Torque Converter Promises More MPG

The German company LuK GmbH reports that it has developed a new high-tech torque converter
for automatic transmissions that promises fuel economy gains in the EPA’s city cycle up to
6.9 percent. The converter completely disengages when the engine is idling and goes into
lockup mode more quickly than conventional torque converters while driving. Torque
converter slipping is responsible for a large portion of the inefficiency of automatic
transmissions. This new multifunction torque converter uses a pump clutch between the
converter cover and the impeller to disconnect its fluid circuit at idle. It is expected
that earliest production would be 2010.

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