Jump to content

MyCarForum Logo
Search
Magnifying glass

SEARCH

1

Transmission gear-adding race is coming to an end

By FaezClutchless on 23 Jul 2012

Attached Image

In the last decade or so, most cars have either a four-speed or five-speed automatic transmission fitted in them. Nowadays, many automakers are using six, seven and eight speed automatic transmission. And even a nine and ten speed auto gearbox is on its way.

Attached Image

Some people might ask; when will this gear-adding mania come to an end? Apparently, the answer is soon; according to German transmission producer, ZF. Julio Caspari, ZFs North American president, has said that ZF and other transmission makers started the gear-adding race due to aid in engine efficiency, allowing cars to run at lower engine speeds.

But these incremental gains are becoming insignificant. According to Caspari, the companys current eight-speed automatic transmission is only eleven percent more efficient than its six-speed automatic transmission.

Currently, many luxury automakers are using versions of ZFs eight-speed, including BMW across its model range and Chrysler uses them for their 300 sedan. Chrysler is also planning to use a nine-speed automatic transmission for its upcoming Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger midsize sedan replacement.

Some time last year, Hyundai announced that they are developing a ten-speed automatic transmission which they planned to use on future versions of the Genesis, Equus and also probably the Kia K9 (which shares similar mechanical parts).

If a ten-speed automatic transmission does arrive, whats next? Heading to an eleven, twelve or any higher number transmission could add cost and complexity without any realised gains in fuel efficiency that automakers are searching for as they prepare for mounting Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations from the US federal government which is set to go up to 54.5 mpg by 2025.

Eventually, one day all of this will come to an end and automakers might go down the route of continuous variable auto transmissions (CVT), just like Nissan in most of its models. Instead of using a fixed number of gears, the Nissan transmission uses a chain-link belt that shuffles across two cone-shaped pulleys to give a nearly infinite variability, instead of fixed gears.

The gear-adding race is expected to come to an end soon or at least it will tone down a little. With Hyundai and ZF still in the midst of developing transmission with more gears, this race might go on for another decade or so. Anyway, soon is, after all, a relative word.

other news, europe, america and 8 more...

Viewed: 1,326 times

Related Blog Posts
FaezClutchless
Written by FaezClutchless
Some say that his blood is actually RON98 petrol and some say that his right foot weighs over 20kg. But all that we know about Faez is that he loves to drive and is a JDM enthusiast.



  • 1
Photo
Lazymayday Jul 24 2012 02:00 PM
next war on cvt efficiency?
  • 1
 
Car Makes

Please select a car make

Facebook Likes
   Featured Blog Post
Photo
The guide, while not mandatory, comes amid rising car complaints, mainly about defects. It is dev...
POPULAR BLOG POSTS
Photo
At the recent 2017 Chinese Grand Prix, 19-year old Max Verstappen Red bull driver made headlines...
Photo
Jonny Lieberman of Motor Trend takes the all new 2017 Ford Raptor for a spin. Professional racer...
Photo
Ferrari profit skyrocketed 36% during the first quarter of 2017. Demand substantially increased f...
Photo
Insurance should be simple and fair, quick and easy to buy, at a price that’s affordable. And Bud...
Photo
ComfortDelGro rolls out fixed flat fares next week and similar to times in the mid-1950, commuter...
   Lifestyle Articles
   Tags