Clutch Performance: Hyundai Kona N to feature tuned dual-clutch transmission

Clutch Performance: Hyundai Kona N to feature tuned dual-clutch transmission
Hyundai has spilled the beans about the power team intended to motivate its upcoming performance-oriented Kona N. The machine being billed as the company’s first ‘high-performance SUV’ will be available with an eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch transmission.

(By the way, your author suggested referring to the Kona N as ‘KonaN the Barbarian’ but was rightly cast out of the at-work Slack channel.)

This transmission is based on a modified version of its so-called 8DCT, an eight-speed, wet-type, dual-clutch transmission that was developed in-house. Hyundai says the gearbox has received enhancements in durability, permitting it to handle the demands of high-performance vehicles such as the Kona N.

In case you fell asleep in engineering class, a wet-type DCT is structurally similar to a manual transmission. This makes it similarly efficient at power delivery and shifting response, explaining its popularity in certain gearhead circles. As opposed to a dry-type gearbox, the wet-type DCT uses two electric oil pumps to reduce friction between the moving parts. Those pumps also provide better cooling, thereby allowing greater torque transfer through the gearbox.

The company has put the label of N DCT on this performance iteration of the transmission. Coolant oil is said to consistently keeps the clutch at the optimum operating temperature, reducing risk of overheating during spirited driving. N DCT will have several different shift-logic modes, including Grin Shift and Power Shift. The former is accessed via a button on the steering wheel to place the engine and N DCT in maximum attack. Power Shift engages when the car accelerates with more than 90 per cent throttle, mitigating torque reduction during upshifts.

A third setting, Track Sense Shift, apparently recognizes when the conditions are optimal for dynamic driving on a racetrack. Based on motorsport data combined with the driver’s behaviour, this mode is said to select the right gear and shift timing in sport driving conditions to provide optimal performance on track while letting the driver focus on hitting their lines. There will also be a manual mode with paddle shifters.

N DCT was tested on the Nürburgring Nordschleife for over 1,000 laps in durability trials during its development phase. The Kona N will pack 276 horsepower underneath its alien styling. A launch is expected some time in the first half of this year.
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