What is an auto-manual transmission?

Specifically in the 2011 Audi TT? Is there a clutch?

Bob W., Pittsburgh

The Audi TT’s six-speed automatic transmission has two clutches, as highlighted by its proper name, the S tronic dual-clutch transmission. Most automatic transmissions have a single clutch for forward gears that engages automatically to shift, but dual-clutch automatics like the S tronic have a pair. Audi says having two clutches allows faster shifts because while one is shifting, the other is queuing up for the next gear change. Audi also says this improves performance because there is no hesitation between shifts and improves fuel economy because the transmission gets into the higher gears faster.


The “manual” aspect of the S tronic means you can set the transmission in a manual mode that allows the driver to change gears via steering-wheel mounted shift paddles. Because the two clutches still operate automatically in this mode, the driver doesn’t have to manually engage the clutch with a foot pedal.

Volkswagen, which is Audi’s parent, also uses this transmission, and other manufacturers offer dual-clutch automatics. Among them are Ford (on the 2011 Fiesta), BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Porsche. The Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger sedans are due to get a dual-clutch automatic from Fiat later in the 2011 model year.

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Answered by Rick Popely on January 9, 2011 in Audi | Permalink

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