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      03-13-2011, 09:08 AM   #111
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I don't think you have pushed the analogy far enough nor quite correctly. You did mold it perfectly to make your desired point though .
The analogy works fine. The term in question in our case happens "automatic", so it is a more general term, but the semantics of the debate are the same as in my hypothetical. The fact is that, as that term is applied to the behavior of a transmission, the DCT fits the definition to a tee, just like ATCE fits the definition of a V6.

Remember, I've already fully acknowledged that the DCT can be classed differently from a traditional planetary automatic. I've even said it makes sense to do this depending on context. The issue here is that you won't allow DCT to be classed in similar terms to any transmission that does not have two concentric clutches, regardless of whether a given term is suitably abstract such that the mechanical coupling and, in fact, the entire internals of the transmissions are not even in play.

Earlier you suggested the term automanual fit the DCT, right? Now, let's see if what I just said in the last sentence of that last paragraph is true or not. Here's the hypothesis:

Both the M-DCT and a BMW's Steptronic, a modern planetary transmission, are automanuals. True or false?

And you're answer to this is?

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What do we (all of us) say powers such vehicle - we just call an apple and apple and say "hybrid"! Both the drive and the drivetrain are specialized enough that they very appropriately deserve and get their own terms. Doing otherwise does a disservice to all, hyper-milers, eco trendy soccer moms or tech inclined early adopters alike.
Absolutely. So, let's say I design a new car and I power it by both an I4 diesel for efficiency and something with more performance - maybe a jet turbine engine. Either engine can power the car's wheels. The diesel is typically used at low speeds and when cruising on the highway. The turbine kicks in for extreme performance and acceleration. It's a pretty wild setup, you see.

Now, this is still a hybrid - because like you said in your post "Nonetheless, still 2 engines in parallel". The prius crowd doesn't like my car because it doesn't have an electric motor. But hey, I still got the diesel there, and it is very efficient. Doesn't matter to them though, they won't acknowledge that my new beast is a hybrid, and refuse to call it that.
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      03-13-2011, 06:07 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
The analogy works fine. The term in question in our case happens "automatic", so it is a more general term, but the semantics of the debate are the same as in my hypothetical. The fact is that, as that term is applied to the behavior of a transmission, the DCT fits the definition to a tee, just like ATCE fits the definition of a V6.
Well we will have to agree to disagree on this as well... You had your analogy that made you case and I had mine.

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Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Remember, I've already fully acknowledged that the DCT can be classed differently from a traditional planetary automatic. I've even said it makes sense to do this depending on context. The issue here is that you won't allow DCT to be classed in similar terms to any transmission that does not have two concentric clutches, regardless of whether a given term is suitably abstract such that the mechanical coupling and, in fact, the entire internals of the transmissions are not even in play.
Hmmm, the first sentence above seems to be something somewhat new. I know you've said things along those lines but you also strongly make the case for 2 categories only. As for my preference/opinion you don't have it quite right. When in automatic mode and when speaking about the user interface alone it absolutely makes sense to refer to a DCT as an automatic. But again, IMHO, only under those circumstances. Thus it is simply superior to say it has an automatic mode!

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Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Earlier you suggested the term automanual fit the DCT, right? Now, let's see if what I just said in the last sentence of that last paragraph is true or not. Here's the hypothesis:

Both the M-DCT and a BMW's Steptronic, a modern planetary transmission, are automanuals. True or false?

And you're answer to this is?
No, automated manual or automanual is in my view a transmission that is a "traditional manual" (or parallel manual) from the internal construction and feel/experience perspectives but due to mechatronics has an automatic mode. Again I also think simply that calling an apple an apple is superior, i.e. calling a dual clutch a dual clutch is superior to calling it an automanual. Also, just to be clear I think automated manual is much more clear than automanual. The former describes exactly what the unit is on the inside and how the mechatronics work to add capability, the latter just blurs the two words in a more opaque way.

Again with the wealth of transmission types and all of their associated implications (feel, performance, user interface, speed, efficiency) there is so little to be gained from forcing everything into 2 categories. Call an apple and apple and have multiple categories.

