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
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When it comes to adding transmission gears to boost fuel economy, Chrysler figures the more the merrier. For now.

The U.S. automaker, which is controlled by Italy-based Fiat, will start installing eight-speed transmissions in some of its vehicles by the end of the year, with nine-speed trannies in store for 2013, Bloomberg News reported, citing Mircea Gradu, the automaker's vice president of transmission powertrain and driveline engineering. Eight- and nine-speed transmissions are said to boost fuel efficiency by about 15 percent relative to more conventional transmissions.

There is a physical limit though. ZF North American President Julio Caspari told Automotive News earlier this month that the advancement of fuel efficiency through more gears has just about gone as far as it can go. He claimed that there is just an 11-percent difference between today's best transmissions and a theoretically perfect unit.

Chrysler has sunk $1.3 billion in transmission technology since 2007, which, while substantial, is less than many other automakers have invested in electric-drive technology designed to also meet the goal of boosting fuel efficiency and meeting stricter regulatory standards.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      Ugo Sugo
      • 3 Years Ago
      If automakers would put the same effort and resources they put in refining obsolete technology, in making electric and plug-in hybrid cars, we would be much farther ahead
        Actionable Mango
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ugo Sugo
        A separate company makes the transmissions. I doubt they much like the thought of the automakers making electric cars.
      Marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Still it's interesting, sort of like watching the last clipper ship being launched, but interesting.
      Wayne Bishop
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is unfortunate that these companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars on "FRICTION driven CVTs" and on "ADDING gears" to manual transmissions when the development of a TRUE "Non-friction" IVT (Infinitely Variable Transmission) could be built right now that even the most performance demanding customers would absolutely LOVE ! I have a Patent Pending IVT that uses a unique (No engagement) method for infinitely controlling output ratios that is unlike any existing method. It is directly connected (can NOT slip) and Infinitely variable (No increments at all). It is the ANSWER to the IVT riddle. The company that develops this IVT will dominate the transmission industry. If interested in leasing and development I can show you other embodiments, using the same method, that are much smaller and go far beyond the patent pending embodiment. wbishop321@comcast.net
      paulwesterberg
      • 3 Years Ago
      Chrysler figures that while they are scraping the bottom of the barrel, might as well see how far down it goes.
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a silly competition this has turned into. Just how many gears can we shove into a car with almost know return on investment. Lets add more weight, more complexity, more cost...or we could just add stop/start tech which is a bigger bang for the buck, work in aerodynamics and weight....and call it a day.
      transpower
      • 3 Years Ago
      C'mon, guys. A CVT would be infinitely better than any 8- or 9- speed transmissions....
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @transpower
        A CVT could emulate all the jerking and powerband gaps that you desire, just fine, Rob ;)
        Rob J
        • 3 Years Ago
        @transpower
        Unless you enjoy driving...
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      @ PeterScott I always feel a bit sorry for Chrysler fate. I mean, GM's, Alfred P. Sloan was a shrewd businessman, but his manners, like his morals, left a lot to be desired. Henry Ford 1 was a genius in many ways, but also had some really unpleasant eccentricities. In contrast, Walter P Chrysler was not only a brilliant businessman and legendary auto-engineer, but a decent admirable American gentleman, of whom his nation can be rightly proud ! Odd, how things work out !
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe it's time to start thinking about a CVT :P
      Thomas
      • 3 Years Ago
      The 300 and charger already offer 8-speeds.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      If it makes the cars more efficient, I'm all for it.
      PeterScott
      • 3 Years Ago
      Eight is Enough. Diminishing returns meets rising complexity...
      William
      • 3 Years Ago
      I recently drove my 2012 charger 3.6 V6 w/8speed from atl to cleveland and avg 31.4 mpg and made it to cincinnati on a tank of gas with 87 miles to go on the trip computer!!!!! Me and the kids plus luggage 4400+lbs nothing on the market in the full size class can pull that off and still give you almost 300 ponies!! totally impressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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