As vehicles the likes of the Chevy Malibu and the Chrysler 300 are still driving around with paltry four-speed transmission, Toyota and powertrain supplier Aisin are working on automatic transmissions with "more than seven speeds," according to Automotive News Europe. Currently, seven speeds is the maximum number of speeds available in production vehicles, which include Mercedes-Benz vehicles employing the company's 7G-tronic technology, but DaimlerChrysler was the first to hold a patent on an eight-speed transmisison system.
More gears in an automatic transmission mean smoother up- and down-shifting in the lower gears and a taller top gear for more economical highway driving. A ZF 7-speed transmission is shown.

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