While the naysayers will continue to bleat on about the lack of a manual transmission option in the all-new 2020 Corvette C8, they can at least take solace in the fact that the mid-engine sports car was developed using one of the best dual-clutch boxes in the biz—the Porsche PDK.
The earliest mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette prototype, also known as Blackjack, was equipped with an adapted Porsche PDK transmission, as the M1L dual-clutch eight-speed automatic currently equipping the new 2020 Corvette was presumably still in development.
The PDK, or Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe as it’s known back in Germany, is almost universally praised for its seamless and outrageously quick shift times, and is well-known for reducing the acceleration figures and lap times of any Porsche model that runs it. Quite frankly, the PDK is the benchmark when it comes to performance double-clutch transmissions, and the 2020 Corvette is no doubt all the better for it.
Cobbled together from a litany of disparate parts, including bits of a Holden Ute and a Chevrolet Corvette C7, the Blackjack was GM’s first real attempt at a production-spec mid-engine Corvette, and it definitely helps speeding up the development process if engineers can adapt something that, you know, already exists.
Built by third-party supplier Tremec and internally named the TR-9080, the 2020 Corvette’s eight-speed dual-clutch transmission provides immediate shifts and high levels of engagement, with the paddles wired directly to the gearbox sans a computer butting in to have the final say. According to Tremec, the tranny is able to shift cogs in less than 100 milliseconds without interrupting torque. It can also handle engine speeds of up to 7,500 rpm and a torque peak of 590 pound-feet—as least for now.
As for how it compares to the PDK, well, we’ll have to get the new 2020 Corvette out on a track next to a Porsche 718 Cayman to find out for sure.
Source: Popular Mechanics