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Now, this is still a hybrid - because like you said in your post "Nonetheless, still 2 engines in parallel". The prius crowd doesn't like my car because it doesn't have an electric motor. But hey, I still got the diesel there, and it is very efficient. Doesn't matter to them though, they won't acknowledge that my new beast is a hybrid, and refuse to call it that.
Words evolve to have connotative implications. This is certainly true with the term hybrid as applied to automobiles. In that regard hybrid in its non automotive sense would be perfect for such a jet-diesel weirdo car. Obviously hoards of greenies (consumer level) as well as the OEMs themselves would not feel it is an appropriate term. Both are basically correct.
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      03-14-2011, 08:51 AM   #113
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Hmmm, the first sentence above seems to be something somewhat new. I know you've said things along those lines but you also strongly make the case for 2 categories only.
I've made the case for applying the algorithm for categorization in a uniform way. If there's two categories, and they form a partition, then it's legitimate to say everything falls into one or the other. If we pick three categories or more that's fine too. Whatever the situation dictates is just fine. The point I've tried to emphasize is that if we are sorting transmissions by how the user interacts at a high level, such as when using an abstract word like "automatic", then the DCT is necessarily going to be grouped with some transmissions that are not DCTs and which may happen to operate very differently internally. If instead we are talking about how the transmissions function and discussing their inner workings, then sure, the DCT could very well get its own category.

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As for my preference/opinion you don't have it quite right. When in automatic mode and when speaking about the user interface alone it absolutely makes sense to refer to a DCT as an automatic. But again, IMHO, onlyunder those circumstances.
Sure but that same strictness should be applied to other transmission types too.

And such strictness is great, but for better or for worse it happens that today's coloquial term "automatic" is the de-facto way to refer to a transmission when casually talking about a car. The interface is what was important to casual people, so that's the term that stuck. And, yes, it also just so happens that this is often a misnomer since a lot of transmissions have both a manual mode and automatic mode.

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Thus it is simply superior to say it has an automatic mode!
Well that's subjective too, and boils gets down to grammar, sentence structure, and language style. I'm not going to split the hairs that finely.

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No, automated manual or automanual is in my view a transmission that is a "traditional manual" (or parallel manual) from the internal construction and feel/experience perspectives but due to mechatronics has an automatic mode.
Alright, fair enough then. How bout' manumatic then?

I don't care what we call it, but if we define some term to mean "a transmisison that has both manual and automatic operation" then MDCT and Steptronic are both going to fit.

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Again with the wealth of transmission types and all of their associated implications (feel, performance, user interface, speed, efficiency) there is so little to be gained from forcing everything into 2 categories. Call an apple and apple and have multiple categories.
It is not a matter of forcing one or the other, it depends on the situation. Like I say, in casual converstation, typically, the user interface is how we tend to break things down.

Also, no less can be gained by grouping passenger car engines into the two categories - say, diesel and gasoline. Yet, sometimes it absolutely makes sense to do that. And of course sometimes it makes sense to break them down based upon head configuration, induction type, or piston configuration., etc.
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      03-14-2011, 09:30 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
m5board is reporting that the new F10 M5 has a 7 speed DCT. Link. Now if that is indeed a really good torque converter/planetary automatic one might get confused and think it is a DCT. I doubt they also got confused between 7 and 8 gears though. Also I do think if you paid close attention to low speeds and "clutching" there would be no way to get confused. We will see.
We will see !!!

The car chris harris has driven was an prototype-car ... an it is no secret that the M-GmbH has build F10 M5s prototypes with M-DkG ... but to my infos they ruled out the DKG for the production-cars mostly because of cost issues ... the ZF 8-auto is much cheaper than the Getrag DKG ( and also because it was costly to modify the M-DKG so that it could withstand the torque from the M5 engine in longterm quality ) ... and electronic could make the ZF8 feel like an DKG.
It make no sence to bring the new M5 with an Auto and with the M-DKG ... and people who had seen the real productin-car quoted, that this has the ZF 8-gear Automatic ... and also remenber the interview with an M official not long ago, were he praises the ZF8 and how sporty it was ... but:

We will see !!!

I hope my infos are wrong ... not because I would buy an M5, but for the consequence this would have for the new F32 M3. With an Auto in the M5 I could live ... with an Auto in the M3 I couldnīt !!!

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      03-14-2011, 10:23 AM   #115
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I hope we get this info next month when the Concept M5 debuts. The transmission choice they make for the M5 could very well have implications for the rest of the M lineup going forward. Of course we won't really know to what extent for a while, but to me it would not bode well for the future of M-DCT in any M passenger car if they give the M5 the ZF8.
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      03-14-2011, 11:17 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uli_HH View Post
We will see !!!

I hope my infos are wrong ... not because I would buy an M5, but for the consequence this would have for the new F32 M3. With an Auto in the M5 I could live ... with an Auto in the M3 I couldnīt !!!
Would not be the first M3 with a traditional automatic - can you say E36M3? Hopefully your info is wrong but at least these autos are much better than what has been offered in the past....

