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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

So I've never in my life owned an automatic car, only manuals, but have driven a BMW 320i which had an 8 speed automatic transmission and it was horrible.

I can't test drive the Quadrifoglio due to insurance reasons and I haven't tried a DCT car. Can someone who has driven both describe how is stacks up against the transmission in something like a GTR? Also, why didn't Alfa go with a DCT is the Quadrifoglio???
 

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My previous car was a GT-R. On track, a DCT is better as it is faster.

Everywhere else, and I mean EVERYWHERE, the ZF is much nicer.

The ZF implementation in the Quadrifolgio is possibly the nicest all-round gearbox I've driven, for combining town, fast road, highway cruising and track. Around town, the best bit is it will disengage the lock-up clutch allowing you to ride the torque multiplier for a really nice jet-accelerating-down-a-runway feeling. You can't do that with a Dual Clutch.
 

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Each has its pluses and minuses....DCT is fast as **** on clear acceleration but can be ridiculously jerky in town because it doesnt know which gear to engage on second shaft when you are going and stopping, DCT also saps less energy from powertrain....if you drive in the city a lot you would really not like hesitation and jerkiness of DCT....also earlier versions had tremendous problems with gear activators but that is probably now all solved..... ZF auto on other hand is nothing like the slush box of old, it has lock up clutches and can feel on moments almost like a manual....it is also very fast particularly on the upshift, both are faster than manual no matter what some wanna be pilot tells you...this generation of ZF in giulia also disconnects the power completely in A and you really coast when no power is needed to keep the speed....
 

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My previous car was a GT-R. On track, a DCT is better as it is faster.

Everywhere else, and I mean EVERYWHERE, the ZF is much nicer.

The ZF implementation in the Quadrifolgio is possibly the nicest all-round gearbox I've driven, for combining town, fast road, highway cruising and track. Around town, the best bit is it will disengage the lock-up clutch allowing you to ride the torque multiplier for a really nice jet-accelerating-down-a-runway feeling. You can't do that with a Dual Clutch.
I agree, it's a great transmission but please explain this: "Around town, the best bit is it will disengage the lock-up clutch allowing you to ride the torque multiplier for a really nice jet-accelerating-down-a-runway feeling."

There are a couple posts on here complaining about lack of acceleration due to not being able to stand on the brake and accelerate at the same time.
 

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You can stand on the brake and increase rpm provided it is done while the car is stationary. If the car is moving then it will throw a code.

For some reason AR has severely limited the amount of torque that the engine can deliver when it is launched from stopped position (unless you use the brake and gas pedal technique). It is only in the first moment of acceleration when the available torque is underwhelming, but then after that it will take off like a rocket. If I could view the maps in the ECU it would probably be evident that they have limited the available torque when the engine comes off of idle.

My QV is the first car that I have ever owned that did not have a manual transmission. The transition from a manual to a paddle shifter has been a learning process for me, and after 3 1/2 months I am finally starting to get the hang of it. It's just different from a manual, and you will have to accept it for what it is. I have finally learned to correlate the sound of the engine with rpm's so that I can paddle my way up and down the gears without looking at the tachometer all of the time. If they were to bring the manual over to the U.S., then I would definitely be interested. But who knows, by then then I might have been fully "assimilated" into the paddle shifting world. (But I do still have my old car with a manual transmission that I still enjoy driving.)
 

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I agree, it's a great transmission but please explain this: "Around town, the best bit is it will disengage the lock-up clutch allowing you to ride the torque multiplier for a really nice jet-accelerating-down-a-runway feeling."
Here is the official FCA description:
The Converter Lock-up clutch eliminates the converter slippage, thereby reducing fuel consumption.
Thanks to the considerable torque that the converter can transmit, it is possible to make use of the lock-up clutch in place of a gear shift, giving greater comfort with respect to shifting between two gears.
Depending on the load, in some of the engine’s operating points, the lock-up clutch is opened instead of shifting down, increasing the engine speed as happens during a down shift. The difference in rotational speed between the pump and the turbine increases the converter torque, which corresponds to a gear shift. Moreover, the increase in engine speed means that the engine is made to operate in a higher power range.

What this means is, say you're doing 30mph and the transmission is in 4th, then you start to squeeze the throttle a little bit and ask for a little more power than the engine can optimally deliver. Rather than drop down into 3rd, it will remain in 4th and open the clutch, effectively increasing the torque of the engine.

