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Old 07-06-2010, 05:30 PM   #1
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Default Transmissions: F1 vs Dual Clutch

Is it me or did the new dual clutch completely obliterate the F1 transmission technology? It seems like the old F1 single clutch technology and application in daily use is rudimentary in comparison.

Does this mean that all the F1 transmission cars are going to be depreciating more than the manual transmission 360/F430s as a result of being less desirable and higher maintenance?

The F1 was, to me, a very unpleasant system, even as they improved it. The new dual clutch, so far, seems to have little down side - aside from the fact that some of us still prefer to row our own gears like cavemen and arrive to our destinations a couple seconds later than those with dual clutches.

I think it is a shame Ferrari has turned its back on the manual transmission. I realize it is slower, less efficient, old school technology and with an "allegedly" low take rate by owners, but I'll still prefer the true manual.

Call me old fashioned but I prefer the involvement that pulling a paddle can't provide. I blip my own throttle on downshifts, so I can make it sound cool too...


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Old 07-06-2010, 11:51 PM   #2
 
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^agreed

We have the "true" manual with the 360 spider and I cant even imagine how disengaged you would feel without it. I've yet to have driven an F1 FERRARI per say but with the E46 M3 and other cars with tiptronic/steptronic like transmissions feel way too numb.
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:35 AM   #3
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I wouldnt think that the new dual clutch systems will have a dramatic effect on cars with the F1 system at all.

The loss of the manual transmission may be a blow to any "purists" that mant to have that total control feeling. However, many cars from motorsport have done away with the manual lever some time ago.

Although I agree that the F1 system takes some of that "connected" feel away when compared to a manual sports car, I would not see it as a detrement to any car.

While the twin clutch systems are a huge step forward, the cars that they are fitted to are a huge step up in price too.

Compare say a 430 F1 to a 458 Italia. Here in the UK, you are unlikely to see a 458 selling below cost price for about 24 months Id say, and that cost price with just a few options thrown in will take the car to £200,000 or more quite easily.

A 430 F1, with almost new mileage can be had for around half that.

There will of course be many people looking to buy a Ferrari for which the cost of the car is not really that important. Of course they are likely to go with the newer 458 (if they can stand the wait).

If they aren't the enthusiasts, but want that "racing driver" feel and dont want the apparent 2 year wait for a 458, then I can see the F1 actually being just as popular as it is now.

I would not say that the introduction of dual clutch will devalue the F1 transmissions at all.

What I would say is that a manual transmission car will now hold its value for longer, perhaps many manual car enthusiasts will possibly now not move to a dual clutch system. They may now choose to keep that as a second Ferrari rather than give up their manual box.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by chesterfield View Post

Compare say a 430 F1 to a 458 Italia. Here in the UK, you are unlikely to see a 458 selling below cost price for about 24 months Id say, and that cost price with just a few options thrown in will take the car to £200,000 or more quite easily.
That is the power of a new model, I would think it has nothing to do with the transmission.

Dual clutch is easier to build and make work right on the street….but it’s also heavier and has a higher part count.

F1 cars have 1 clutch because it’s lighter and the lower part count means more reliable (which is different from lower maintenance).

Both options make the car faster than a manual gear box…and faster is what sports car means to most people. I agree something is lost when you give up your clutch pedal…..and a there are people who still prefer carburetors. Personally I have no use for either but I do like my 308 and while switching to EFI was easy enough I haven’t figured out how to get a dual clutch trans in it……..yet.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:30 PM   #5
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That is the power of a new model, I would think it has nothing to do with the transmission.

Dual clutch is easier to build and make work right on the street….but it’s also heavier and has a higher part count.

F1 cars have 1 clutch because it’s lighter and the lower part count means more reliable (which is different from lower maintenance).

All very well said but I will add a few things.


One of the great design features of the F1 system is that it was based on a manual transmission. At the manufacturing level switching from one to the other was very easy and inexpensive. In fact the decision on which system the car would have could be made on the production line. There was far more common between the 2 cars than there were differences. Not so with the DC.

The DC car has 2 transmissions and 2 clutches. While they might brag about how little EXTRA weight that entails, it is extra weight (Colin Chapman is rightfully spinning in his grave). To keep that extra weight to a minimum has meant minimumizing the size and durability of the parts.

Clutch life. Ferrari has been touting the life of the clutches in the new system. No question it will be longer, probably much longer. In fact they will probably outlast the ownership period of most new car buyers but the life claims Ferrari has been making are just not true. They will wear out and the price for replacement will be astonishing even by our standards in the Ferrari business. Once that reality hits, and it will take a few years, can you imagine how that will effect used car prices?

While this may be an advancement in some ways, in my opinion is not in many others.
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:42 PM   #6
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If I could interject with maybe a little more technical info regarding both the DCT and the F1 gearbox. The "guts" of the F1 and 6-speed are essentially the same. Besides some ratio changes...some fork changes on the Scuderia, 16M and 599 Superfast systems, they are basically the same. The only difference is the mounting of an electro-hydraulic actuator that pushes the clutch and changes the gear. The opening on the side of the box is the same where the actuator mounts for the F1 and where the shift linkage mounts for the 6-speed. I agree that there are purists that prefer to shift themselves and those that prefer the F1 shifting abilities. That is what is so GREAT about Ferrari. You have a choice. Even with the exclusivity of the vehicle, you still have a choice. Except the Scuderia and 16M of course.