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      03-14-2011, 11:40 AM   #117
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X5 and X6 M are also autos, so it's not like it'd be a huge change now for the M5 to have one. I wouldn't necessarily want one, but the 8SP is a great transmission from what I've read.
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      03-14-2011, 02:20 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
I hope we get this info next month when the Concept M5 debuts. The transmission choice they make for the M5 could very well have implications for the rest of the M lineup going forward. Of course we won't really know to what extent for a while, but to me it would not bode well for the future of M-DCT in any M passenger car if they give the M5 the ZF8.
Pffft. Anything's fine as long we get the dual clutch pedals, and we get to keep the auto comfort protection, ultimate assist monitor, AAVVA and IHITF in the new F32 M3.


Cheers.
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      03-14-2011, 03:00 PM   #119
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And such strictness is great, but for better or for worse it happens that today's coloquial term "automatic" is the de-facto way to refer to a transmission when casually talking about a car. The interface is what was important to casual people, so that's the term that stuck. And, yes, it also just so happens that this is often a misnomer since a lot of transmissions have both a manual mode and automatic mode.
I disagree. I think there is much more use among journalists and enthusiasts of automated manual or dual clutch for dual clutch units. For web sites like Autotrade absolutely for the masses you probably will find DCTs listed at automatics.

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I don't care what we call it, but if we define some term to mean "a transmisison that has both manual and automatic operation" then MDCT and Steptronic are both going to fit.
The problem with terms like Steptronic is that it is simply a mostly aribitray, concocted word without much intrinsic meaning. You can contrast that against dual clutch transmission, which describes a great deal about the unit. Also, technically speaking, any old school automatic with a lever and button on the tranny tunnel also has a manual mode... However, I think anyone will agree that calling that an automated manual is absurd.
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      03-14-2011, 03:18 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uli_HH View Post
We will see !!!

The car chris harris has driven was an prototype-car ... an it is no secret that the M-GmbH has build F10 M5s prototypes with M-DkG ... but to my infos they ruled out the DKG for the production-cars mostly because of cost issues ... the ZF 8-auto is much cheaper than the Getrag DKG ( and also because it was costly to modify the M-DKG so that it could withstand the torque from the M5 engine in longterm quality ) ... and electronic could make the ZF8 feel like an DKG.
It make no sence to bring the new M5 with an Auto and with the M-DKG ... and people who had seen the real productin-car quoted, that this has the ZF 8-gear Automatic ... and also remenber the interview with an M official not long ago, were he praises the ZF8 and how sporty it was ... but:

We will see !!!
Thanks Uli, I did not know that prototypes were definitely built with DKG (DCT for us in NA...).

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I hope my infos are wrong ... not because I would buy an M5, but for the consequence this would have for the new F32 M3. With an Auto in the M5 I could live ... with an Auto in the M3 I couldnīt !!!
As we have been discussing, here and in other threads, modern automatic transmissions have come a very long way. 7-8 gears, wet clutches that bypass torque converters and offer full lock up, high rpm capability beyond the limits of a torque converter, full DCT style user controls and software adjustability - all while maintaining the ultra smooth take off and power brake capabilitties of a traditional automatic!

If the transmission feels like a DKG and performs like a DKG (shift speeds and efficiency), in my opinion, I would have no objection to such a transmission in a sports car of mine, M3 or otherwise. It will be VERY interesting to see how a true modern automatic would be named and marketed in the M3. There is simply too much stigma associated with automatics. That brings the discussion right back to the jargon discussion we got side tracked with right here!

I have not sampled it personally, but from what I have read the automatic ZF transmissions in the XK and XF are about the best out there and feel awfully close to a DCT.
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      03-14-2011, 03:21 PM   #121
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Pffft. Anything's fine as long we get the dual clutch pedals, and we get to keep the auto comfort protection, ultimate assist monitor, AAVVA and IHITF in the new F32 M3.
I detect some significant sarcasm here, but ultimately I'm quite lost...

"dual clutch pedals"???
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      03-14-2011, 07:16 PM   #122
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I disagree. I think there is much more use among journalists and enthusiasts of automated manual or dual clutch for dual clutch units. For web sites like Autotrade absolutely for the masses you probably will find DCTs listed at automatics.
Yeah, for the masses, I definitely see things going increasingly in the direction Ford seems to be headed with their PowerShift marketing:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...117961249.html

Lot's of interesting language in there - interesting from a mass marketing perspective, I mean. Some things stick out like:

"Ford Six-Speed PowerShift Automatic"
"Ford's new dual-clutch PowerShift automatic..."
"PowerShift is an automatic because the gear changes are coordinated by a computer that directs the clutches to engage and disengage in a way that provides seamless delivery of torque to the wheels, even during gear changes."

