Hyundai Kona DCT transmission has undergone rigorous testing for both performance and durability
Hyundai Motor has revealed new technical details for the all-new Kona N SUV. The company’s first high-performance SUV will be available with an eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch transmission, known as N DCT, providing high-performance features for driving enthusiasts. N DCT provides the engaging experience of a sequential manual gearbox with the convenience of an automatic transmission.
N DCT was tested on the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife for approximately 1,350 laps for durability alone during its development phase. The wet DCT was optimized for top endurance in order to handle the demands of high-performance vehicles. The iconic Nürburgring racetrack is known as one of the world’s most challenging racetracks. With 73 corners and 12.9 miles of tarmac, it is also a motorsports complex and home to Hyundai’s own testing centre. Hyundai’s accelerated durability tests are conducted there. Each car taking part in these tests laps the Nürburgring at least 480 times (6,213 miles) in both dry and wet conditions, simulating up to 110,000 miles of severe driving in just five to six weeks. The constant combination of hard acceleration, rapid deceleration, and heavy cornering push the vehicles to their limits, and the variable surfaces and camber ensure top performance even in adverse conditions.
The Kona N DCT is based on a modified version of its in-house-developed 8DCT, an eight-speed, wet- type, dual-clutch transmission. The 8DCT received enhancements in durability, allowing it to handle the demands of high-performance vehicles. With the 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected engine, it gives the best performance by applying specially-tuned gear ratios. The transmission control unit is calibrated for N enthusiasts, resulting in faster shifting and enabling a host of exclusive driving features. Hyundai’s N DCT technology is offered on the Veloster N and is standard equipment on the all-new 2022 Kona N.
The wet-type DCT is structurally similar to a manual transmission, making it similarly efficient at power delivery and shifting response. As opposed to a dry-type gearbox, the wet-type DCT uses two electric oil pumps to reduce friction between the moving parts and for better cooling of the clutch, thus allowing greater torque transfer through the gearbox.
The electric pump system is composed of the High Flow Electric Oil Pump, which is responsible for gear lubrication and clutch cooling, and the High Pressure Electric Oil Pump, which supplies oil to the accumulator and maintains the pressure needed to control the gear shifting. Together, they ensure that the wet DCT can function with minimum engine power loss, thus resulting in better fuel economy. This new, updated pump system increases the number of applications for the wet N DCT, making it optimal for high-torque applications. The benefits are twofold: the DCT system results in improved performance by increasing maximum torque, and the vehicle is more fun to drive due to increased power transmission efficiency and acceleration.
In addition to its increased performance, the application of N DCT also improves driving dynamics. The coolant oil consistently keeps the clutch at the optimum operating temperature, reducing risk of overheating during high-performance driving when the car is being pushed to its limits. However, even on congested roads or steep inclines, where the transmission is stressed, N DCT has excellent flexibility.
N DCT DRIVING FEATURES
The N DCT enables exclusive high-performance functions that are sure to bring a grin to the driver’s face: N Grin Shift, N Power Shift and N Track Sense Shift. These features are enhancing the car capabilities by using dedicated shift-logic management.
N Power Shift (NPS) engages when the car accelerates with more than 90 percent throttle, mitigating any reduction in torque during upshifts to deliver maximum power. This enhances fun-to-drive character by giving a “push feel” when upshifting. The accompanying exhaust crackle from the partial cylinder cut of the exhaust underscores its sporty performance.
N Grin Shift (NGS) maximizes engine and DCT performance for 20 seconds. For maximum acceleration, the car will directly shift down to the most appropriate gear. To activate, the driver pushes a dedicated button on the steering wheel, and a countdown begins on the cluster showing the remaining seconds for this function. After the “boost” has ended, drivers must wait at least 40 seconds to use it again. This feature allows the driver to use the full potential of the car with only one button – for example, when chasing for the best lap time at a track day. It can also be a benefit when overtaking or merging on a highway.
Finally, N Track Sense Shift (NTS) optimizes adaptive shift for racetrack driving, helping the driver to focus more on the steering. It recognizes when the conditions are optimal for dynamic driving on a racetrack and activates automatically. Based on motorsport data combined with the driver’s behaviour, the car selects the right gear and shift timing in sport driving conditions to provide optimal performance.
These dedicated N features are in addition to five different drive modes of the N Grin Control System: Normal, Eco, Sport, N and Custom. Unlike with a traditional automatic transmission vehicle, in Hyundai vehicles with N DCT, the driver can choose to turn off the creep function. When the creep function is turned “off” and the car is in gear D, the car does not automatically roll forward when the brake pedal is released. Depending on the driver, this racetrack feature can also be useful to enhance comfort and convenience. Creep-off mode can be activated or deactivated via the N custom settings.
The all-new Kona N with N DCT also features the possibility for drivers to switch to manual mode using the paddle shifters or the gear knob for better-upshifting process control. In manual mode, the downshift memory logic will avoid downshifting during high RPM operation. The memory function remembers the command and executes only when the acceptable RPM is reached.