Ford on Wednesday said it will introduce an advanced dual-clutch Power Shift six-speed automatic transmission in North America in 2010.

Their advanced new 'Power Shift' gearbox will provide enhanced efficiency and mileage compared to the conventional four-speed automatic common in this type of vehicle.

The gearbox essentially consists of two manual transmissions that work in tandem; each with its own clutch resulting to a better mileage, while still feeling like a regular automatic to the driver.

Ford's dual-clutch transmission requires no torque converter, fluids, pumps or coolers. It works with the same convenience as a conventional automatic gearbox, though the dual-clutch unit is considerably lighter and sealed for life- requiring no maintenance.

A six-speed dual-clutch transmission increases fuel economy by as much as 9 percent compared with a four-speed automatic. It uses a series of fast-acting, computer-controlled solenoids to shift gears quickly without interrupting the flow of power to the wheels.

Overall, Ford has committed that almost all of its transmissions will be advanced six-speed gearboxes by 2013.

Ford currently offers a Power Shift transmission in the European Focus with the 2.0-liter TDCI engine.