They really are gearing up to convince buyers this is a very fancy new type of automatic transmission.

For enthusiasts and for marketing of performance related vehicles I could see the term "automatic" perhaps being avoided as much as possible especially in the near term. But if DCTs do start to steal significant marketshare away from traditional automatics in basic appliance-type applications (which is by no means guaranteed, granted), accompanied with marketing campaigns and press releases like the one above, I think the momentum will be become tough to overcome such that eventually most everyone will just give in and call them automatics. I don't mean OEMs will necessarily only refer to them as such - they'll probably have tidy marketing names like Fords. But they probably won't waste too much money painstakingly trying to avoid associating them with the term "automatic" at all costs. After all, like I say, the point of the marketing from Ford (and probably others to follow, I suspect) is to convince everyone that these are some damn fine automatics. So nothing to be ashamed of there. And there's going to be a lot dollars spent on that message. As a player in the same industry at some point you may just find it in your best interest stop fighting those dollars and start piggybacking off of them.

Quote:
The problem with terms like Steptronic is that it is simply a mostly aribitray, concocted word without much intrinsic meaning. You can contrast that against dual clutch transmission, which describes a great deal about the unit.
True enough although BMW has attached the term to only one type of transmission - a planetary automatic. In that sense it has a deterministic meaning, even though its just a jargon. I notice with the new 8 speed they seem to have retired the Steptronic brand now and they seem content to just call it the automatic or sport automatic. Like you say in your last post, if the F10 m5 shows up with the 8 speed auto too, it will be interesting to see how they pitch it. They could very well refer to it like they do in the X5/X6 M - "M Sport Automatic"
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      03-14-2011, 07:23 PM   #123
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Hey, I would never order another car without that Variable Vehicle Assistant. That thing has saved my ass many a time.

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Pffft. Anything's fine as long we get the dual clutch pedals, and we get to keep the auto comfort protection, ultimate assist monitor, AAVVA and IHITF in the new F32 M3.
Cheers.
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      03-14-2011, 08:26 PM   #124
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Yeah, for the masses, I definitely see things going increasingly in the direction Ford seems to be headed with their PowerShift marketing:
...
They really are gearing up to convince buyers this is a very fancy new type of automatic transmission.

For enthusiasts and for marketing of performance related vehicles I could see the term "automatic" perhaps being avoided as much as possible especially in the near term.
Yes interesting. For the low end market sell it as a nice option that normally might cost a few extra pretty pennys. For the performance market avoid past stigmas of the term "automatic" in terms of the 3 gear slush box of yesteryear. No surprise that marketeers will approach the same technology very differently.

A good discussion pretty well winding down. Sorry for boring those not concerned with this. I quite enjoyed the discussion and appreciate keeping it pleasant.

I know I've already said it but I'm super keen to hear what the final M5 tranny will be and how it will perform. However, even more than that I want to know the curb weight of the next F3X 3er as that will tell us a lot about the potential for the next M3 to be lighter (or heavier) than the existing one.

Uil: Any good information or rumors on that from Germany?
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      03-15-2011, 10:34 AM   #125
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...The problem with terms like Steptronic is that it is simply a mostly aribitray, concocted word without much intrinsic meaning. You can contrast that against dual clutch transmission, which describes a great deal about the unit.
Without rancor, I disagree. "Dual Clutch" is only meaningful to folks like us, who can get excited by essentially new technology (counting the sophisticated computer control, which separates this design from the old Porsche unit). "Automated manual" is OK. "MultiClutch" might work, although that might also apply to a typical automatic. Come to think of it, "Dual Clutch" might also be used to describe the old Chevy Powerglide two-speed. Something like "AutoStick" would be better from a marketing standpoint. Or even better, "LightningShift" or some such. I'd leave it to the marketing types to come up with a better differentiator, but "DCT" and "DKG" clearly don't conjure up anything of value to a casual buyer.
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      03-15-2011, 10:51 AM   #126
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This is the last interior-pic I have seen ... on the first look it looks like an M-DKG(DCT) Shifter, but if you take an closer look the shift-gate looks like typical for an eletronical shifted Auto ... but also AutoBild + AMS quoted it as DCT and I donīt think that BMW fools them by let them drive an prototype with the "wrong"-gearbox:
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      03-15-2011, 11:11 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Yeah, for the masses, I definitely see things going increasingly in the direction Ford seems to be headed with their PowerShift marketing:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...117961249.html

Lot's of interesting language in there - interesting from a mass marketing perspective, I mean. Some things stick out like:

"Ford Six-Speed PowerShift Automatic"
"Ford's new dual-clutch PowerShift automatic..."
"PowerShift is an automatic because the gear changes are coordinated by a computer that directs the clutches to engage and disengage in a way that provides seamless delivery of torque to the wheels, even during gear changes."

