Print 70 comment(s) - last by macca007.. on Aug 7 at 2:46 AM

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 GotThumbs on 8/1/2012 3:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
Have you even been to Europe? It's much harder to find/rent an automatic there. Most Europeans drive, have manual transmissions due to reliability and fuel efficiency. I have only owned vehicles with manual transmissions. I feel they are lower maintenance, more efficient, and less prone to mechanical issues....especially if the driver doesn't hammer the clutch and transmission. Most of my family drives automatics and that's OK too. My brother had to have his camaro serviced twice for a bad auto-transmission. Very expensive item to have serviced.

I wouldn't say never to an automatic, but I'm more than fine with my 3 vehicles being manuals and towing through the gears is always a blast.

fyi. I regularly get 25-26 mpg in my 5-speed 1 ton Dodge Ram diesel.

RE: Or....
By sigmatau on 8/1/2012 9:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct, but car manufacturers have stepped up their game.

Nissan introduced their first CVT in the 2003 Nissan Murano. This was their first use of this transmission (which kinda sucks btw). Do you know what is the warranty on this transmission? 120,000 miles in the US. Talk about reliability.

My next car will have an auto with a lifetime warranty on it and other engine parts. Not sure why people still buy cars with 36,000 miles warranty. Oh, and its not a Huyndai/Kia.

RE: Or....
By macca007 on 8/2/2012 4:08:16 AM , Rating: 2
Definitely have to disagree there about lower maintenance in manuals, Maybe I am a poor driver but 3 clutches later and about $6k speaks for itself. Only takes one bad nights sleep, Running late to work still half asleep so don't quite get that smooth gear change then accidently CRUUUUUUNCH those gears and there goes 1 months wages in repairs :(
This will be my last manual for sure, I see then fading away into oblivion each new car generation that comes along.
Even cheap cars now are getting 5 or 6 speed autos in them,Don't save any money by buying a manual version of the car these days, With some brands the auto and manual are even the same price. I think it will get to a point where it(manuals) will only be available on sports cars maybe its already starting to happen?
I guess manuals will always seem to appeal to young people and will still be needed for those who need to tow but majority of people stuck in peak hour traffic will want an auto as roads get even more crowded as years go on.

RE: Or....
By Spuke on 8/2/2012 5:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
$6k for three clutch jobs? What car are you driving?

RE: Or....
By macca007 on 8/7/2012 2:46:47 AM , Rating: 2
Only a Holden Commodore SS, No BMW that's for sure :)
I know I get ripped off at the dealer, But I don't have any mechanic to go to.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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