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.
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8/1/2012 1:53:05 PM
Yeah, but I'd really like to call BS on that. This only started happening once the EPA "updated" the way the tests were conducted to better reflect driving realities. So I wonder if this "reality" reflects common poor driving habits such as slamming the gas as soon as the light turns green.
I would like to see some actual fuel efficiency-maximums studies done to see which transmission-type can go further, throwing aside realities of poor driving habits and just pushing the machines themselves to the max.
The only thing I can say for certain is that the EPA rates my 2001 vehicle at 27/33MPG but I regularly obtain 38-40mpg even with a 50/50 highway/city mileage mixture.
8/1/2012 9:38:49 PM
The EPA test for a 2001 car was PURE BS. If that car was retested using the new EPA test (that came out aroune 2005), it would get an even worse score.
You must drive like an old fart. :}
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