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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 BRB29 on 4/15/2013 11:27:18 AM , Rating: 2
CVT actually cost less to make than traditional auto transmissions. The premium we're all paying is the front load of R&D cost. In time it will get cheaper. There's cars that have them as standard already.

You won't see CVT in trucks for a long time simply because gears are much stronger than belts. Eventually, we will see CVT in trucks but probably will never see it in any heavy duty applications.

For regular cars, CVT is cheaper, fuel efficient, lighter, and possibly faster(if it is tuned for it). CVTs are so slow because it was tuned for efficiency and was not built for high performance.

Personally, I like gears over CVT. I prefer to drive a manual on the weekend and swap my own gears.

RE: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
By tastyratz on 4/15/2013 11:42:57 AM , Rating: 2
And so is the fault of CVT. What surprises me however is how belt reliant we are. A specially made toothed chain and helically ground worm gears could make a strong CVT if they could get it right... but as long as it relies on a belt we will see CVT problems.

By BRB29 on 4/15/2013 1:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
Because the cost would be high initially and no one would buy it. They would have to put it in premium vehicles but those buyers don't care much for mpg. They won't usually buy a CVT vehicle unless it is the current hippest hybrid/EV

By Mint on 4/16/2013 5:40:58 AM , Rating: 2
You can't use teeth in a CVT, as there will always be a discontinuity somewhere. Worm gears have metal to metal sliding and probably even worse for reliability than a metal belt.

There are CVTs without belts. Nissan has what they call the Extroid CVT that uses rollers. It's touted as a high torque solution.

By Samus on 4/15/2013 2:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Ford and GM have had an excellent relationship joint-developing transmissions and drive-train components. GM has stronger transmission engineering and Ford has stronger differential and rear-end engineering, and the companies have recently (circa 2006) begun sharing technologies to better compete with the Japanese (which I should add Ford also works closely with for hybrid drive-trains and motors)

Overall the industry is very harmonious compared to the technology industry where everybody is at each others throats.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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