South Korean automaker Hyundai has joined the twin clutch automatic club with its latest 7 speed automatic gearbox for the Verna sedan. Known as the Solaris and Accent in other parts of the world, the Verna’s South Korean edition now features a 1.6 liter turbo diesel engine with increased power and torque outputs (134 Bhp-300 Nm), mated to the 7 speed twin clutch slush box. Notably, the 7 speed twin clutch automatic on the Verna Diesel has been developed in-house by Hyundai. This transmission was first showcased at last year’s Paris Motor Show, and the C-Segment sedan becomes the first car bearing the slanting H badge to feature it.
The 7 speed automatic transmission is essentially two manual gearboxes and two clutch units combined in a single housing. While one dry clutch and gearbox features the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and reverse cogs, the other dry clutch and gearbox handles the 2nd, 4th and 6th cogs. The big advantage this gearbox has over regular automatics is in shift times. For instance, when the first dry clutch chooses the first gear, the second gear is already kept ready by the second clutch. This allows for blindingly fast shifts, beating shift times of even a manual gearbox handled expertly by a race car driver. The 7 speed twin clutch automatic transmission is an example of technology triumphing over human driving skills.
Here’s a video that explains how dual clutch automatic transmissions work,
The Verna Diesel, with the 1.6 liter turbo diesel motor, was never found lacking for power or torque. However, the current 4 speed automatic transmission proved to be the Achilles heel of the motor, resulting in performance far from satisfactory. The 7 speed twin clutch automatic will remedy this and deliver lightning fast gear shifts, keeping transmission losses to a minimum, cutting weight and improving fuel efficiency. Hyundai for its part, claims an 18.3 Kmpl fuel efficiency figure for the 1.6 Diesel equipped with this transmission. Currently, the Verna equipped thus is a South Korea market-only edition.
India is expected to get this engine and transmission combination with the all-new 2016 Verna, likely to arrive here by the end of next year. The additional power and torque that the variable geometry turbo equipped diesel motor churns out will make the car the most powerful in its class. Together with the quick shifting automatic transmission, the next-generation Verna has all the trappings of becoming the performance benchmark in the C-Segment sedan category. Now, if only Hyundai could put the expertise gleaned at the WRC and the Nurburgring into the sedan’s ride and handling departments.