DETROIT -- Chrysler Group has put the brakes on a planned rollout of its first dual-clutch automatic transmission while the automaker works on refinement issues.
The 2012 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger mid-sized sedans were to be driven by six-speed dry dual-clutch transmissions made by Chrysler's Italian owner, Fiat SpA, but instead will stay with the 62TE automatic six-speed they featured during the 2011 model year.
"We were concerned about the refinement and how the American customers might perceive the transmission," said Vince Muniga, a spokesman for Chrysler. The Fiat dry dual-clutch transmission is currently in use in Europe, and Muniga said the automaker will "look for other future products" to put it in for the North American market.
The move was reported earlier by The Car Connection web site.
Dual-clutch transmissions offer better fuel efficiency and movement of vehicle power to the pavement than conventional automatics or manuals.
Before its bankruptcy in 2009, Chrysler had entered into an ill-fated joint venture with Getrag Corp. to develop dual-clutch technology, going so far as to build a $530 million factory in Indiana to produce the transmissions. That effort was later scrapped, however.
Muniga said the decision to delay introduction of the dry dual-clutch transmission was made this summer. He said Chrysler's current joint venture with ZF Friedrichshafen AG to produce a nine-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel-drive vehicles is unaffected by the decision.