After hinting at on the teaser site that was launched for the Ford Fiesta a couple of months ago, the Dearborn automaker has confirmed that it will launch the PowerShift dual clutch gearbox for 2010. This will be the first North American market application of the technology for Ford. The 6-speed unit will is a dry clutch setup that will go into the Fiesta first when it launches at the end of this year. Ford's first DCT application in Europe is a wet-clutch setup on the diesel Focus.
Compared to existing four speed automatics, the PowerShift will yield a 9 percent improvement in fuel efficiency as well as facilitating extra features. During coast down, both clutches are automatically disengaged, reducing drag. The control of the clutches is also integrated with the brake system to provide hill-hold and launch assist. The dry-clutch PowerShift is 30 lbs lighter than the existing four speed automatic on the U.S. Focus. This gearbox already appeared in the Lincoln Concept C and Volvo S60 concepts in Detroit last week and will make its way into other smaller Fords in the next couple of years.