Hyundai is making a serious run at such stalwart luxury marques as Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW with the Genesis sedan. The Korean automaker is already competing directly with those established players using its current range of engines and transmissions, with the 4.6-liter V8 being mated to the same 6-speed ZF automatic tranny that sees duty in various Bimmers and Jaguars. Sometime around 2010, Hyundai will have a new 8-speed automatic ready for public consumption that being developing in-house, and it will surely see the light of day in the Genesis mated up to Hyundai's latest V8 engine. That development will trump Mercedes by one gear and match the number of ratios offered by Lexus. BMW is expected to rely on a new unit from ZF, its longtime supplier, that should also feature eight forward gears. In the never-ending quest for increased performance and fuel efficiency, plus a bit of one-upmanship, expect more automakers to pair their largest powerplants with an ever-increasing number of cogs.

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