Performance Or Efficiency – Dual Clutch Vs Continuous Variable Transmission

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When we say transmission, a mechanical component comes into our mind which is responsible for providing engine power to the wheels making the vehicle drive. Not only that, but it is also responsible for varying the gear ratios and altering the power ratio accordingly. Since the era of automobiles, many types of transmissions have hit the market. By now most of us are aware of Manual, Automatic, and CVT. However, very few know about the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). Before we start, make a wild guess which provides better performance and which one provides better mileage. Now let us get started.

1. Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)

cvt-gif1CVT is a widely used transmission in most modern cars nowadays. It’s also known as a single speed transmission. It has no physical gears, and it can seamlessly change from an effective range of gear ratios. For simple understanding, instead of two gear, there are two pulleys interconnected with each other. One turns the engine while the other is associated with rest of the transmission. The unique thing about this transmission is that the pulleys can change from small to large in order to mimic the gear ratios. The most common belt driven design offers up-to 88% efficiency and contains no physical gear. This helps maximize efficiency when compared to the conventional automatic and Dual Clutch transmission. This is why cars equipped with CVT are able to provide better mileage but somewhat lower power delivery which directly affects performance. CVT’s are also very complicated in terms of designs, and they are hard to repair.

Continuous Variable Transmission CVT
Continuous Variable Transmission

CVT tranmission

2. Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)

Dual Clutch Transmissions are considerably rare as they are mostly used in high-performance cars. These transmissions use a very clever system containing two gear shafts.  One is responsible for engaging odd-numbered Dual Clutch Transmissiongears (1,3,5) while the second for engaging even-numbered gears(2,4,6). This way the computer always keeps the successor gear already selected and one clutch disengages while the other one engages at the right time. This helps to lighten fast and smoother shifts when compared to conventional automatics and better power delivery when compared to CVT. However, turbocharged cars with DCT face more turbo lag. Prime examples of companies using this technology are Porsches’ PDK and Hondas’ i-DCD.

the-pdk-transmission-1So what did we learn? Different transmissions are built for different purposes. I always wondered how a 1.5L Vezel outperforms a 1.8L Prius in terms of acceleration and responsiveness while the Prius returns a better fuel average despite its bigger engine displacement (excluding the hybrid factor of both cars). So a little research made me realize the fact that DCT in Vezel helps its engine produce more power and quicker shifts. On the other hand, the infinite gear ratio of CVT in Prius helps maximize its fuel efficiency at the expense of performance. If we talk about high-performance cars, then Porsche 991 GT is widely known for its quick shifting PDK transmissions helping the car to keep up with its rivals with even more horsepower. Although I can give a lot more examples here to put things simply. Quick transmission can really help enhance the performance of the car if efficiency is not your thing.
Below is the list of high-performance cars with DCT you can buy in Pakistan:

While more affordable cars you can get are:

Happy motoring!

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