AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

GM: Hydra-Matic 10-speed transmission faster than a DCT

GM: Hydra-Matic 10-speed transmission faster than a DCT image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: | posted May 13, 2016 08:39

2017 Camaro ZL1 to be first volume production car with 10-speed A/T

You know when people say 'faster isn't always better' well, when it comes to automotive transmissions, it really is.

Welcome the latest transmission designed by General Motors (GM) for use on the 2017 Camaro ZL1, the all-new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission.

This makes the ZL1 the first-ever volume production car to use a 10-speed A/T.

GM claims that it is faster than a dual-clutch transmission due to its wider 7.39 overall gear ratio spread that allows for an 'off-the-line performance with an aggressive first gear ratio of 4.70.'

"There is simply nothing like the experience offered with the new 10-speed automatic in the Camaro ZL1. It delivers nearly instantaneous, lightning-fast shifts that alter your perception of what an automatic transmission can offer in a high-performance vehicle – whether you're on the street, drag strip or road course. The gear ratios are so tightly spaced that the transmission is in the right gear and the engine is at the best rpm for transitions from corners to straights," said Link. "And with the power from the ZL1's supercharged LT4 engine, the force you feel in your seat as you accelerate out of a turn will put a grin on your face every time," said Aaron Link, ZL1 lead development engineer.

Internal testing has shown that the ZL1 using the Hydra-Matic 10-speed A/T shifts faster than the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) or dual-clutch transmission.

Tests showed that the 1-2 upshift is quicker on the Hydra-Matic 10-speed A/T by 36-percent while the 2-3 and 3-4 upshifts are 27-percent and 26-percent faster compared to the PDK.

"You touch the paddle and the gear changes with immediacy. The shifts happen so quickly and without delay that it almost feels like an extension of your reflexes. It's a much more involving experience for the driver that really helps improve confidence and performance on the track," added Link.

The Hydra-Matic 10-speed A/T uses four simple gearsets and six clutches, two brake clutches and four rotating clutches to allow it to fit in the same package as the previous 8-speed A/T connected to the ZL1.