There is a huge difference between most automatic transmissions that have a torque converter and paddle shifters and the dual-clutch automatics with paddle shifters featured on many European sports cars. A paddle shift automatic in a Ford product, like the Taurus SHO, needs about 1000 RPM to shift a gear making for a very annoying driving experience.
On the other hand, the dual-clutch transmission on something like the BMW M3 will shift gears much faster than your typical person can shift a manual. Chevrolet is going to be offering a new 8-speed auto transmission in the 2015 Corvette Stingray. However, many people were not happy when it was announced that the transmission GM made for the car isn’t a dual-clutch unit.
GMs tranny has a torque converter, but the company claims it will shift faster at wide-open throttle than the dual-clutch unit Porsche uses in its 911. GM says the 8-speed 8L90 transmission will shift gears .08 seconds faster than the Porsche gearbox. At the same time since it has a torque converter, GM says that it remains smooth and comfortable around town. The 8L90 transmissions will be offered in the standard Stingray for 2015 and the Z06 version.
“Corvette Stingray’s new eight-speed automatic delivers the comfort and drivability of a true automatic transmission, as well as lightning-fast shifts and the manual control that enhance the performance-driving experience,” said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. “It was designed to enhance the Stingray’s driving experience, with performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement.”
Guess we’ll have to wait to drive a 2015 Stingray to see how well the transmission lives up to its promises.