The DCT is a bit more involved. It is still a mechanical gearbox as well, except it has multiple shafts for "pre-selecting" your desired gear. The dual clutches are exactly as they say, two clutch packs that sit on two different shafts. One selects one set of gears, (ex. 1,3,5,7) while the other does another set, (ex. 2,4,6,R). The clutches are wet clutches, as in an automatic gearbox, however the fluid is kept separate from the gearbox. There is the gearbox fluid, just like a manual box, and there is the DCT fluid, for the clutches. This separation allows them to keep a manual gear selection with forks and such, and enhance the speed of the gear change. Regarding the wear or durability...I can only say wait and see...with the fact the clutches are only on and off, since the gears are preselected and not much "slippage" going on, except at launch....I don't foresee much issue. But time will tell.

I will chime in that I am an F1 fan. The Scud and 16M are by far the most exhilarating gear changes i have experienced. But the DCT in the 458 is pretty incredible as well. Shifts much more intense than the California.

Not trying to step on any toes, just throw a bit of the technical aspect that maybe some did not know or were interested in hearing.
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lenpeake View Post
.with the fact the clutches are only on and off, since the gears are preselected and not much "slippage" going on, except at launch....


As for clutch operation the exact same can be said of any manual, F1 or DC drive train. By saying "not much slipping going on except at launch" is like saying the space shuttle burns almost no fuel except at launch.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:19 PM   #8
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Nice sarcasm. So in your thought process the wet clutch pack wears exactly the same as a dry clutch. So the automatic gearboxes that have been around for years with their wet clutch packs internally wear out the same as a conventional clutch set. If you recall I also stated that..."time will tell." Wow....thanks for that mechanical lesson!
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lenpeake View Post
Nice sarcasm. So in your thought process the wet clutch pack wears exactly the same as a dry clutch. So the automatic gearboxes that have been around for years with their wet clutch packs internally wear out the same as a conventional clutch set. If you recall I also stated that..."time will tell." Wow....thanks for that mechanical lesson!
I can tell you I've changed out an awful lot of motorcycle wet clutches over the years, often after only 1 hard weekend at the track. The point of a wet clutch is about not needing seals and such not improving life...at least not on any wet clutch I've ever had.....not to say I have any knowledge about the life expectancy of a 458 clutch because I don't.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lenpeake View Post
But the DCT in the 458 is pretty incredible as well. Shifts much more intense than the California.

Not trying to step on any toes, just throw a bit of the technical aspect that maybe some did not know or were interested in hearing.
Lenny, welcome to FerrariLife

Great first post, I believe a mutual acquaintance of ours will be getting his 458 August, looking forward to seeing how it drives. At the California launch at FofSV I remember hearing all about the gearbox, finally will get to test it too.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:31 PM   #11
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Lenny, welcome to FerrariLife

Great first post, I believe a mutual acquaintance of ours will be getting his 458 August, looking forward to seeing how it drives. At the California launch at FofSV I remember hearing all about the gearbox, finally will get to test it too.
Thanks for the welcoming! Looking forward to making some helpful contributions. Love to hear your thoughts on the shifting of the 458 compared to the California. To tell you the truth, I was a bit nervous about the 458 and the DCT after driving the Cali. Thought it would be too smooth. But they did a good job with the mapping in the gearbox software to give that good "seat of the pants" shift feel. Anxious to hearing your impressions.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by lenpeake View Post
That is what is so GREAT about Ferrari. You have a choice. Even with the exclusivity of the vehicle, you still have a choice.
You don't have a choice anymore. The 458 is not available with manual shift, neither is the 599GTO, and neither is the California. Can we see a trend here?

As for the gearboxes, I think one aspect gets overlooked: durability. Whether the F1 or DCT is preferable, we will find out in coming years. The F1 gearbox certainly is a very costly item for many owners. I've heard plenty of stories of cars needing a tranny rebuild after 30,000kms. How the DCT will fare we don't know yet.


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Old 07-07-2010, 08:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by lenpeake View Post
Nice sarcasm. So in your thought process the wet clutch pack wears exactly the same as a dry clutch. So the automatic gearboxes that have been around for years with their wet clutch packs internally wear out the same as a conventional clutch set. If you recall I also stated that..."time will tell." Wow....thanks for that mechanical lesson!

No, infact if you read my first post I say it is certain to last much longer than an F1 clutch. Your comparison however to an automatic clutch pack is totaly invalid. The clutch packs in an automatic are never used to accelerate the load from a stop, that is the duty of the torque converter. The clutch packs are responsible for engaging the higher gears, generally only after the car is already at highway speed. Very, very different situation. The motorcycle clutch is a far better comparison and as anyone knows, those do wear out.

