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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 YashBudini on 8/1/2012 7:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
On top of that, manuals transmissions are quickly disappearing as options altogether

Ah, but a niche market also allows for higher pricing. Witness the Acura TL, where the only way to get a 6 speed manual is to buy a top of the line AWD model with the Tech Package.

To buy a manual for better mileage started becoming a moot point once lock-up torque converters became popular.

As for options disappearing, take a look at how many cars offer any interior colors options. That's less about demand than it is about streamlining assembly lines.

RE: Or....
By sigmatau on 8/1/2012 9:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
Bingo! A car manufacturer loses money offering a manual on a mainstream car as it makes them have to tool two different assembly lines for a car that is not wanted by 93.5% of the population (US). Some car manufacturers are offering an auto at the same price as a manual. Look at the Ford Fusion.

RE: Or....
By YashBudini on 8/1/2012 10:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
Decades ago economy cars were routinely slow performers and automatics made them total dogs. Yeah they were a tad quicker with stick, but often very marginally.

These comments don't include the GM 2 speed Powerglide, which managed to make V8s behave like 6 cylinders.

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