The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid and Ford with partner with General Motors on new transmission technology. Has anyone dusted off that old Mayan calendar lately? We're not sure that a Ford/GM tech share speaks to the end of days, but we're not ruling it out, either.

Seriously though, Detroit's two heavyweights, companies that have battled each other since the dawn of the automobile (or close, anyway) are in discussions about working jointly on some very aggressive new transmission projects in the name lessening development costs for each. It's not the first time the two automakers have teamed up on transmissions, hyperbole to the contrary, either.

If all goes to plan, Automotive News says GM will be taking the lead on a nine-speed cogswapper that will be used in front-wheel-drive applications. Ford, meanwhile, will be working on a 10-speed transmission that will find a home in rear-drive products, namely trucks and performance vehicles.

The goal of the new transmission technologies ­– both automatics, by the way – is twofold: greater fuel economy and a more refined driving experience. The "refinement" here has to do with less noise and vibration, most likely, as the many-ratio transmissions have to rev less than they would with fewer forward gears.

The new technology is seen as must-have for the domestic automakers, both of which are hoping to catch up with a competitive set that is now offering seven-, eight- and nine-speed transmissions. Crosstown rival Chrysler, for instance, has worked with German transmission specialist ZF to put an eight-speed auto in its 300 sedan, and has plans to introduce a nine-speed affair sometime in the near future.


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  • 66 Comments
      Ricky
      • 2 Years Ago
      Couldn't even get past the first line this time, could you, AutoBlog?
      GreenN_Gold
      • 2 Years Ago
      Eight, nine, ten...that's great. But who will be brave enough to turn it up to 11?
        GasMan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GreenN_Gold
        Spinal Tap!
        XJ Yamaha
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GreenN_Gold
        Until I can buy a Fiesta with 37 gears, this is all pish posh.
          OnTheRocks
          • 2 Years Ago
          @XJ Yamaha
          "Now that the Fiesta requires intimate knowledge of using the button operated splitter and high-low range selector, we'd all be pretty good truck drivers. Ironically, all semis are automatic shifting now." :p
      natron3030
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've got a million dollar idea... Eleven speeds....
      Walt
      • 2 Years Ago
      This isn't the first time the two companies have collaborated, so I don't understand what all the wolf and lamb business is about. Back in 2002, both GM and Ford jointly developed 6 speed transmission for use in each automakers vehicles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM-Ford_6-speed_automatic_transmission Personally I like the idea. People don't seem concerned about where their transmission came from. I think engines would be another matter.
      rc_car_nut
      • 2 Years Ago
      Guys this is the wave of the future. Fuel economy is driving this. Remember the best you could get in the early days was 3 speed auto and 4 speed manual.... As engines get smaller and people want better performance to keep the engine in it's sweet spot you need more gears at specific speeds. Optimization is the key here. However there will be a point of diminishing return. I'm guessing 10 might be the number but who knows. All I know is a prefer a slush box to a CVT. (however, I haven't driven Nissan latest). They keep getting better and better. For fun sake I still love a 6 speed manual even though most of the new automatics return the same or better fuel economy and even shift faster than most drivers on the road today. I welcome advancement as long as they make them to last I have no issues making them more compex, etc. However, as mentioned before I believe the new ZF 8 speed has less parts than some of the current 5/6 speed trans out there. Just my 2 cents...
      BMW ROCKS!
      • 2 Years Ago
      i demand 11-speed slush box - anyting short of 11-speed is useless and they know that!
      Rr778
      • 2 Years Ago
      Autoblog copying an pasting a week old story from motortrend?
        protovici
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rr778
        Your statement assumes ever car guy/gal reads motortrend. I have a feeling motortrend was not the first to report the story either.
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Anything is better than more CVTs...
        coolwubla
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        Why?....
        bhtooefr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        Actually, at this point, no. They're trying to emulate a CVT without actually being one. End result is less efficiency, FAR more weight, and FAR more expensive to purchase and to fix. The fix, really, is just break down and license the Power Split Device from Toyota, then you get to call every automatic car you make a hybrid, and you have an extremely durable CVT with no wear components (can't say that about a manual or a torque converter automatic, even) and rather high efficiency.
        tinted up
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        Some CVTs are pretty awful, but not all. While ideally I would want a manual transmission I know that the vast majority of buyers get automatics, and their preference between CVT and traditional automatics is virtually nonexistent. If I am a buyer that will just be driving my car to and from work with an occasional trip to the movies or the store, then a CVT is a decent fit if it is tuned right.
      S.
      • 2 Years Ago
      My mountain bike has 21 speeds. Your move, Ford/GM.
      blackburndh
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford is Fix or Repair Daily. I had a Crown Victoria that wanted to accel once the brakes were put on and car was stopped. The vehicle was never repaired. Mechanics could never find the problem and I have to sell the vehicle for fear of a accident (rear end collision).
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Sir Duke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please for god's sake let GM do the engineering and Ford do the testing. My current Ford product is in the shop for - You guessed it - Transmission issues. The car it replaced an Mazda also had Ford transmission issues.
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