The Chrysler “Quick Shift Neon” Automanual Transmission Project 983082
Formula One motorsport competition, ever seeking increases in powertrain responsiveness and efficiency, has utilized electronically-shifted manual transmissions for nearly a decade. With the advent of this technology for passenger car usage ( for example the Magneti Marelli “Selespeed” system), new levels of powertrain electronic control become possible. At the same time, world-wide emission and fuel economy standards have driven powertrain designers to seek transmissions that are multi-faceted; able to offer manual transmission levels of driveline efficiency while simultaneously offering the ability to be automatically controlled.
This paper will document a 1995-1996 Chrysler advanced powertrain concept study that culminated in a fully driveable, fully automatic, manual 5 speed transmission Neon coupe. The particular difficulties of electronically managing clutch control, gearshift synchronization, and synchronization duration will be scrutinized while detailed data traces will chronicle their successful resolution. In the end, a unique electro-mechanical control system was devised which allows electronic selection and control of a power-interrupted shift, manual transmission and dry friction clutch, affording heretofore unachievable levels of powertrain efficiency.