Among the future shocks to be shown at the rapidly approaching Geneva Motor Show, Land Rover will be displaying a nine-speed transmission it has been working with ZF to develop. Engineered for transverse – read: usually front-wheel drive – applications, the ZF 9HP will replace the six-speed transmission in the Evoque come 2014.

The three extra ratios add just a quarter of an inch in length to the case, yet it's 16.5 pounds lighter than that six-speed. The built-in benefits of the extra gears are better fuel economy and lower emissions, and the even lower gears possible will improve the Evoque's (never-used) off-road capability. The designed benefits are an adaptive shifting system that tailors the transmission to the driving style, a skip-shift function that avoids the need to move sequentially through the gears, and "Fast-Off" and "Curve" modes that take two different approaches to managing upshifts.

While it is the Evoque that breaks the news, it is rumored that the Dodge Dart will be getting this South Carolina-built transmission as well.
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• Land Rover announces new ZF nine-speed automatic transmission for transverse applications
• Increasing the number of gear ratios to nine will help reduce emissions and improve efficiency
• Lower gear ratios enhance all-terrain and all-weather capability
• Adaptive shift system matches and remembers customer driving style for a tailored driving experience
• Land Rover is lead partner on this project with ZF, a world leader in transmission technology

(MAHWAH, NJ) February 26, 2013 - Land Rover will demonstrate the world's first nine-speed automatic transmission for a passenger car at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The ZF 9HP transmission is designed for transverse applications, and is one of the most efficient and technically advanced transmissions ever used in a production vehicle. Land Rover is the lead partner with ZF on this project.

Increasing the number of gear ratios from six to nine will help reduce emissions
and improve efficiency. Smaller ratio steps also give improved response during acceleration, with improved shift quality and refinement. A higher top gear improves efficiency by lowering engine speed, which also improves comfort and reduces noise when cruising at highway speeds.

The 9HP is quite robust and complements the all-terrain capability expected of a Land Rover vehicle while delivering exceptionally high levels of refinement and efficiency. The lowest ratio in the 9HP is lower than the existing six-speed transmission and is designed for off-road use, towing, and on-road conditions like steep gradients.

Whereas the existing six-speed transmission makes downshifts sequentially, the 9HP has a skip-shift function for much swifter downshifting to meet rapid deceleration demands. If the driver requests a downshift when the vehicle is travelling too fast for the selected gear, the transmission will remember the request and make the shift when the speed drops to an appropriate level. "Fast-Off" mode measures the rate of throttle release, anticipates further requests by the driver for high power, then holds the gear if necessary.

The torque converter incorporates a multi-stage damper system for smoother pull away and improved refinement. An innovative adaptive shifting system matches the driver's mood within seconds, sharpening up during brisk driving and then seamlessly shifting to a more economical program when taking a more relaxed driving approach. Additionally, "Curve Mode," detected acceleration/deceleration forces, and pedal position all control upshift timing.

The 9HP is masterfully packaged and despite the extra three gear ratios is only 0.24 inches (6mm) longer and actually weighs 16.5 lbs (7.5kg) less than the outgoing six-speed transmission. The compact packaging is achieved by using a number of innovative design features: A new compact hydraulic vane-type pump, two patented dog clutches replacing bulkier conventional clutch packs, and a nested gear set.

Land Rover and ZF are on-going partners in transmission development; having jointly developed fully integrated transmission solutions in the Range Rover, Land Rover LR4 and Range Rover Sport. The new nine-speed transmission will be produced at ZF's Gray Court facility in South Carolina, USA.

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About Land Rover
Land Rover, the British maker of Land Rover and Range Rover sport utility vehicles, is renowned for providing its' clientele with some of the most luxurious and capable vehicles in the world. Every Land Rover product is equally at home both on and off road, and in any setting; be it in the heart of the city, or traversing the countryside. Today's Land Rover lineup includes the legendary Defender, LR2 (Freelander 2), LR4 (Discovery 4), Range Rover Sport, Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque. Land Rover designs, engineers, and manufactures their vehicles in the United Kingdom. Land Rover is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs. For more information visit the official Land Rover website at

