Long known for its expertise in passenger car automatic transmissions, ZF has reached another milestone after having its all-new 8-speed automatic transmission named a 2010 Automotive News PACE Award finalist.
The ZF 8-speed automatic made its debut on the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo and 760Li, and will also appear on the Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls Royce Ghost models. This all-new design shifts in milliseconds, is similar in size to a 6-speed automatic but with fewer parts, and improves fuel economy by 14 percent over 5-speed automatic transmissions and 6 percent over 6-speed automatics from ZF.
The modular design allows for integration into hybrid vehicles, simply by replacing the torque converter with an electric motor, resulting in a fuel economy improvement of approximately 25 percent.
“It is truly an honor to have our 8-speed transmission recognized as one of the industry’s best innovations,” said Dr. Gerhard Wagner, Member of the Board of Management, ZF Group. “We congratulate the entire development team for their commitment to developing technology that is dynamic, safe and efficient. We believe this is a watershed product that will usher in the next era of automatic transmissions.”
When designing the 8-speed automatic transmission, ZF engineers were not concerned with using a specific number of gears. Instead, the goal was to develop a new transmission that improved fuel economy by at least 6 percent over the current-generation of 6-speed automatic, while also improving the power-to-weight ratio, shift speed and quality, while increasing torque load.