All-new Ford Territory's new automatic transmission is actually a dual-clutch

When Ford Philippines officially launched the all-new Territory at the 2023 Manila International Auto Show, we were impressed by its looks, level of features, and improved powertrain. Moreover, the CVT has been replaced with a new 7-speed transmission.

While the CVT found in the previous generation Territory performed all right, it wasn’t exactly the smoothest. With a new 7-speed sending power to the wheels, we’ll see if this new gearbox with a traditional torque converter will be better.

But there's something curious about it. 

Why is Ford PH not calling all-new Territory's transmission a DCT? image

While the brochure of the 2023 Territory says it has a "7-speed Automatic Transmission with Rotary E-Shifter", it actually doesn't have a 7-speed automatic in the sense that we know it. Just like the Vietnamese and Mexican versions of the Territory that were launched much earlier, the PH-spec has a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT). 

So why won't Ford call the Territory’s new transmission as it should be?

Ford did not exactly share the reason behind this move, but if we take a short trip down memory lane, it could be because Ford's last attempt at introducing DCTs in the country (and the world, for that matter) not exactly turn out to be a great experience. That transmission was called Powershift.

Why is Ford PH not calling all-new Territory's transmission a DCT? image

First generation EcoSport with Powershift DCT

While it was impressive when it was new, it quickly developed a reputation for becoming rough and troublesome to maintain. It got so bad that there were legal complaints against Ford because of it. In the Philippine market, Ford introduced the Getrag-sourced Powershift transmission in the EcoSport, Fiesta, and Focus. There are also plenty of reports of difficulties in maintenance, among others.

Ford tried to rectify this by launching an updated version of the EcoSport in 2018 with a 6-speed torque converter automatic. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save the SUV’s reputation and the EcoSport was discontinued. 

Why is Ford PH not calling all-new Territory's transmission a DCT? image

So why is Ford Philippines quietly reintroducing a dual clutch given the bad experiences customers had before? Well, there are two types of dual clutch transmission: dry and wet. 

Powershift is a dry-type dual-clutch transmission, but the "7-speed Automatic Transmission with Rotary E-Shifter" in the 2023 Ford Territory is a wet-type dual clutch transmission.

The advantage of the wet-type DCT is that it can handle more torque and theoretically have a better lifespan since the presence of lubrication helps to keep the transmission's moving parts from prematurely wearing down. Most supercars these days have a wet-type dual-clutch transmission.

With Ford once again offering a DCT, could the Blue Oval have better luck with the new dual-clutch? Chime in your comments below.