The South Korean automaker has recently developed in-house a new eight speed automatic gearbox, with the engineers succeeding in having the same size as the six-speed unit but taking it to the light side via a 7.7 pounds (3.5 kilograms) reduction.
The new transmission development started back in 2012 and was possible after 143 patents – the South Korean automaker promises enhanced efficiency, as well as reduced noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels. The company already has an eight-speed auto for the rear-wheel drive cars, but the new auto for the front was a bit tricky as they needed to position it transversely. They decreased the size of the oil pump compared to the six-speed auto and it’s apparently the smallest oil pump for a transmission in the class.
The new 8 auto also has a simpler valve body with 12 valves – down from 20 – thanks to a reworked direct control valve body that has the solenoid controlling the clutch directly. Kia says the gear changes are quicker now and the extra clutch and two gears have allowed a 34 percent ratio increase at the extremes compared to the six-speed auto. The new, more efficient eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic will first be offered on the 2017 Cadenza, mated to the new biturbo 3.3-liter V6 engine.