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      03-01-2011, 08:16 PM   #67
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Drives: E92 M3
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: San Diego, CA USA

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Round and round we go. It appears neither side will give in.

Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Swamp, my feelings on this are that the answer to your question is absolutely irrelevant since no proper manual transmission with a clutch pedal and H-gated shifter has an automatic mode. In other words, the transmission has no ability whatsoever to shift automatically. It does not matter how the shifting is accomplished, it just matters that the driver must participate.
And when a DCT is in manual mode the driver MUST participate. Two levers, just like the two two levers in a MT. It is like two transmissions from some perspectives.

Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
In order to avoid confusion, it makes most sense to call any transmission that has the ability to switch gear ratios by itself - without any driver involvment at all - an automatic transmission. Sure, we could call such transmissions "automanuals". That would perhaps be a better or more accurate term. The problem is that people have been calling this type of transmission an "automatic" for decades (since '41 according to Bruce) now and I don't see how it is necessary nor practical to rename them at this time, especially not at the behest of some new technology that is completely internal to the transmisison and does not change the driver's side of the shifting process.
I believe there is equal confusion caused by calling a DCT an automatic. You can not deny that folks associate a torque converter and the feel you have with that as well as the presenece of planetary gear sets a key part of "automatic".

Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
And FWIW, yes, if someone designs a transmission that has a clutch pedal and yet still has an automatic mode - that's an automatic transmission. Why? Because it can shift by itself. Conversely, if someone designs a transmission with no clutch pedal that can only be shifted by the driver, then that is a manual transmission. In other words, going back to your first paragraph, the exact nature by which the shifting is accomplished is not important, the only thing that matters is whether gear ratios can be selected automatically or not. Simple.
It is far from simple when units have both automatic and manual modes. The choice of one name over the other leaves out half of the transmissions available modes.