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Magna International to Supply Dual-Clutch & Hybrid Transmissions to BMW

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【Summary】BMW Group has awarded automotive parts supplier Magna International the largest production order for transmission technologies in the company’s history. The transmission technologies will be used in more than 170 different BMW vehicle applications.

Eric Walz    Oct 30, 2019 10:45 AM PT
Magna International to Supply Dual-Clutch & Hybrid Transmissions to BMW
An integrated electric drive axle. (Photo: Magna International)

BMW Group has awarded automotive parts supplier Magna International the largest production order for transmission technologies in the company's history. The multi-year contract includes supplying the German automaker with all front-wheel drive dual-clutch transmissions, including hybrid transmission versions.

"This new award is another result of Magna's commitment to delivering high-quality, flexible and innovative transmissions," said Tom Rucker, President of Magna Powertrain. "Our scalable dual-clutch transmissions enhance drivability while simultaneously providing optimal levels of efficiency, which makes our product a perfect match for BMW."

Dual-clutch transmissions are relatively new to the auto industry and function somewhat like a manual transmission, except without a clutch pedal. Unlike a traditional manual transmission that requires the driver to depress the clutch for every gear change, in a dual-clutch setup there are two computer-controlled clutches that change gears for the driver automatically.

The main benefit is that the two clutches are able to change gears much quicker, without disconnecting the engine from the transmission, which momentarily interrupts power flow. The result is greater efficiency, which in turn increases fuel economy.

According to Magna, dual-clutch transmissions are about 5% more economical and in some driving cycles and vehicles even more than 20% compared to automatic transmissions use a traditional torque converter.

The hybrid variants also use a compact, 48 volt high-RPM electric motor within the transmission housing that used to quickly propel the vehicle from a stop, further improving fuel efficiency.

Magna announced that the transmission technologies will be used in more than 170 different BMW vehicle applications. Magna said the new transmissions has no impact on the overall dimensions of the transmission housing, which provides manufacturing flexibility to BMW as it shifts toward electrification of its lineup.

At BMW's NEXTGen event in June 2019, the automaker announced its accelerating its electric vehicle rollout timeline, with 25 electrified models being introduced by 2023, two years ahead of schedule.

The transmissions will be built at Magna's facilities in Neuenstein, Germany, and Kechnec, Slovakia.

Magna also announced today it has been awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) to develop an advanced electric motor technologies for next-generation vehicle propulsion systems. The goal of the project is to develop an electric motor that is half the cost and eight times the power density, while delivering 125 kW of peak power.

Magna did not disclose the financial terms of the contract.

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