Education Online Drivers

New Car Transmission Options

Automatic Transmissions:

Many car owners love their Automatic Transmissions for comfort and ease. Put it in Drive, the torque converter does all the work and you Go. New technologies in Automatic Transmissions are now allowing six-speed automatic transmissions. You will find these six-speed automatic transmissions in mainstream cars like the Mazda6 and Ford Five Hundred. The MINI Cooper S, made by BMW, is thinking of going with the six-speed automatic transmission in its car. Seven-speed automatics are also showing up in high end luxury cars.

CVT Transmissions:

These are also automatic transmissions, yet perform slightly differently. You still put it in Drive and go. In these transmission, I have heard you do not feel the shift like normal automatic trannys, and that they cannot transfer as much horsepower to the ground, without some type of failures. The Nissan Murano and MINI Cooper have this option, and we will see how widespread this goes.

Manual Transmissions:

The Manual Transmission is the choice of gearheads who love their cars. They live and breathe having cars with this transmission, giving them complete control of the car at all times, and how it transmits the power. These transmissions have not changed much. You still have the clutch, brake and gas combo to make it move and stop. They do in many cars now have six-speed manual transmissions, and this is not an uncommon thing. Whereas you had 4-speed manual trannys long before. Want control? You want a manual transmission.

Auto-Shifting Manual Transmissions:

BMW and Audi are the leaders in this front. BMW has its SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) and Audi has the DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox). I have driven neither, so I don’t have first hand experience with how they relate in control to a Manual Transmission. However, they do use a clutch like a manual transmission that is automatically shifted. The good news about that? Automatic transmissions loose roughly on average 20% of its power as it hits the wheels. With this transmission, you dont loose that power, because you do not have a torque converter, but you have an actual clutch. This is great news for people who like the option of automatic for traffic, but want the power to shift whenever they want to without loss of power. Look for more of these trannys soon, as even Volkswagen Golf’s are said to have them as an option.

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