Originally developed for racing, the dual-clutch design shifts faster, smoother and with greater efficiency than conventional automatic transmissions. Drivers will find it a perfect fit for the high-revving inline-4.
- Unlike a conventional automatic, this transmission changes gears using two clutches—similar to a manual transmission, rather than just a torque converter.
- The transmission has one clutch for odd-numbered gears (1, 3, 5, 7) and a second for even (2, 4, 6, 8). While one clutch is engaged with the currently operating gear, sensors predict if the next gear change will be an upshift or a downshift. The second clutch then prepares the next gear ratio for engagement. When the shift occurs, it is instant, with negligible loss of engine torque.
- Eight gear ratios keep the 2.4-liter engine running at or near peak efficiency at nearly all speeds.
- Because dual-clutch transmissions have been known to shift roughly, particularly from a stop (think: novice learning to shift manually), Acura took the unusual step of maintaining a torque converter for a smoother launch.
- Paddle shifters bring out the true performance potential of the 8-Speed DCT. Shifts are lightning fast, taking only milliseconds. (By comparison, a typical driver’s manual shift takes about a half second.) Such quick response shifting makes lively acceleration out of a turn or engine braking down a mountain road particularly satisfying.
- In Normal, Economy and Sport Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) driving modes, the paddle shifters bring about a quick gear change and return to automatic operation when the TLX has settled into cruising speed. In Sport+ mode, however, the transmission remains completely manual, only returning to first gear after a complete stop.