They really are gearing up to convince buyers this is a very fancy new type of automatic transmission.

For enthusiasts and for marketing of performance related vehicles I could see the term "automatic" perhaps being avoided as much as possible especially in the near term. But if DCTs do start to steal significant marketshare away from traditional automatics in basic appliance-type applications (which is by no means guaranteed, granted), accompanied with marketing campaigns and press releases like the one above, I think the momentum will be become tough to overcome such that eventually most everyone will just give in and call them automatics. I don't mean OEMs will necessarily only refer to them as such - they'll probably have tidy marketing names like Fords. But they probably won't waste too much money painstakingly trying to avoid associating them with the term "automatic" at all costs. After all, like I say, the point of the marketing from Ford (and probably others to follow, I suspect) is to convince everyone that these are some damn fine automatics. So nothing to be ashamed of there. And there's going to be a lot dollars spent on that message. As a player in the same industry at some point you may just find it in your best interest stop fighting those dollars and start piggybacking off of them.



True enough although BMW has attached the term to only one type of transmission - a planetary automatic. In that sense it has a deterministic meaning, even though its just a jargon. I notice with the new 8 speed they seem to have retired the Steptronic brand now and they seem content to just call it the automatic or sport automatic. Like you say in your last post, if the F10 m5 shows up with the 8 speed auto too, it will be interesting to see how they pitch it. They could very well refer to it like they do in the X5/X6 M - "M Sport Automatic"
You and Swamp have both contributed to a very informative discussion.

Thanks.

On the naming trends, it seems as if both BMW and Porsche have badly missed the boat, but marketing types have tried to distinguish their products with all sorts of terms, starting with "Hydramatic" of course. I assume that name was designed to highlight the fluid clutch in that unit. As automatics became more popular, we were treated to jargon like "Powerflite", "Torqueflite" (Chrysler), "Powerglide", "Turboglide" (Chevy), "Turbo Hydramatic", "Roto Hydramatic" (other GM), "Fordomatic" (I assume the marketing department was off that day) and "Cruise-O-Matic" from Ford, and, my favorite of all time, "Flight-O-Matic" from Studebaker, I think.

Fanciful naming continues today, of course.

As an aside, it's also been common to differentiate between even stick transmissions. Beginning in the '50s, "stick" wasn't enough. It became "three speed", "four speed", "three on the tree", "four on the floor", etc.

Then Ford came out with their "Top Loader" four speed, named for its internal linkage.

etc.

Even today, folks tend to differentiate. For example, when people ask me what type of transmission I have in my Subie, I'll refer to it as a six-speed.

Of course, this can lead to confusion. I've been privy to a conversation between 3 series owners, wherein one said he had a six speed, and the other said "They're both six speed. Which one do you have?"
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      03-15-2011, 08:01 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce.augenstein@comcast. View Post
Without rancor, I disagree. "Dual Clutch" is only meaningful to folks like us, who can get excited by essentially new technology (counting the sophisticated computer control, which separates this design from the old Porsche unit). "Automated manual" is OK. "MultiClutch" might work, although that might also apply to a typical automatic. Come to think of it, "Dual Clutch" might also be used to describe the old Chevy Powerglide two-speed. Something like "AutoStick" would be better from a marketing standpoint. Or even better, "LightningShift" or some such. I'd leave it to the marketing types to come up with a better differentiator, but "DCT" and "DKG" clearly don't conjure up anything of value to a casual buyer.
Whether or not the term is truly descriptive and whether or not a majority of folks understand the jargon is a separate issue. I was only speaking about its overall descriptiveness.

The term is very descriptive especially compared to a lame one like Steptronic. However, I agree that it is not a majority of non-enthusiasts that know exactly what a dual clutch is. To give the term more credit though most folks do know what a clutch is and if a car is described as having 2 of them it will better spark some investigative curiousity, even for the non enthusiast.

On a loosely related note it would be VERY interesting to know what % of M3 owners who have M-DCT know roughly that M-DCT is a twin clutch, parallel manual transmission and roughly how it works. I suppose I don't really want to know that answer.

Great term listing in the post just prior as well! Enjoyed hearing some old ones and many new ones as well.
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