Kia has added another notch to its belt - and another nail in the coffin of the manual gearbox - with the launch of a new seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.
The new transmission – dubbed ‘DCT’ by Kia - will be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, before debuting in production models from 2015.
Kia first floated the idea of a DCT around a year ago, saying it would develop the new transmission over the next 12 months.
The Korean carmaker says the new DCT, which is the first transmission of its type from Kia, will improve fuel efficiency and acceleration in future models.
“The DCT is made up of two dry clutches, each fitted with an electric motor-driven clutch actuator to improve fuel economy, and a pair of gear input shafts, one each for the odd and even gear ratios,” Kia said in a statement.
“This set-up enables the DCT to operate sequentially or to jump immediately to any of its seven forward gears (and reverse) depending on the driver’s requirements.”
The DCT will replace the six-speed automatic available as an option on the majority of current models, although it remains to be seen which manual options (if any) will be deleted as a result.
Engineers targeted a seven percent improvement in fuel economy, and a five percent improvement in acceleration over the existing six-speed auto during the development phase.
The new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission will be available in Kia products from 2015, but Kia isn’t saying for now which models will be the first to get the DCT.