The 2014 Jeep Cherokee might become the first light vehicle with a 9-speed transmission.
Even if Land Rover said two months ago at the Geneva Motor Show that it will be the first to introduce a light vehicle with a 9-speed transmission, it seems that the Jeep Cherokee might have got ahead. Automakers are struggling to add speeds to their transmissions as this a more efficient gear shift improves fuel economy. The engine runs at lower speed with a transmission with more gears. This reduces noise when traveling at high speeds, but also improves comfort.
“I believe Land Rover was the first to demonstrate this new transmission technology at the Geneva Motor Show, ” said Stuart Schorr, spokesman for Land Rover. “Land Rover will be the first, or among the first, to deliver to customers vehicles with nine-speed transmissions.”
Chrysler announced that the Cherokee will hit the market by the end of the third quarter and even with a one-month delay, it will still be ahead of Land Rover. Shifting the number of gears from 6 to 9 improves fuel efficiency, reduces CO2 emissions and makes off-road capability better.
“We are confident we will be first in the midsize SUV segment with a nine-speed automatic transmission,” said Chrysler spokeswoman Kathy Graham.