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Automakers hope to save millions of dollars with joint development

Ford and General Motors have announced that they have teamed up to jointly develop a new generation of advanced 9- and 10-speed transmissions that will be used in cars, crossovers, SUVs, and trucks.
The automakers say that the new transmissions will increase both performance and fuel economy. Engineering and development work for the transmissions is currently underway.

“Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions,” said Jim Lanzon, GM vice president of global transmission engineering. “We expect these new transmissions to raise the standard of technology, performance and quality for our customers while helping drive fuel economy improvements into both companies' future product portfolios.”

Automakers need every edge they can get to meet the looming federal CAFE guidelines set to go into effect over the next several years. With a greater number of gear ratios available in the transmission, the engine can operate at more efficient RPMs, which in turn leads to improved fuel economy.
Some industry analysts believe that a nine-speed automatic transmission could increase fuel economy by five to ten percent compared to the same vehicle using a six-speed transmission.
The two companies have collaborated on transmission technology in the past. Ford and GM previously collaborated to build a six-speed transmission for front-wheel drive cars. Ford currently uses the six-speed transmission and vehicle such as the Fusion and Edge. GM uses the transmission in the Malibu and Cruze among others.
Chrysler is currently using an eight-speed automatic transmission in some of its automobiles, including its popular line of trucks.

Source: GM

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RE: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
By GulWestfale on 4/15/2013 10:51:04 AM , Rating: 1
audi offers a CVT (multitronic) in some of its models, including versions of the A4, A6, A7, and A8 capable of handling loads of up to 400NM. wouldn't it make more sense to develop a stronger version of such a CVT than to develop a conventional automatic with a ridiculous number of gears?

RE: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
By fteoath64 on 4/16/2013 8:47:59 AM , Rating: 1
The big problem with CVT is that it cannot handle high loads and it wears out after some time (ie unreliable compared to traditional manual or automatic). I think after 4-5 years the tranny needs a serious overhaul that will cost a fair bit. Unlike manual trannies that lasts for 15 years or more just clutch needs changing every 3-4 years.

More R&D is needed for CVTs that would be strong enough to last and cheap enough to be usable in all ranges of cars. This magic point has yet to be met. Audi's multitronic is one of the nicest with cone based rollers but it is limited to I think 500HP and 400NM torque. Turbo cars easily exceed this rating. CVT when used are most efficient provided electronics are clever enough to "shift" the dynamic ratios correctly for load. One would expect using CVT with electric motors would be a great thing.
Having more ratios (ie 10 gears) and shifting between them are just the way of emulating CVT to conserve power.

By zephyrprime on 4/16/2013 5:33:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah but electric motors can adjust torque by using a variable number of rotors.

By grant3 on 4/17/2013 1:37:33 AM , Rating: 4
Not true at all. For example, Nissan's first generation CVTs shipped in '03 with 10-year warranties. I have seen no complaints of abnormal repairs needed. Most drivers don't even need to replace the lubricant during that 10 years.

As for limited to "only" 500hp... how many people drive cars that are more powerful that? Let's solve the issue for the other 99% first...

Personally, after owning a CVT vehicle for 2 years (murano) I love the power delivery and loathe to return to anything with gears.

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