SPORTSHIFT is the trademark registered by the Prodrive company in 1995 for a mechanism of manual gear shifting with the help of the gear selector or paddle shifters. This system has been used in Subaru automatic transmissions since 2001 and in automated manual transmissions installed on some Aston Martin models since 2006.
Operating principle of SPORTSHIFT
The distinctive feature of the SPORTSHIFT system is absence of mechanical linkage between the gear selector or paddle shifters and the transmission. Electrical signals are used instead. When the driver pushes the selector lever or a paddle shifter, the corresponding information is sent to the transmission control unit which then sends the corresponding command to the actuators engaging the selected gear.
The SPORTSHIFT function improves the vehicle dynamic performance and is useful when driving up- or downhill or starting off on a slippery surface. In addition, availability of paddle shifters helps to shift gears without being distracted from the road, which is especially relevant for sports cars.
Popular transmissions with the SPORTSHIFT function
|Transmission code||Manufacturer||Number of speeds||Transmission type||Max torque, N⋅m||Max engine capacity, l||Production start||Car models equipped with this type of transmission|
|4EAT||Jatco||4||Automatic with a torque converter||300||3.3||1988||Subaru Impreza; Subaru Legacy; Subaru SVX; Subaru Forester; Subaru Outback|
|5EAT||Jatco||5||Automatic with a torque converter||350||3.6||2004||Subaru Tribeca; Subaru Legacy; Subaru Exiga; Subaru Outback|
On Aston Martin cars, 6- and 7-speed automated manual transmissions produced by Graziano were equipped with the SPORTSHIFT system. In particular, they were installed on the V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage S, and some other models.
Common malfunctions of transmissions with the SPORTSHIFT system
|The transmission pump seal starts leaking over time.||4ЕАТ|
|Solenoids fail.||4ЕАТ; 5EAT|
|The clutch drum and the transmission bearing break down.||4ЕАТ|
|Valve body channels get clogged.||4ЕАТ; 5EAT|
|Early breakdown of the speed sensor.||5EAT|