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Chrysler to use Fiat dual clutch technology by 2013

Fiat is all about spreading their European-bred technology to the American Chrysler models and when something offers drivetrain efficiency like Fiat’s new 6-speed TCT dual clutch transmission.

Weighing just 179 pounds, this 6-speed dual clutch (it’s an automatic) is lighter than a great many current transmissions available in the global marketplace. The lightweight internal construction coupled with the advanced dual (dry) clutch technology allows for less drivetrain losses and as such, this transmission will essentially make an engine more efficient since it takes less effort by the motor to turn the internal workings of the transmission.

These new automatic transmissions using dual clutch technology are providing vast improvements in fuel economy compared to the traditional fluid filled torque convertor setup found in most traditional automatic transmissions. By combining the lightweight interior more typical of a manual transmission with the self-shifting capacity, the dual clutch transmission technology is slowly spreading from high performance models like the 2011 Nissan GT-R to more fuel efficient models like the Alfa MiTo.

Fiat’s dual clutch transmission debuted in the Alfa Romeo MiTo, a sporty FWD 3-door hatchback but Fiat plans to use this basic transmission design on a variety of vehicles in their lineup and by 2013, we can expect to see this transmission technology offered – at least as an option – in Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. This particular transmission was design specifically for front wheel drive configurations and the necessary compact design caters to a lightweight construction but with many other automakers using dual clutch technology for all- and rear-wheel-drive performance vehicles, we could easily see the Fiat DCT in more than just FWD compacts in the coming two years.