The 1963 Buick Wildcat featured a Twin-Turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission, marketed as the Turbine Drive, that was largely disappointing in performance. Buick replaced the Dynaflow in 1964 with the three-speed Super Turbine 400 transmission.
Buick introduced the Twin-Turbine Dynaflow in 1953, although the concept for the engine dates back to 1948. The transmission featured a torque converter with twin turbines, one impeller and a single stator. In effect, the Dynaflow was a continuously variable transmission, much like contemporary CVTs in today's performance cars. The primary turbine drove the car at low speeds and the secondary turbine slowly took over as speed increased to create a fluid motion with no noticeable gear changes, according to Ate Up With Motor, an auto history website.
Although the Twin-Turbine Dynaflow was unlike any other automatic because of its smooth transition from one gear to another, it was inefficient due its lack of quick acceleration. It soon earned the moniker of "Dynaslush." The Dynaflow was durable, but outmatched by the Wildcat's standard 325-horsepower 401-cubic-inch V-8.
The Twin-Turbine hung on for 15 years, much longer than it deserved given its performance issues. General Motors developed the Triple-Turbine, but quickly dropped it in 1960 as too expensive to produce. Yet the Turbine-Drive concept was never far away from the minds of engineers who sought to develop a true, continuously variable transmission to provide optimum gear ratios at any speed.
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