Chrysler Readies Nine-Speed Auto Transmissions to Cut Fuel Consumption
August 1, 2012 9:21 AM
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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
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.
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.”
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.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
8/1/2012 1:17:36 PM
If an automatic is more fuel efficient than a manual, its because they gave the auto better gear ratios. With the same engine and final drive ratio, a manual will always be a little better than an auto because of it being around 100 pounds lighter.
8/1/2012 1:34:39 PM
So how would somebody go about buying a manual and getting the better gear ratios?
The point is that for most people, the auto will be basically equivalent to a manual (in some cases much better). The argument that they are alot better is not true anymore except in extreme cases.
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