About Jaguar Land Rover
• Jaguar Land Rover is the UK's largest automotive manufacturing business built around two iconic British car brands with a rich heritage and powerful consumer appeal and loyalty. Additionally, Jaguar Land Rover is at the centre of the UK automotive industry's drive to deliver technical innovation in all areas of vehicle development.
• As the UK's largest automotive employer, JLR has a world class team of nearly 25,000 people.
• In the 2011/12 fiscal year, JLR achieved record profits of £1.5 billion, an increase of £392m when compared to the previous year.
• Jaguar Land Rover is the largest investor in automotive R&D and engineering in the UK.
• Jaguar Land Rover has two state of the art engineering and design facilities and three advanced manufacturing plants in the UK.
• Headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey in the United States, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC has offices across the USA and Canada and is represented by more than 330 retail outlets.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Transmissions don't get a lot of love but that's some serious engineering to pull that off.
      • 2 Years Ago
      On a serious note, that\'s definitely an engineering marvel. On a silly note, this totally reminds me of the razor blade race, where we started out with two and now have a total of six blades on one razor (Gillette Fusion).
        Brent Jatko
        • 2 Years Ago
        There was a joke that went around about making the additional razor blade perpendicular to the others.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Drive a Charger with the wonderful ZF 8 speed and then you can talk about it. These new transmissions have allowed the V6 Ram to have better gas mileage than a V6 TRDyota Tacoma. The new Grand Cherokee diesel can get 30 mpg with an 8 speed. Can't wait for the new 9 speed Cherokee.
        • 2 Years Ago
        you know they could just make the upper gears taller and reduce the size of the rear end if it's all about the mpg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Since the Evoque uses Ford's 2.0L EcoBoost engine, I wonder if this transmission will be used in Fords and Lincolns in the near future? However, I would not be surprised, if it does appear, that it will be first used in Lincolns, since I remember that Ford once stated Lincoln will be used to pioneer new technology. Also, I imagine that a 9-speed transmission from ZF would be expensive enough to limit its use to Lincolns and only the "Titanium" versions of Fords.
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's not just rumored the Dodge Dart will be getting that transmission, it's basically confirmed. The Jeep Cherokee that is headed for the NYC autoshow will have it too.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is getting ridiculous. I'm wondering if a transmission that shifts more often because it has more gears won't wear out faster.
        • 2 Years Ago
        It\'s called an \"Extended warrenty opportunity\" in the sales office.
      Smooth Motor
      • 2 Years Ago
      Too many more gears and the Democrats will want to hold hearings to ban high capacity gearboxes.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smooth Motor
        To funny, but unfortunately for all Americans it's the truth.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smooth Motor
        You mean like Europe, Japan, Oceania and the rest of the civilized world already ban?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smooth Motor
        Democrats? More like Republicans who want inefficient transmissions so we can use more gas to support the petroleum industry/companies who fund them. Corporations are people you know.
      Devin Baker
      • 2 Years Ago
      9 speed! 10 speed! 15 speed! THIRTY SPEED! They really need to end this contest. Clearly, the CVT has already won. It has infinite speeds, guys. /s
      • 2 Years Ago
      Engines that benefit the most from more gears are large vehicles and forced-induction ones. In either case, low rpms are how the benefits are achieved. If you rev a large vehicle or a turbocharged one, you will pay a high penalty in fuel consumption.
        Justin Shaw
        • 2 Years Ago
        Or even torquey diesel's, many of with reach max torque around 2000 RPMs up to their 4500ish redline. More gears equates to more fun with diesels, or so I would believe
      • 2 Years Ago
      There better be "transmission insurance" available in case, ( inevetable ) failure of a ten thousand dollar transmission. This threat would positivly prevent me fron ever considering a used one of these!
      • 2 Years Ago
      How many moving parts can you cram into one casing? I shudder to think what maintenance cost is on this thing.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry to rain on the parade, but ZF isn't on my hit parade for reliable transmissions, starting with their 5speed automatics behind Audi or BMW V8 motors. There is no reason to suppose a 9-speed is any better. Arguably, it will be worse....4 more solenoids attached to the valve body with associated valves to load up; "lifetime transmission fill" is just that according to Audi/BMW...but the lifetime of the transmission is about 100K miles unless you do what ZF recommends, i.e., change the fluid every 40-50K miles!!! Perhaps LR will break the code and include one transmission fluid change in the 4yr/50K warranty that is so popular these days....but I wouldn't hold my breath.
        • 2 Years Ago
        "starting with their 5speed automatics behind Audi or BMW V8 motors.." 5-speed autos? Sorry, but you are referring to ancient history. A LOT has changed since the 5-speeds. Second, you must keep in mind that calibration is a major factor in the longevity of the clutch packs and transmission fluid, and that falls almost entirely under the control of the OEM vehicle drivetrain engineers. I can tell you from experience that Audi, BMW, and MB calibrations for low speed driving / high-traffic are hell on the fluid and components because of the characteristics desired by mostly American consumers = totally imperceptible shifts. This requires longer transitions between shifts, and that increases heat and wear. Another major factor is user input. Herky-jerky driving, jack rabbit starts in cold weather, and creeping in traffic when you should be stopped all decrease transmission life. I have owned two ZF 6-speed transmission equipped vehicles behind non-German engines and the OEM calibrations have been, in my opinion, the best in the luxury car market. The shifts are perceptible, but always crisp and clean, and they have almost always been in exactly the right gear. The result is increased durability. If I shift manual it's only to hold a lower gear through a turn for more acceleration. "There is no reason to suppose a 9-speed is any better." Really? How so? Care to share any evidence to support this claim? No. You're comparing 1999 technology to 2014 technology. Again, a great deal has changed since then, both in calibration and materials. Wear and heat will be distributed among more gears/clutch packs, and that actually increases durability and transmission life. "lifetime transmission fill" I do have to agree with you here for the 5- and 6-spd transmissions. A dipstick would allow you to monitor fluid leve and condition and bring major peace of mind. I personally changed the transmission fluid on both vehicles around 50k miles, but only because I had access to the tools and facility to do so. Ironically, the dealers do offer the fluid change service under warranty IF the transmission pan leaks since the gasket and filter are incorporated into the pan. Think about that a little and you'll figure out how to get a free service. (Make sure they change the harness seal in the process.) Now the 8- and 9-spds may in fact be able to run 100k miles before a fluid change, but I would still have it changed around the warranty expiration by a qualified dealer or shop. A fluid change after warranty is expensive since they have to replace the pan/filter/gasket assembly and the harness seal, and because the fluid can cost over $30/liter, but it sure beats buying a new transmission. OR you can do what 75% of Audi and BMW owners do when the warranty expires....Just trade it in. Ahhhh, such peace of mind.
          • 2 Years Ago
          You call it ancient history, I call it "My Audi I owned until 2010". People still avoid domestics because of stuff over 20 years ago and you want to exonerate ZF because they haven't made a completely bum transmission in a few years. If they wanted to have my trust in 2012, they shouldn't have sold me a poor transmission in 1999.
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