Originally Posted by Mazingo
To clearly answer the question of the thread:"Why no 6th gear?" I think it's obvious that the answer was that Ford wanted to put all his eggs in one basket with the DCT.While the horror stories with the Fiesta with the same tranny should have been a big red flag.Ford went a head offering mostly the DCT instead of having more manual transmissions available ,or even a conventionnal automatic as a "plan B".Last year it didn't took long for sh.. to hit the fan.And when the bad reputation of the powershift spread and the demand for manual transmission grew, Ford was pretty much caught off guard even if all the red flags were there.
Did other manufacturers notices?Sure they did.When Mazda released the "Skyactive" powertrains,they still offered the old engine and transmissions to customers who didn,t trusted the new technology.Dodge,with the Dart ,offers a choice of 3 engines and three 6 speed transmissions(manual,Conventional auto and DCT).Got to admit that I wouldn't touch a Dodge with a 50ft pole and even less one with a DCT,but knowing you got a choice of two other transmissions and engines does make the car more attractive.
In 2014 or 2015 ,the Ford DCT should be more reliable and a 6 speed should be available,but will people who had bad and very bad experiences and those who were turned off by the lack of powertrain choices be back to give Ford another try?That ,only the future will know.
SkyActiv is still a traditional automatic transmission modified with a weaker torque converter and a larger lock up clutch. It also suffers from a shudder issue and can be even more ill-tempered than the DCT in the Focus as it combines the feeling of a lossy torque converter with a wet torque converter lock up clutch just as in a normal automatic, but one that's a lot more aggressive.
What problems with the DCT in the fiesta? As far as I know the only issues that cropped up were as a result of a ground bracket being painted when it shouldn't have been and improper contact being made.
The Dart uses a Hyundai engine and transmission as a base (The GEMA engine technically is assembled by chrysler now but it was primarily developed by Hyundai, and is mated to the torque converter automatic from the Elantra). The 1.4L Fiat engine uses essentially a similar if not identical DCT as its optional automatic, but its programmed to slush a lot more and therefore will likely have an even shorter service life than the transmission you love to trash.