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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Bad case of not invented here
4/16/2013 4:01:36 PM
ZF already makes an 8 speed. It seems it would make more sense to team with ZF to modify their box as well as be a lot cheaper. Or is Ford still PO'd at ZF?
RE: Bad case of not invented here
4/19/2013 3:11:51 PM
DISCLAIMER: I am speaking for myself and not my employer.
It has nothing to do with that. You can't just "modify" an 8-speed and turn it into a 9-speed.
If you're doing from a Ravigneaux to a double LePelletier; you're effectively redesigning the whole thing. (You can start off with modifying it, but then you're going to VERY quickly realize that you're going to pretty much have to modify EVERYTHING, that it's going to be easier/better to just start from scratch).
That's like saying that you want to get an inline 5 (like the Volvo T5) out of an inline 4 by "modify it".
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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