But that is not the case for Hyundai as the Korean automaker has preferred dual clutch transmissions over continuously variable transmissions. Mike O’Brien, Hyundai Motor America VP of product planning spoke to reporters at SEMA about the automaker’s future with dual clutch transmission.
O’Brien mentioned that dual clutch technology has a better future with the company. It has better fuel economy advantages, works better for the enthusiastic driver and it matches the company’s product philosophy better.
O’Brien also added that while dual clutch transmissions may not be smooth in terms of shifting, its characteristics override the parasitic losses that are experienced by continuously variable transmission which results in poorer performance and fuel economy.
CVTs work like a rubber band being pulled across a cone. When more low end power is needed, a metal belt which connects to the transmission and engine goes to the small end of the cone to get more direct power. While cruising, where the vehicle do not need much power, the belt moves to the larger end of the cone for higher speeds.
The parasitic loss mentioned above refers to the moving up and down of the belt. Continuously variable transmissions are also known to not being able to cope with high powered engines.
Currently, Hyundai has a dual clutch unit fitted to the naturally aspirated Veloster but the company has opted for a six speed automatic transmission for the turbocharged variant as it is seen as a better option to handle the extra horses. O’Brien also mentioned that the usage of dual clutch transmissions could expand in Hyundai’s future.
Image credit: Net Car Show