Chrysler Pushing Back Dual-Clutch Transmission in 200, Avenger

Chrysler Pushing Back Dual-Clutch Transmission

Chrysler Group has hit another bump in the road on the way to putting a dual-clutch transmission (DCT) in some of its vehicles. The Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200 were slated to receive six-speed dry dual-clutch transmissions for the 2012 model year. However the Detroit-based automaker has decided to shelve that for now and continue using the six-speed automatic transmission currently in service.

The reason behind the delay stems from refinement issues, and a decision to put everything on hold was made this past summer. Chrysler believes the dual-clutch gearbox, which is built by parent company Fiat SpA, needs a little more retooling before the American public gets their collective hands on it.

“We were concerned about the refinement and how American customers might perceive the transmission,” said Chrysler spokesman Vince Mungia to Automotive News.

The decision to move towards using dual-clutch transmissions stems from the better fuel economy and acceleration performance it gets when compared to an automatic or manual gearbox.  Mungia expressed hesitation to use the DCTs produced by Fiat saying Chrysler will “look for other future products” for service stateside. The deal between ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Chrysler to produce a nine-speed automatic transmission is not believed to be affected.

This isn’t the first time DCTs have given Chrysler trouble. Back in 2009, Chrysler tabbed Getrag Corp. to kick-start the development for dual-clutch gearboxes, but it was derailed when the auto maker filed for bankruptcy. A $530 million factory expected to house the assembly of the DCTs was even built in Indiana before both companies went their separate ways.

Do you think this is a major setback for Chrysler? Are you still looking at a Chrysler Group vehicle if you were before? Tell us about it in the comment section below.