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Once the Chevrolet Cruze goes on sale this fall, an even dozen models from the Bowtie Brand will be equipped with six-speed automatic transmissions. Adding more ratios to transmissions offers automakers more flexibility in tuning engines for better efficiency. More ratios also allow the engineers to use a wider total ratio spread so that top gears can be setup for lower engine speeds while still maintaining driveability.


One of the first consequences of the Chrysler-Fiat alliance could be the arrival of Fiat's new six-speed transmission in Chrysler models. Chrysler lost its dual-clutch partner Getrag, which was developing a next-gen dual clutch transmission, so Fiat's unit, still under development, is likely to arrive statewide. At least this is what Frank Klegon, Chrysler LLC's executive vice president of product development, speculated about during the recent Chicago Auto Show. Called G365, Fiat's new transmis


Click on the above image for our high res 2009 Acura TL gallery


Click above for high-res gallery of the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT


When Automobile got their paws on a six-speed manual version of the M5, they were none too pleased that BMW's engineers wouldn't allow drivers to fully disable the traction control. At the time, we assumed that BMW's legal boffins pictured overly enthusiastic Americans, stomping the go pedal and promptly winding up in a ditch.


When BMW opted to only make the M5 available with a seven-speed SMG gearbox, the hue and cry from U.S. purists was heard across the ocean. For 2007, BMW has finally decided to appease American customers by equipping the 500 HP uber-saloon with a six-speed manual, much to the apparent disgust of Gerhard Richter, the development chief of the M division.


General Motors upped this week's total investment in its new six-speed automatics to $500 million with Thursday's announcement that it was investing over $330 million in an upgrade to its Warren, Michigan plant, which will produce compact FWD and AWD models of the new transmission.

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