So how does this revolutionary transmission concept work? The basis for the new development is a 6-speed manual gearbox with high variability in the selection of the transmission ratio. Thanks to the use of an integrated twin multi-plate clutch with ingenious control system, two gears can be engaged at the same time. During dynamic operation of the car, one gear is engaged. When the next gearshift point is approached, the appropriate gear is preselected but its clutch kept disengaged. The gearshift process opens the clutch of the activated gear and closes the other clutch at the same time. The gear change takes place under load, with the result that a permanent flow of power is maintained.
The technology of this twin-clutch transmission, the only one of its kind in the world, has its roots in motor racing. As far back as 1985, Walter Röhrl successfully tested it in his Audi Sport quattro S1.
Today, the new design satisfies the exacting requirements of convenient gear-shifting and maximum operating life for everyday use in series production vehicles. This transmission has been developed at group level and is built at the Kassel transmissions plant. This compact transmission is capable of handling torque of up to 350 Newton-metres.
The control logic integrated into the transmission casing maintains optimum gearshift strategies that perform lightning-fast gearshifts that are nevertheless smooth and almost jolt-free. The driver can directly influence the gear selected and the gearshift timing at will, by means of the gear lever in the manual gate or the standard-fit shift paddles on the steering wheel.
In the automatic mode, the driver can shift from position D to the ultra-sporty S program, in which upshifts are retarded, downshifts advanced and the shifting process accelerated. A remote one-touch function accessed via the shift paddles on the steering wheel in addition temporarily calls up the manual mode even in automatic modes D and S.
High overall efficiency is thus combined with superlative road performance and ease of control to produce an exceptional drive concept. The user interface is reminiscent of the familiar gearbox gate of the Audi tiptronic or multitronic.