Yet another lesson.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:45 PM   #14
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You don't have a choice anymore. The 458 is not available with manual shift, neither is the 599GTO, and neither is the California. Can we see a trend here?

As for the gearboxes, I think one aspect gets overlooked: durability. Whether the F1 or DCT is preferable, we will find out in coming years. The F1 gearbox certainly is a very costly item for many owners. I've heard plenty of stories of cars needing a tranny rebuild after 30,000kms. How the DCT will fare we don't know yet.


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As far as all previous F1 gearboxes are concerned and their durability, with the exception of pre F1 355 transmissions all the F1 transmissions are identical in internal construction and specifications to their manual shift counterparts. Of all the 355, 360, and 575 transmissions I have fixed or rebuilt, none were in anyway related to the F1 system. In fact I have seen more 360 manual transmissions with wornout syncros than F1.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:11 PM   #15
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I believe VW replaced many dual-clutch transmissions under warranty due to "clutch" related failures for the first couple years. Then they figured out how to make it work.

Do we remember how many F1 clutches were replaced until Ferrari figured out how to make that system work as well as it does...quite a few I believe.

I expect the dual clutch system to be quite an issue for the first 3 years or so until the bugs get worked out.

Maybe we should start stocking up on early pre-selector gearboxes and start taking deposits on retro fit kits.


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Old 07-08-2010, 08:05 AM   #16
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I believe VW replaced many dual-clutch transmissions under warranty due to "clutch" related failures for the first couple years. Then they figured out how to make it work.

Do we remember how many F1 clutches were replaced until Ferrari figured out how to make that system work as well as it does...quite a few I believe.

I expect the dual clutch system to be quite an issue for the first 3 years or so until the bugs get worked out.

Maybe we should start stocking up on early pre-selector gearboxes and start taking deposits on retro fit kits.

In fairness to the cars and the early systems a lot of that was the drivers and not the car. I have a 360 client with a first generation system that has over 125000 miles on his car. He lives in the hills and it is a daily driver. He is on his 3rd clutch and the only reason he is not still on the second is because a bad transmission seal destroyed the second when it still had quite a bit of material on it. But you are correct, a good deal has been learned in the area of programming the system.


Also do not misunderstand, I am not expecting the roadside to be littered with Ferrari's with broken DC transmissions. But after 30+ years of listening to that companies propaganda up close and personal I take offense to them making these proclamations and expecting us to yet once again to believe them just because they are Ferrari. Far to much of what they say just does not pass the smell test.

I am sure the 458 is going to be a great performing car.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:13 AM   #17
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As far as all previous F1 gearboxes are concerned and their durability, with the exception of pre F1 355 transmissions all the F1 transmissions are identical in internal construction and specifications to their manual shift counterparts. Of all the 355, 360, and 575 transmissions I have fixed or rebuilt, none were in anyway related to the F1 system. In fact I have seen more 360 manual transmissions with wornout syncros than F1.
Hmm. For the benefit of other listeners, I do have to say I trust the source I have for my info completely. It contradicts your story. And I'll leave it at that so that people can make up their own mind.


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Old 07-09-2010, 10:58 PM   #18
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Thanks for the welcoming! Looking forward to making some helpful contributions. Love to hear your thoughts on the shifting of the 458 compared to the California. To tell you the truth, I was a bit nervous about the 458 and the DCT after driving the Cali. Thought it would be too smooth. But they did a good job with the mapping in the gearbox software to give that good "seat of the pants" shift feel. Anxious to hearing your impressions.
Given that Ianuk now has both a Cali and 458 in his garage, suggest we get his impressions on the two gearboxes.


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Old 07-10-2010, 08:55 AM   #19
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I think you have a very valid point Brian. The only thing Ferrari has effectively proven to us is that they are excellent at delivering under developed new technologies.

If you really break it down, any time Ferrari gives the public a break through feature it's glitchy and problematic. It'll take Ferrari a bit to sort it out and then it'll be a fantastic system that everybody raves about.

After driving early and late 355 F1, Maserati F1, 360 F1 and now 430 F1 cars it's amazing how much better the 430 system feels. The DC system will do the same. Otherwise how will Ferrari sell new cars, there must be evolution to keep sales booming.


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Old 07-10-2010, 09:09 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ECSofVirginia View Post
I think you have a very valid point Brian. The only thing Ferrari has effectively proven to us is that they are excellent at delivering under developed new technologies.

If you really break it down, any time Ferrari gives the public a break through feature it's glitchy and problematic. It'll take Ferrari a bit to sort it out and then it'll be a fantastic system that everybody raves about.

After driving early and late 355 F1, Maserati F1, 360 F1 and now 430 F1 cars it's amazing how much better the 430 system feels. The DC system will do the same. Otherwise how will Ferrari sell new cars, there must be evolution to keep sales booming.
I n this case though VW/Audi have been selling DC trans cars for 6 or 8 years I think and eveb the first gen was REALLY good so this isn't a break-though technology at this point.

Anybody know who's actually making this trans?....it may very well be a well developed piece
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