2012 Chrysler 300 S and 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S and 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S and 2012 Hyundai Genesis

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S and 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S and 2012 Hyundai Genesis

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S and 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S and 2012 Hyundai Genesis

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S side view

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis side view

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S front view

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis front view

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S rear view

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis rear view

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S grille

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis grille

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S logo

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis grille

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S logo

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis grille

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S headlight

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis headlight

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S wheel

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis wheel

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S wheel detail

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis wheel detail

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S taillight

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis taillight

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S logo

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis logo

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S badge

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis badge

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S engine

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis engine

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S engine

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis engine

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S engine

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis engine

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S engine detail

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis engine detail

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S interior

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis interior

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S interior

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis interior

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S interior

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis interior

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S front seats

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis front seats

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S front seats

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis front seats

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S seat detail

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis seat detail

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S steering wheel controls

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis steering wheel controls

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S steering wheel controls

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis steering wheel controls

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S paddle shifter

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis shifter gate

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S gauges

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis gauges

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S tachometer

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis tachometer

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S speedometer

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis speedometer

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S start button

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis start button

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S navigation system

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis navigation system

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S navigation system

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis navigation system

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S audio system display

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis audio system display

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S audio system settings

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis iPod integration display

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S climate controls

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis climate controls

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S dash

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis dash

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S shifter

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis shifter

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S door trim

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis door trim

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S door speaker

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis door speaker

  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 S rear seats

  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2012 Hyundai Genesis rear seats

Remember the Powerglide? An automatic with two forward speeds, it's almost inconceivable today that such a transmission was ever state of the art. Why, we've heard plenty of grumbling from the peanut gallery about Honda and its continued widespread use of a five-speed automatic when most of the rest of the world is offering six speeds. And then there are those carmakers engaging in the mine-is-bigger-than-yours battle of transmissions that resulted in eight-speed automatics in cars like the Chrysler 300 and Hyundai Genesis pictured above.

German transmission supplier ZF has a nine-speed automatic that will be introduced next year, and reports have said Hyundai is looking to pack ten forward gears into a forthcoming gearbox. What's next? Cars with as many gears as mountain bikes?

That's unlikely, says ZF North American president Julio Caspari, who tells Automotive News that the gear race is "close to the limit." AN says Caspari thinks marketing may be a bigger factor than engineering when it comes to developing transmissions with additional gears, citing just an 11-percent difference between the best transmissions today and a theoretically perfect unit.

Caspari questions the cost-effectiveness of building a so-called "perfect" transmission, saying that further friction reduction would require expensive materials, like ceramic ball bearings.

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