August '17

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AUGUST 2017 THE SHOP 19 Clutch makers know there's still interest in the third pedal. P erformance and manual transmis- sions simply go together. Fans of the third pedal wouldn't have it any other way. Technological advancements in methods, materials and even environmental regula- tions have all affected the clutch market in recent years. It's an industry that blends old-school power and fun with cutting- edge innovation. That's why we routinely check in with folks who bring those developments to the market for all the latest info. This time, we asked about that new technology, as well as market growth potential and, of course, their hottest new products. WHAT'S NEW Technology is a great place to start. So, what's new with clutches, tech-wise? Matt Polena, marketing manager of Fidanza Performance, says OEMs are leading the way with their newest vehicles and transmissions. "Manuals being released today aren't the same as they once were, mainly due to tech- nology. Stalling your car at a stoplight with your friends in the backseat laughing at you used to be part of the experience. How- ever, vehicles like the Focus RS have a stall recovery feature now that allows the car to push the clutch back in to avoid a stall." He also refers to a rev-matching feature in the new Camaro and 370Z, along with cars featuring hill assist. "The days of the manual transmission where the driver could make errors are fading," Polena continues. The industry is also seeing more twin- and triple-disc setups in higher-torque cars and different race applications, he adds. "These new race-developed multi-disc GRAB & GO By John Carollo The latest performance vehicles need a clutch that's up to the challenge. (Photos courtesy McLeod Racing)

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