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More gears often equals more efficiency, so we're glad to see Hyundai release its own 6-speed automatic gearbox. Most manufacturers purchase ready-made auto boxes from specialist companies, but Hyundai's gone the route less traveled. The company joins Toyota, Ford and General Motors as the only manufacturers that actually designed and built their own six-speeders. Compared to the outgoing 5-speed box, the new unit is 26 pounds lighter and uses 62 fewer parts, despite adding that extra ratio up t

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Like every other automaker that intends to do business in the U.S., Hyundai is planning for the future and the proposed fuel economy standards that are expected to hit in 2015. Currently, Hyundai's passenger cars average 32.4 mpg, while its trucks average 25.5 mpg. When the new regulations are in place, those numbers will have to increase to 37.5 mpg and 31.0 mpg, respectively. Hyundai's approach involves two separate strategies that will work together to achieve those figures.

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According to new information complied by the research firm CSM Worldwide; six-speed automatics will be the norm for domestic manufactures by 2015. Currently, the standard four-speed automatic has dominated the marketplace for the past several years, but as fuel efficiency becomes more of a factor in consumer purchases, the addition of two more gears will become a necessity to remain competitive.

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