Is a dual-clutch transmission in Chrysler’s future? Speculation has suggested as much since the company shacked up with Fiat, but corporate officials tell us that a six-speed dual-clutch transmission will be offered in the 2011 Chrysler 200 later next year.
Currently, the only transmission offered in the 2011 200 is the conventional 62TE six-speed automatic, but that should soon change. Chrysler plans on introducing a new Fiat-designed six-speed dry dual-clutch gearbox later in the 2011 calendar year.
Interestingly, this transmission won’t be paired with the company’s touted new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, but with the 200′s base 2.4-liter I-4 offering. Further, Chrysler tells us it plans on only offering the transmission on the top-trim Limited model. Although the new gearbox could prove more expensive to manufacture, we’re told the base price of four-cylinder 200 Limiteds should remain close to the current MSRP of $24,495.
The automaker hasn’t released any specific fuel economy figures for the dual-clutch car, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the new transmission helps the 200 eclipse the 20/31 mpg (city/highway) rating of a 200 fitted with the 2.4-liter and the current six-speed automatic.
Representatives were coy regarding launch timing, saying only that the dual-clutch transmission will be added to the 200 lineup in mid-2011. Sources close to the program confirm that timetable, noting production is expected to ramp up to full volume in May.
We’re more interested to see what plans Chrysler has for this transmission, considering the 200 rides atop the same platform used for both the 2011 Dodge Avenger and 2011 Dodge Journey. Although it’s possible the dual-clutch gearbox could be offered in both models, Chrysler hasn’t confirmed such a move — and, seeing as non-Limited 200s will continue to utilize the 62TE, it’s quite possible the dual-clutch will be reserved for select trims, models, or brands.