The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray May Soon Get a Dual Clutch Transmission
While there is no information known about the new General Motors 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, this trademark filing makes it clear that the company has a new high tech transmission in the works. While both Ford Motor Company and the Chrysler Group have gone to dual clutch transmission in smaller economy-minded models, these lightning quick self-shifting gearboxes gained their original popularity in the supercar world. The basic design of the dual clutch automatic transmission allows for less of the drivetrain loss that comes with a traditional fluid driven automatic transmission while also allowing for much, much faster shifts. The result is that many high performance vehicles fitted with a dual clutch automatic are actually faster than the same car equipped with a proper manual transmission.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the most powerful “base” Corvette of all time while also being the best performing non-special edition Vette ever to grace showrooms but there is still a performance drop when you opt for the 6-speed automatic transmission over the new 7-speed manual gearbox. The introduction of a 7-speed dual clutch automatic would greatly increase the performance capabilities of the self-shifting C7 Stingray while also making them more efficient.
There is also the possibility that this new GM 7-speed dual clutch transmission is intended for one of the higher performance C7 Corvette models such as the Z06, Z07, ZR1 or whatever the new super-Vette might be called when it arrives. General Motors has traditionally offered only a proper manual transmission behind their highest performance Corvette engines like the LS7 of the C6 Z06 and the supercharged LS9 of the C6 ZR1. Dual clutch technology has proven itself in some of the world’s highest performance sports cars including the likes of the BMW M Series as well as various Ferrari and Lamborghini models. The use of dual clutch transmissions in these globally respected supercars – often without any full manual transmission offered on the same car – has shown that these transmissions are automatics worthy of the high performance world so perhaps GM will take a page out of the books of BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche by offering their highest performance models with the self shifting dual clutch automatic.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has already asserted itself as an affordable performance car that can hang with some of the best (and most expensive) sports cars in the world. Introduction of efficient dual clutch technology to the C7 Corvette – whether it is for the base engine powered by the new LT1 V8 or it is reserved for a higher performance model like the future Corvette Z07 – will allow the Corvette to more comfortably stand toe to toe with some of the world’s greatest performance cars.
Of course, if history has taught us anything, it is that the high performance features of the Chevrolet Corvette are eventually used on a high performance Cadillac model so we could also be seeing this 7-speed dual clutch offered in future V Series models like the CTS-V or the ATS-V in addition to whatever Corvette application comes to fruition.