Honda Plans to Use a Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission image

Honda wants to invest in a nine-speed automatic gearbox produced by German supplier ZF, which is to be seen on Honda’s cars until 2014.

The gearbox, called 9HP, uses planetary gears in place of a traditional design, making the transmission is surprisingly compact, and it can be used in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive applications. In addition it utilizes planetary gearsets, helping save space.

It handles up to 354 pound-feet of torque and can improve a car’s fuel economy as much as 10% to 16%. The transmission can allow a car to do about 120 Kph at a mere 1,900 rpm, which is quite incredible for a petrol engine car. The transmission can also support start-stop technology and work with hybrid cars.

Due to the torque capacities and the relatively small size, the gearbox could be used in almost any Honda model, but it expected to be seen at models such as the Odyssey and Pilot as well as the Acura MDX and TL. The company didn’t confirm nor denied the rumors, but if the reports are true the new nine-speed gearbox will be on the market by 2014.