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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4/16/2013 12:54:42 PM
Yes it is, but at what point do we hit where adding more complexity, and the expense that comes with it, to a vehicle actually pays off? Right now vehicles as a whole are becoming more expensive to buy, much more difficult (expensive) to fix and are not really gaining that much fuel efficiency or emissions reductions. I for one would rather pay $15-20K less for a vehicle that gets 2 less MPG. I can buy alot of gas for that money and I guarantee that vehicle will be a hell of alot easier to work on.
There has to be an end somewhere. The government ramming more rules an regulations down the throat of the car companies is not the answer. The car companies only push that down to the consumer. Consumer sees price going up, doesnt buy cars, which hurts the car companies. Thank you big government.
I can see government mandated emissions and honestly any modern engine from the last 50 years that is tuned correctly can pass emissions. Im all for protecting the environment. However the constant raising of the mileage standard is getting ridiculous.
4/19/2013 11:49:54 AM
What I want is for automakers to realize that current target gear ratio's are not great for average drivers. My Trans Am has a great low 6th gear that is wonderful for the highway speeds most of us drive (70-80 on major roads), but my Mazda 3's 5th gear at those speeds is buzzing at 3k+ rpms and would be much more fuel efficient if it was lower. The Mazda of course still gets better mileage than the T/A, but it could be even better.
Here's my request: Give us a short first gear for get up and go, second a bit more moderate, and third/forth (and if possible a 5th gear) that are much more spaced out for normal driving conditions (sweet spot of 40-60-75mph). Overnight that would raise REAL fuel economy levels across the boards. No one is driving 55mph on highways where all the CAFE standards and quoted MPG figures are derived from...
4/22/2013 12:51:56 AM
It depends on where you live. 55 MPH highways are not uncommon in parts of Ohio.
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