmission, by the way, is an automatic transmission, but closely related to a manual transmission. It uses two separate clutches for odd and even gear sets, and according to Wikipedia, it can be fundamentally described as two separate manual transmissions with their respective clutches contained within one housing and working as one unit. It’s usually operated in a fully automatic mode but may also allow the driver to manually shift gears in semi-automatic mode, while still using the transmission’s electrohydraulics.
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