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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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By DrApop on 8/1/2012 10:27:34 AM , Rating: 2
Oh please...I don't want to hear those absurd complaints. For close to 30 years the CAFE standards hardly moved/auto lobbies got them blocked. So for 30 years after the oil embargo of the 70's, auto companies did very very little except sit on their a$$es.
Now all of a sudden they are complaining because they actually have to do something. If they had spent all those wasted years working on the problem, it wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to implement it.

Perhaps you ought to not think about it as being forced to raise standards. Instead, think of it as asking/telling auto companies that they have to do the American thing and blaze the trail of innovation instead of becoming complacent and growing a far a$$.

By Ringold on 8/1/2012 11:08:23 AM , Rating: 5
Foreign car manufacturers (Toyota, Honda specifically) already did that in the ways that, you know, people actually cared about. Driving around any parking lot for the last 20 years tells you that the auto-industry changed, and for the better, with Japanese auto's pushing forward with reliability and quality.

What people didn't care about was fuel efficiency. The Insight has been around since the late 90s I think, and never has been particularly popular. People cared more about the other stuff that's added hundreds of pounds to the weight of vehicles. Why would've they spent years solving a problem that only existed in the minds of environmentalist fringe groups? Why spend the money to "blaze the trail of innovation" that the Insight showed people didn't want to buy at the time? Simply because you think they should?

Unfortunately for them though, now the EPA's packed full of those environmentalists. Just don't pretend its the peoples will; money talks. Even in trucks, there's a reason the Ranger and Colorado have been dieing a slow death.. People dont want more fuel efficient, less expensive light trucks; they vote with their money on full-size Ram 1500s, F150s and Silverados.

But yes, we know that you're intellectually superior to everybody and America's companies should conform to your views and America's consumers should buy what you think they should buy.

By jeffkro on 8/2/2012 2:03:05 AM , Rating: 2
The ranger and Colorado were lagging because of poor design. Toyota sells tons of Tacoma's.

By mindless1 on 8/2/2012 2:29:15 AM , Rating: 3
That is the most ignorant thing I have read here in a long time. Since the 70's automobiles have gained (and in some cases then lost again):

- Driver air bag
- Passenger air bag
- Side air bags
- Auto climate control in non-luxury vehicles
- Front Wheel Drive
- Electronic Engine Control
- Motor driven fans
- Fuel Injection
- Anti-lock brakes
- Tire pressure sensing
- High intensity headlights
- Streamlined designs
- Higher crash resistance
- higher MPG to weight ratio (safety features don't come free, they weigh more)
- Mass produced ELECTRIC CAR
- too many other things to keep adding to this list

Adding a few gears and acting like that is finally doing something after no activity is just absurd.

They HAVE spent years working on and achieving better automobiles. There's no way I would consider driving a 1970's car as a primary vehicle, only as a toy, if it was a classic convertible only driven slow around town on the weekend just to show it off.

The "American thing" is free market. Let them choose to build whatever they want to and the consumer buys what they want WITHOUT it being forced upon them through government. The government is not supposed to force things upon the people, it is instead supposed to represent the will of the people which could have already been expressed by what they choose to purchase.

All that government intervention does is bad - it removes freedom of choice.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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