This only happens in Auto mode in Natural, if you're in Dynamic or using the paddles it will always lock a gear.

My numbers in the above example are made-up, I haven't paid attention to the exact situations that it does it. But it is possible to use the throttle at the right time to open up the clutch, then slowly keep feeding in the power to ride a massive wave of torque. It isn't the fastest way to accelerate, but when you're on a relaxing cruise like around town it is a very nice feeling.
 

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I can compare it to my 2012 135i with 7 speed DCT. I think the progress that has been made with the Giulia's AT is impressive. The DCT in the 135i is only the tiniest bit quicker (if any, could be me) yet the Alfa's AT is so much more civilized in slow speed maneuvers and stop and go traffic. If I could replace the 135i DCT with the Giulia Ti transmission by clicking my fingers....I would do it.
 

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I can compare it to my 2012 135i with 7 speed DCT. I think the progress that has been made with the Giulia's AT is impressive. The DCT in the 135i is only the tiniest bit quicker (if any, could be me) yet the Alfa's AT is so much more civilized in slow speed maneuvers and stop and go traffic. If I could replace the 135i DCT with the Giulia Ti transmission by clicking my fingers....I would do it.
ZF 8 speeds have always been very smooth and civilized, I had them in Audi and BMW, but this latest generation is also faster (DCT was substantially faster generation ago) and considering jerkiness of DCT when in town it is a no brainer for my mixed driving use too. BMW had a sport version of programming but Giulia is even better when in D
 

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Compared to the DCT gear box in the 4C, I actually think the ZF in the Giulia shifts faster. I've always felt the 4C transmission was great when you are driving hard but clunky when you aren't. I've rarely driven either in Auto so I don't have much basis for comparison, but I'm sure the ZF is worlds better at being an automatic transmission (because it is).
 

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Here is the official FCA description:
The Converter Lock-up clutch eliminates the converter slippage, thereby reducing fuel consumption.
Thanks to the considerable torque that the converter can transmit, it is possible to make use of the lock-up clutch in place of a gear shift, giving greater comfort with respect to shifting between two gears.
Depending on the load, in some of the engine’s operating points, the lock-up clutch is opened instead of shifting down, increasing the engine speed as happens during a down shift. The difference in rotational speed between the pump and the turbine increases the converter torque, which corresponds to a gear shift. Moreover, the increase in engine speed means that the engine is made to operate in a higher power range.

What this means is, say you're doing 30mph and the transmission is in 4th, then you start to squeeze the throttle a little bit and ask for a little more power than the engine can optimally deliver. Rather than drop down into 3rd, it will remain in 4th and open the clutch, effectively increasing the torque of the engine.

This only happens in Auto mode in Natural, if you're in Dynamic or using the paddles it will always lock a gear.

My numbers in the above example are made-up, I haven't paid attention to the exact situations that it does it. But it is possible to use the throttle at the right time to open up the clutch, then slowly keep feeding in the power to ride a massive wave of torque. It isn't the fastest way to accelerate, but when you're on a relaxing cruise like around town it is a very nice feeling.
What does it do in Advanced Efficiency mode? When the converter is unlocked the transmission efficiency drops dramatically. When the transmission is downshifted the engine efficiency drops dramatically. It is not so obvious which is most efficient.
 

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What does it do in Advanced Efficiency mode? When the converter is unlocked the transmission efficiency drops dramatically. When the transmission is downshifted the engine efficiency drops dramatically. It is not so obvious which is most efficient.
It holds on to the higher gear for as long as possible. If you really insist you want to accelerate, it will reluctantly drop down a gear.

The advantage of A mode is as soon as you come off the gas around 30-50mph (e. g. approaching traffic lights) it will block change into 8th. 8th is so high it feels a lot like a DCT's Sail mode, and the car will 'coast' off throttle to about 30mph when the car changes down and engine braking is again enabled.

Again, not sure on actual speeds, 30mph may be 25mph, I haven't paid too much attention to details.
 

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I think Alfa was really smart to go with the ZF over the DDCT/TCT type of transmission for the Giulia. As compared with the dual clutch units that are out there in the Fiat and Alfa world (meaning in certain Fiats and in the Alfa 4C) the ZF box doesn't really sacrifice any performance. Its extra two gears allow for more closely space ratios, and that offsets the mechanical advantages of the TCT type. In every other aspect of driving the ZF box is superior. I think it's the best automatic I have ever experienced.

