Two clutches, 7 speeds, quick changes. It's what Audi promises with its new S Tronic transmission, set to feature prominently within the Audi family of powertrains.

Twin-clutch pioneer Audi is now the proud manufacturer of a new 7-speed twin-clutch gearbox called S Tronic. Joining Audi’s other offerings like 6-speed DSG, Multitronic, manual, Tiptronic and R Tronic, S Tronic is another step forward in the pursuit of high performance, lower fuel consumption and satisfying driving experiences.

The S Tronic is capable of attending to up to 550Nm of brute torque, and handling engine speeds of up to 9,000rpm. This probably explains why the [Nm RS 6] uses a normal 6-speed Tiptronic transmission. A basic lesson on S Tronic inner workings is probably called for right about now, for those five WCF readers who haven’t been online for long.

S Tronic is a twin-clutch transmission system that, you guessed it, uses two clutches to engage and change gears. The gist of it is that while other systems only engage the next appropriate gear when the control unit decides speed, revs and throttle are optimal for that action, twin-clutch systems work a little faster. These engage the next gear as soon as the current gear is engaged, thus in essence “lie in wait” for the action to be approved so as to quickly slip into engaged selected gear. Simple.

S Tronic can also be driven in various modes, such as D (Drive) and S (Sport). In normal D mode drive changes are auctioned by the computer, while S allows for quicker shifts that can even be done via optional rockers behind the steering wheel. A number of Audi models will absorb S Tronic from 2008.

Gallery: New Audi S Tronic Transmission