US: BorgWarner develops simplified dual-clutch transmission

By just-auto.com editorial team | 5 December 2007

BorgWarner says it has a 'unique new dual-clutch transmission for developing markets and small cars' in the final development stages.

Working in conjunction with several Asian automakers, BorgWarner will be providing patent-pending dual-clutch transmission architecture that delivers fuel efficiency in an affordable package ideal for the growing small car demand in developing markets, it says.

"Drivers in developing markets like China and India are looking for the ease of using an automatic transmission in an affordable vehicle," said Dr. Bernd Matthes, President and General Manager, BorgWarner Transmission Systems.

"Up until now, the complexity and cost of automatic transmissions made it impractical to package this option in smaller cars. With BorgWarner's new design, we can deliver the responsive, fuel-efficient, fun-to drive characteristics of a dual-clutch transmission in a smaller, more affordable package. The unique architecture of our compact dual-clutch transmission is expected to expand the use of automatic transmissions in emerging markets. Test results with this transmission indicate a 13% fuel efficiency improvement, better top-end speed and a significant improvement in acceleration over automatic transmissions currently in production."

BorgWarner says it is significantly reducing the complexity of the transmission hardware.

"The competition in this fast-growing and high-potential market segment is fierce and extremely motivating," Matthes said. "Together with our OEM partners, we are working relentlessly to craft affordable, differentiating systems that distinguish our customers' products from their competition and keep BorgWarner at the forefront of transmission technology."

Working with these partners, BorgWarner is currently testing and refining its first phase transmission hardware and controls software. BorgWarner expects production implementation of its new compact dual-clutch transmission design within two to three years.

The patent-pending "power split" design of the new transmission uses a large number of common and simplified parts and modules which enhance the affordability of the transmission, the ease of packaging in small vehicles and the manufacturability of the transmission in emerging markets.

The small vehicle segment is expected to grow 30% over the next five years from about 19 million to almost 25 million cars.