Ford, GM Join Forces for 9-, 10-Speed Automatic Transmissions
April 15, 2013 9:32 AM
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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.
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RE: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
4/15/2013 5:10:39 PM
While I won't own a car with a CVT, I have driven them. What I don't like is that when you put your foot into them tthey initially rev up then settle back down to that really boring drone. You just don't get the same seat-of-pants feel that you get with gears (manual, auto or dual clutch). CVTs are just plain freaking boring to drive.
Maybe it is just me having grown up with 4 decades of geared vehicles. Perhaps the younger, less ingrained drivers will enhance CCVTs, but for me, I will take Ford's quirky dual clutch auto (though I have had absolutely zero issues with mine) over a cvt any day.
RE: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
4/19/2013 3:07:33 PM
DISCLAIMER: I am speaking for myself and not my employer.
"I've always assumed that in cars with this ridiculous CVT programming to avoid "CVT drone" that they would offer you an efficiency mode to override the stupid fake gear programming.
Anyone with a CVT car have this? Or are you stuck with fake gears?"
See my reply above about having an extra controller for the variable hydraulic pressure valve. CAN it be done? Yes. For pennies-per-trans? *shrug* mehhh...
If you have intimate working knowledge of a particular CVT, and you have intimate engineering knowledge, you probably override that. Whether it'll last 250,000 customer equilvalent miles (or whatever) - well...mehhh....
It's an exciting time to be an automotive engineer right now because there are SO many options which leads to SO many more possibilities with all of the different combinations that you can come up with and then trying to find out what's the best, most optimal solution based on how you defined and weighed each of the performance targets and criteria.
It has to paired with your engine so that it's suitable. If you're doing a lot of ultra urban driving; doing that in a Ford GT would just be maddening cuz you'd hardly get out of 1st. But if you're doing 50,000 miles a year, 80% of which is highway (like I do) - I'm going to spend all of that time in top gear, so what does it matter whether it's a CVT or not?
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