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Chrysler's LX platform cars will pick up a new eight-speed automatic transmission made by ZF for the 2012 model year. The Dodge Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300 will benefit mightily from the new transmission that will eventually replace the older five-speed unit that's currently available.
Allpar reports that a reliable source within Chrysler has disclosed that the new transmission will first become available in 2012 Dodge Charger and 2012 Chryler 300 models powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. 2012 Dodge Challenger SE models hang on to the five-speed for a little longer still.
The reason for rolling the new transmission out this way may be to suss out any problems while backing up a less-powerful engine. It may also be that the fuel economy improvement will be larger with the V6, and yet another theory suggests that the engineering and software work for the V6 and eight-speed link-up was further along. It stands to reason that sales of V6 models outstrip Hemi-powered LX cars, and bringing the transmission to market behind the highest-volume powerplant is going to make the biggest CAFE impact. Whatever the reason, the new automatic gearbox is a leapfrog move that further re-modernizes the redesigned LX range.
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