Audi recently announced its new seven-speed S Tronic transmission will be introduced on a range of models.
According to the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer, the new transmission was developed entirely in-house and is designed to work with longitudinally-mounted engines and Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system.
It is intended for Audi's "mid-range model lines" and should withstand engine speed stresses up to 9 000 r/min and transmit torque of up to 550 Nm.
The seven-speed gearbox uses two multidisk clutches to control the different gears. Both are always active - while one is in use, the other is already engaged and ready for use.
Common to similar systems, S Tronic can be operated in various modes.
It has a fully automatic mode, which offers Drive (D) and Sport (S) programmes and gears can also be shifted manually, either via the selector lever or the optional steering wheel-mounted paddles. Audi claims shifts should take a few hundredths of a second.
South Africans will likely see the new seven-speed S Tronic introduced here in the S4 towards the middle of 2009.
The previous six-speed S Tronic was only available for transverse engine applications and could not handle torque figures exceeding 320 Nm. It is offered here on some A3 models, and on the previous generation TT.