ZF executive says the gearbox maker is not heading towards the 10-speed mark image

According to Stefan Sommer, CEO of German supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG, the company – one of the best-known global gearbox providers – is not following suit and has no intention to mirror the competition and add a 10-speed transmission.

In the never-ending pursuit of getting to that fabled (and often unreal in usual driving conditions) fuel economy threshold, automakers worldwide have been pushing the envelope when it comes to how many gears an automatic transmission should have. For example, in their quest to buoy mileage, Ford and General Motors have already announced they plan to ally and jointly develop 10-speed transmissions that would get into crossovers, pickups, SUVs and cars. The Volkswagen Group also recently confirmed it’s moving towards offering 10 gears in the near future on its models.

“We came to a limit where we couldn’t gain any higher ratios. So the increase in fuel efficiency is very limited and almost eaten up by adding some weight and friction and even size of the transmission,” Sommer said. “We will not go for 10.”

The boss of one of the world’s leading transmission builders made the comments this month at a Japanese racing event held just north of Tokyo. He pointed out that it’s not enough to just put more gears to get better fuel economy – as the gear ratios coverage is also a key element.

Via Automotive News Europe