World premiere: Drive your truck like your Porsche / Mitsubishi Fuso introduces first truck with a double-clutch

November 12th, 2010  |  Published in Mobility & Space, On the TechWatch, TechWatch Japan  |  1 Comment

The Duonic DCT. Source: Mitsubishi Fuso

So far, dual clutch transmissions (DCT) were used in super-sports cars for super-fast and super-smooth manual gear shifting. On Thursday, Mitsubishi Fuso, the Japanese subsidiary of the world’s largest truck manufacturer Daimler the first DCT in a truck, actually in its new Canter, the world’s best selling small truck with five million units sold since its launch more than 40 years ago.

Fuso Canter: The Canter is one of the most popular small trucks. Source: Mitsubishi Fuso

As the name Duonic implies, the DCT has two clutches, one for odd gears and one for the even. When shifting gears, the engine’s torque is connected to the one clutch at the same as it is disconnected from the other, thereby shifting without interruption the torque distribution.

The Duonic is an important development in the truck industry. Not, that the manufacturer want to offer Porsche-like driving performance, for Fuso it is all about reducing the stress of the driver and most importantly fuel consumption.

The environment is one reason (trucks are one of the main emitters of carbondioxyde), but mostly, because fuel consumption is an even more important criteria in buying decisions of costumers than in the passenger car industry.

DCT's value: DCTs allow seamless manual shifting. You can change gears, just with a move of the gearshift lever. Source: Mitsubishi Fuso

A car owner might trade lower fuel efficiency in for style, speed or other emotional values. But for a truck owner trucks are mainly tools, and a difference of 5 percent in fuel consumption can be the difference between profits and bankruptcy.

In large trucks the European manufacturers have already introduced a semi-automatic gear box, in which an electric mechanism shifts the gears instead of the driver. When it was introduced back in the 1990s, many so called truck experts warned, that the costumers will never accept it. But they did, most likely because the automatic trumps human drivers when it comes to fuel efficient driving. (In the USA, though, the costumers still don’t accept it, because they enjoy shifting themselves).

In small trucks, Fuso’s DCT promises to achieve the same result, but at lower costs.

The heritage: The first generation Canter was sold obviously as a family car. Looks quite cute. Source: Mitsubishi Fuso

This is imperative, because Fuso will sell the Canter not only in industrialized countries, but also in South East Asia largely with the same set engine. A new diesel-hybrid model is in the pipeline. Fuso is the global hybrid development center of Daimler and sold 1000 Canter hybrids since its launch 2006.

Later more about, why Daimler Truck boss Andreas Renschler is still skeptical about hybrid trucks.

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  1. Daimler Truck sacrifices profits for expansion in Asia :: says:

    November 13th, 2010at 00:06(#)

    […] More on Daimler Truck: On the TechWatch > Drive your truck like your Porsche. […]

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