Ford today announced that its small car segment will be equipped with dual clutch PowerShift transmission systems starting 2010, as a move clearly aimed at increasing fuel economy. In addition, the manufacturer says such a system would be also capable of providing a smoother ride, as six-speed automatic transmissions have already proved their efficiency on the 2010 Ford Fusion.
"PowerShift represents a true competitive advantage for Ford and is one of the many technologies that will help our global small-car platforms set a new world standard for efficiency and drive quality," said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering, who announced PowerShift's production timing at the 2009 Automotive News World Congress. "This advanced six-speed is an improvement over today's automatic transmissions in terms of fuel economy, while providing customers an even more fun-to-drive experience.”
And more importantly, Ford says that 100 percent of its transmission systems will be advanced to six-speed variants by 2013, in order to reduce overall fuel consumption of all upcoming models. With the help of various other parts designed for improving fuel economy (EcoBoost, hybrids, vehicle weight reduction or electric power-assisted steering), the transmission system could help the automaker reduce gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020.
The aforementioned dual clutch PowerShift transmission is already available in Europe, being installed on the last-generation Ford Focus. North American models will get this option starting 2010.