Originally Posted by mkoesel
Yep. For that matter, the Panamera S has 500+ ft-lb and uses a DCT as well (no manual available there either), so those who said this type of gearbox could not handle the torque were always just speaking from ignorance.
I don't necessarily disagree with them. However, I'll believe it when I see Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, etc, using torque converters in their cars again. Porsche used to use them of course, but now all of Porsche's passenger cars are using dual clutch gearboxes (their light trucks do use autos). Clearly there is something to be gained, or they would not have made this change. I also will point out that Ford and VW have been replacing their torque converter automatics in every day cars with dual clutch transmissions. They cite efficiency as a big reason.
Who knows what the future will bring but what ZF is saying is that they feel that they can equal the performance of a DCT with a planetary "traditional" automatic. They are not there yet but the best of the ATs are approaching DCT shift times. At some point further improvements in shift time from either technology will be moot. The newest 8 speed ZF is modular and can be built with either a torque converter or a multi-plate clutch pack (AMG is using this technology in some of their cars as well).
I think that the appeal of the DCT is two fold. Part of the appeal is the technology and the fast shift times and part of the appeal is the idea that it is "not really an Automatic Transmission" and does not have the stigma of being a "Slushbox".