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Chrysler is set to become the first U.S.-based automaker to adopt eight-speed automatic transmissions. ZF announced on Wednesday that it has reached an agreement to provide its increasingly widely used 8HP transmission for Chrysler applications. Initially, ZF will build transmissions for Chrysler, but the automaker is also getting a license to produce the transmissions in-house. Chrysler will tool up its Kokomo, IN transmission plant by 2013 to produce the 8HP and at the same time ZF will build a new American plant of its own.

No product has been announced to use the transmission, but since this a longitudinal unit, it will likely be the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger/Challenger and SUVs like the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 8HP is already in use by BMW for the 5 and 7 Series and Volkswagen Group for the Touareg, Audi Q7 and A8 and Porsche Cayenne.

[Source: ZF]

PRESS RELEASE

ZF AND CHRYSLER GROUP LLC REACH AGREEMENT FOR NEW 8HP 8-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS

Chrysler Group LLC becomes new customer for ZF 8-speed automatic transmissions
Additional license agreement enables Chrysler Group to produce 8-speed transmissions
ZF to build new North American transmission plant by 2013

Friedrichshafen. ZF and Chrysler Group LLC have reached a supply and license agreement for ZF's HYPERLINK "http://www.zf.com/media/media/img_1/corporate/press/presse/07-053-1_8hp_zf_lg.jpg" 8HP 8-speed automatic transmission. Chrysler Group is licensed to produce the 8HP at the company's Indiana Transmission Plant I and the Kokomo casting plant, starting in 2013.

Chrysler Group LLC will initially receive the 8HP 8-speed automatic transmissions from the ZF Getriebe GmbH plant in Saarbrücken, Germany. By 2013, in parallel with Chrysler Group, ZF is setting up a new transmission production plant in North America, where the 8-speed transmissions will be produced.

"As the U.S. auto industry continues its rebound, we see considerable growth opportunities within it – especially for next-generation vehicles, such as those at Chrysler Group that will use the 8HP 8-speed automatic," says Hans-Georg Härter, ZF's President and CEO. "America is the birthplace of the automotive automatic transmission and we feel it is important for ZF to participate in the business here with a dedicated manufacturing facility. We are excited to begin this venture."

"The American market remains as mobile as ever, so the importance of environmentally friendly, fuel-saving technology has never been more important," says Dr. Gerhard Wagner, Group Executive of ZF's Car Driveline Division. "ZF is a leader and innovator in fuel-saving transmission technology and our 8HP 8-speed automatic offers efficiency without sacrifice."



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  • 14 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      If American automakers would simply embrace diesel they wouldn't need to buy fancy transmissions. Four speeds would be more than ample.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Someone needs to kill the 8 speed transmission with fire. I'd like to classify myself as a gear head, but that's just too many.
        Bob Pradella
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes, an uneducated gear head. Don't like it, do not buy it. It serves a purpose.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know about "totaled" but you might need to buy a new transmission (rather than repair it). New tranny, $4,000 (new new, off the shelf, not a junker). Of course, by the time that thing actually breaks the car may only be worth that much... so I suppose it could be totaled.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's basically how automatic transmissions are already :P

        Rebuilding is expensive and sometimes not even possible.

        I myself would hate the constant lag inbetween shifts. That would be really really annoying..
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea if a complex transmission like this ever fails it will cost so much to fix that your car will be basically totaled.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Apparently, the people of ZF feel that if a transmission has more gears, the engine won't have to work so hard to generate power, the result being that the engine uses less fuel. Perhaps Chrysler feels the same way?

        I wonder if ZF or another company can come up with an aftermarket version of this transmission.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Goin' the wrong way here...they should be selling duel clutch trannys mass produced to lower the price. Of course neither has any place in a BEV world.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hahaha... my '99 Cherokee has 4 gears. I'm not really sure what I'd do with twice as many. If it has twice as many gears, does that mean it shifts twice as much, and therefore wears out twice as fast?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess if something like 3-4 speeds transmission plus an electric motor (even with s-cap - it has to be powered only when accelerating) to assist at lower RPMs shouldn't actually a smart thing to do?
      • 5 Years Ago
      My recommendation is that you all drive the BMW 7 or 5 series which has this exact same transmission. You would all realize how smooth and quick shifting this 8 speed is. It feels just like a dual clutch transmission. Don't knock it until you try it. Chrysler can expect a 10% improvement in fuel economy just going to this transmission.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Have any of you actually researched anything about this transmission. I am a Chrysler mechanic and specialize in automatics and i can't wait for this to come out. It has the same number of planetary gearsets as most 5 and 6 speeds, 5 clutch packs, which is less than most automatics. it weighs the same as the zf 6 speed it is replacing. The clutch in the torque converter has 2 sets and dampeners, so you dont feel it shift. Shift times are as fast as a dual clutch setup. And its modular. Meanign you can have a 2 wheel drive or four wheel drive setup, and you can replace the torque converter with a wet dual clutch or an electric motor, starter, for hybrid drivetrains. Its also strong enough to handle more than 700lb-ft of torque from the engine. Simple, light, fast shifts, i dont see what you all are complaining about.
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks heavy, complex, expensive and inefficient.
      when an electric transmission aka series electric hybrid would be much better and lend itself to easy inexpensive plugin operation
        Bob Pradella
        • 3 Years Ago
        Since you do not know what it takes to manufacture a hybrid, you should take your Starbucks cup full of smug and hang yourself. This site is for auto enthusiasts. Not hemp wearing yuppies. I hope that while parked at a red light in your Prius, you get electrocuted putting your window up due to rain. Then a diesel truck runs you over to put the fire out.
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