Camaro ZL1’s 10-speed auto quicker than dual-clutch ‘boxes, says Chevy

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The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 goes on sale later this year featuring an available 10-speed automatic.

The new transmission was developed by General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] in partnership with Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F], which plans to offer the unit in its 2017 F-150 range, including in the new Raptor.

We’re talking about a traditional hydraulic automatic—solenoids, valves, planetary gearsets and all—but GM says the advanced unit provides quicker shifts than the best dual-clutch ‘boxes yet with greater smoothness.

DON'T MISS: 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 prototype crashes on the ‘Ring

In GM’s own tests, the 10-speed proved to be 36 percent quicker than Porsche’s PDK when shifting from first to second. And from second to third and from third to fourth it was 27 and 26 percent quicker, respectively.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible

Enlarge Photo

“You touch the paddle and the gear changes with immediacy,” Aaron Link, the ZL1’s lead engineer, said in a statement. “The shifts happen so quickly and without delay that it almost feels like an extension of your reflexes.”

This all leads to a significant boost in performance, but there’s more. Tightly spaced gear ratios help the engine maintain the optimal speed for maximum power when you need it, and an aggressive first gear ratio of 4.70 helps with quick off the line launches. And clever packaging means the 10-speed takes up the same room as GM’s 8-speed offered in other Camaro variants.

Finally, the transmission can be enhanced with unique calibration settings for its electronic control system. GM says a unique setting was developed for the ZL1. Additional applications will feature different calibrations matched to their respective performance ranges. There might even be a more extreme calibration for the new Z/28 that we recently spied.

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