At Detroit, Detroit, ZF announced a nine speed transmission for front-wheel-drive cars, saying the new ‘box will enhance performance and fuel economy of cars with transversely mounted engines.
Packaged in a size similar to its eight-speed automatic transmission used in longitudinal installations, the 9-speed transmission, which is slated to be produced in Green-ville, South Carolina, will provide “extremely short response and shifting times (that) are clearly below the threshold of perception. This means that the gearbox can double-shift or even jump several gears without either the driver or passengers noticing.
Chrysler is one of several automakers that will use this technology when production starts in 2012.
According to Paul, ZF has reached the limit on the number of gear ratios that can be added to a light-duty transmission while improving fuel economy.