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The Chrysler 300 will be a recipient of the new 9-speed automatic transmission.
A 16% improvement in fuel efficiency is expected from nine-speed transmission

Automakers are pulling out all the stops and looking to squeeze every single mile per gallon out of their automobiles by any means necessary. Automakers are looking at more fuel-efficient engines with smaller displacements, but they're also looking at reducing the weight of vehicles and increasing the number of forward gears used in car/truck transmissions. 
 
Adding forward gears to a transmission makes a lot of sense because the slower the engine spins, the less fuel it consumes. In years past automatic transmissions used in vehicles commonly had four or five forward gears. More recent vehicles are moving up to six-speed and in some cases even eight-speed automatic transmissions in luxury vehicles. Chrysler is eyeing even more gears inside with nine-speed gearboxes for more mainstream vehicles.
 
According to Mircea Gradu, vice president transmission powertrain driveline engineering, Chrysler will roll out its first nine-speed transmission by the first half of 2013. “I’m convinced that, sooner or later, others will come up with similar solutions,” Gradu said in an interview from his office in Auburn Hills, Michigan, where Chrysler is based. “Hopefully, the time will be as long as possible until they catch up with the technology.”
 
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne believes that the automaker and its various brands will be able to meet looming fuel-efficiency standards by using technology that improves traditional gasoline engines combined with better transmissions rather than moving to plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles. CAFE standards will reach 54.5 mpg by 2025.
 
Michael Omotoso, a powertrain analyst at LMC Automotive, said, "They’re [Chrysler] doing basically the bare minimum to satisfy government regulations. Their strategy is to meet the standards with minimum investment.”
 
Bloomberg reports that the nine-speed transmission Chrysler is developing could boost fuel economy of certain models by as much as 16%. Chrysler has already scored a 15% boost in the highway fuel economy of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger by adding an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Source: Business Week



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RE: Or....
By theapparition on 8/1/2012 9:58:11 AM , Rating: 4
I'm a big fan of manual transmissions.

Less complicated? Yes
Cheaper? Yes
Lighter? Yes
More fun? Definitely (although most people can't drive an auto).

But more fuel efficient? No, not by a long shot anymore. That was true with old style mechanical transmissions. But modern electronically controlled ones do a much better job than any person can.


RE: Or....
By sprockkets on 8/1/2012 10:14:37 AM , Rating: 1
And that's the problem. I have a feeling 9 speed autos will be as fun to drive as a CVT transmission. So what if it saves fuel? These stupid new cars upshift so fast you barely get any good acceleration out of them.


RE: Or....
By michael2k on 8/1/2012 10:20:36 AM , Rating: 2
Saving fuel is the whole point of this exercise, sprockkets.

That's like saying, "So what if it moves forward? These cars move so much you barely get any good nap time out of them."


RE: Or....
By sprockkets on 8/1/2012 10:37:48 AM , Rating: 2
Let's look at it another way - todays a/c systems are around 1.5-2x times more efficent. They also break down 3x as much and the evaporator coils leak around 10x as much.

In other words, you save $30 a month. You also pay an thousands more in repairs over the life of the system as well vs an older system. Where did the EPA/GOV factor lost refrigerant and extra energy and money in repairs when mandating higher SEER ratings?

I don't want a 9 speed auto if all it does is crap up more in repairs vs. a measly 15% in fuel savings.


RE: Or....
By michael2k on 8/1/2012 12:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
That's not your original argument, to which I in good faith responded to.

If you're claiming "added complexity vs efficiency", then there are in fact other ways to increase efficiency, but I suspect you would respond in exactly the same way as your OP in which you complain about a lack of good acceleration.


RE: Or....
By Iaiken on 8/1/2012 10:21:39 AM , Rating: 2
You make the mistake of being an enthusiast and trying to speak for the 99% of people who view their automobile as an appliance. While I agree with you, the buying public at large disagrees with us.


RE: Or....
By sprockkets on 8/1/2012 10:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
I know, I know, the 99% of the population that is beyond retarded and uses apple products, also appliances.


RE: Or....
By Mathos on 8/1/2012 10:49:20 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm From what I remember, from test driving a charger and avenger with the 6 speed CVT's in em, they weren't that bad. If you put the foot on the gas they'd go like a 4 or 5 speed. I haven't personally tested the newer 8 speed yet. But if memory serves, both the 8 and 9 are 4 gear sets with 2 shift elements per gear, at least on the 8, and they're timed aggressively on the lower gears.

You have to remember though, they haven't even added Direct injection or turbos yet to their newer engines. I say that because back in the day they use to put turbo's on the 4 cylinder Lebaron, friend of mine had one. I know they have the tech to do so, just don't know why they haven't put out the DI Twin turbo versions of their engines yet.


RE: Or....
By freedom4556 on 8/1/2012 12:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You have to remember though, they haven't even added Direct injection or turbos yet to their newer engines. I say that because back in the day they use to put turbo's on the 4 cylinder Lebaron, friend of mine had one. I know they have the tech to do so, just don't know why they haven't put out the DI Twin turbo versions of their engines yet.

I know why, and the answer is two words: insurance and cost. In '93 they had a twin-turbo trans am prototype that was faster, lighter, more efficient, and more powerful than the LT1 V8 trans am from '92. Why didn't GM make it? Insurance for buyers of the car would've jumped significantly, there would've been the cost for retooling and the turbos are just plain less reliable vs not having turbos. That and a gas prices slump in the early 90s fueled the SUV craze, but that's something else... Also, look at the different versions of the Mitsu Evo. At a certain point, forced induction hurts efficiency rather than helping.

And btw, direct injection only buys a few percent increase in mpg in gas engines. It was great for diesels, but moving the injector into the cylinder instead of right outside in the intake port? Most domestics are just putting off the redesign cost for the V6/V8s.


RE: Or....
By theapparition on 8/1/2012 3:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
They never had a LT1 TransAm in 1992. It debuted in 1993.

DI also buys a lot more than a few percent. Even so, each addition of a few percent adds up. There are also a lot of other benefits that DI allows.


RE: Or....
By freedom4556 on 8/2/2012 4:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They never had a LT1 TransAm in 1992. It debuted in 1993.


Ehh, off by a year. I only remembered that it was the LT1 because they called it out by name on the article I read.

quote:
DI also buys a lot more than a few percent.

Direct injection by itself is mainly good for reducing NOx emissions and improving power, to get noticeably better economy from DI it needs to be coupled with VVT, which most cars have by now, even the domestics. But your right, single digits add up.


RE: Or....
By Visual on 8/2/2012 8:17:44 AM , Rating: 2
A CVT can be fun too, it can easily have a mode that picks the optimal RPM for torque and acceleration instead of for fuel efficiency.


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