The Company That Pioneered Dual-Clutches May Be Ditching Them


Future Audi S and RS cars will start to feature torque-converter automatics.

When the first-generation Audi TT came out, it featured a new type of transmission that would change the landscape of how fast cars made it through gear changes. The dual-clutch transmission has been adopted by rivals like BMW and Mercedes, a long with Ferrari and budget brands like Ford and Hyundai. Even though Audi was one of the first brands to offer a dual-clutch, the automaker may be ditching these transmissions for its faster S and RS models in favor of traditional automatics. The new S4 and S5 have already lost the DSG.

The 2016 S4 and S5 now feature an eight-speed automatic instead of the old seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch. Florian Beck, a powertrain engineer for the new S4 and S5 says that it's now mainly "a torque issue." He says: "You have to look at the maximum torque. Up to 400Nm is the perfect combination for the dual clutch transmission, but this one has more than 500Nm." We loved Audi's dual-clutch, but these transmissions can be jerky from time to time and power can be delivered abruptly. VW and Audi have had to recall dual-clutch-equipped cars in the past, and automatics are just simpler to build. We may not like it, but it looks like future fast Audis will be loosing the dual-clutch. Does that make you want one less?

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