Now, in a smaller sports car like the 4C, I think the TCT was the right choice. The ZF, or a similar box would have added weight and the power loss through the box would have a larger relative effect on the smaller engine. These factors would have shown up more in a 2400 pound sports car, and the smoothness advantages of the ZF wouldn't matter as much in that type of car.

In short, I think Alfa is doing a good job of selecting the right transmissions for the right cars.

Greg
 

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What does it do in Advanced Efficiency mode? When the converter is unlocked the transmission efficiency drops dramatically. When the transmission is downshifted the engine efficiency drops dramatically. It is not so obvious which is most efficient.
The engine efficiency drops dramatically at times because the engine, assuming you are talking about a Quadrifoglio, reactivates the other 3 cylinders that were deactivated for enhanced fuel economy when cruising in Advanced Efficiency.

On a very long trip, I've managed to get between 27.5-29.5 mpg on mine when throwing it into Advanced Efficiency. However, when I get to curvy roads and toss it into Race mode, the MPGs and expected range drop in half nearly instantly.
 
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The engine efficiency drops dramatically at times because the engine, assuming you are talking about a Quadrifoglio, reactivates the other 3 cylinders that were deactivated for enhanced fuel economy when cruising in Advanced Efficiency.

On a very long trip, I've managed to get between 27.5-29.5 mpg on mine when throwing it into Advanced Efficiency. However, when I get to curvy roads and toss it into Race mode, the MPGs and expected range drop in half nearly instantly.
Actually I was talking in general and was asking about the converter lock rather than the reluctance or lack there of to downshift. Are those numbers from the dashboard readout? At least for the 2.0 engine there is anecdotal evidence that the readout can be wildly optimistic.

I don't think the driver has any direct control over converter lock, nor any direct indication if the converter is locked. In my Subaru I can finesse the throttle pedal to apparently make the converter lock. I believe that this is part of why I get 24MPG in town while my wife gets 16MPG in town while driving the same car. I could be wrong, since my technique also results in lower engine RPMs and it is really difficult to tell what is going on with a CVT.

For a given amount of power production the best efficiency is generally achieved with the lowest RPM that can produce the requested power--often at full throttle.
 

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I don't think the driver has any direct control over converter lock, nor any direct indication if the converter is locked. In my Subaru I can finesse the throttle pedal to apparently make the converter lock.
Correct. Activation of the converter lock is supposed to be seamless and hidden from the user, but you can finesse the throttle pedal to make it unlock in N. If you're tuned into the car, you can feel when it happens. There is no light or other obvious indication.

In A it always remains locked when requesting more power. It will downshift but not unlock like in N. Possibly when changing to 8th (sail mode) it is unlocked but I can't tell.
 

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Had a DCT in a GTI. Loved it. Felt far better than the Giulia's sloshbox, except coming to a stop/rolling stop.
The DCT felt like it would disengage prematurely to avoid stalling, and if you needed to get back into the throttle, there was a moment of nothing, then all of a sudden madness.

The Giulia's sloshbox handles that process better, but from pretty much any other speed/process, much rather have the DCT. Or preferably, a manual.

I generally dislike anything with a torque converter where a fun driving experience is the goal, the Giulia's automatic hasn't changed my opinion on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Had a DCT in a GTI. Loved it. Felt far better than the Giulia's sloshbox, except coming to a stop/rolling stop.
The DCT felt like it would disengage prematurely to avoid stalling, and if you needed to get back into the throttle, there was a moment of nothing, then all of a sudden madness.

The Giulia's sloshbox handles that process better, but from pretty much any other speed/process, much rather have the DCT. Or preferably, a manual.

I generally dislike anything with a torque converter where a fun driving experience is the goal, the Giulia's automatic hasn't changed my opinion on that.
Are you talking about the Giulia Quadrifoglio or the regular Giulia? IDK is there is any real difference in the transmission between the two, but on Wikipedia they are listed as having different part numbers so idk!
 

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The one in QV has to handle more torque, all manufacturers have that, ZF in audis are at least two different types even though they are essentially same transmission with some elements stronger
 

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Correct, the ZF 8HP50 in the normal Giulia and the 8HP75 in the Quadrifoglio differ by their torque rating. The Quadrifoglio also has beefier cooling, with an oil-to-water heat exchanger in addition to the oil-to-air radiator, but that's external to the box itself.
 
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