Honda may be out to improve the fuel economy of its powertrains by throwing extra gears into the transmission. Automobile Magazine reports the Japanese automaker is currently working to use a new nine-speed gearbox developed by ZF in its products as soon as 2014. If you're keeping track, this is the same transmission set to debut in a host of Chrysler products, including the replacement for the Jeep Liberty.
German-based Schaeffler Group, a leading supplier of torque converters, says that it has developed an easily integrated stop-start system for vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions. According to Schaeffler, fitting a slushbox with stop-start tech is difficult because the torque converter between the engine and trans is always engaged. However, Schaeffler claims it has designed a permanently engaged starter that transforms the torque converter into, as Ward's Auto says, "a useful weapon i
Why do automatic transmissions now get better fuel efficiency than manuals?
Not so long ago, it was common for automatic transmissions to be referred to as slushboxes, since that's how they often behaved. Rather than use a mechanical clutch, traditional automatic transmissions use a fluid coupling between the engine and the gear-sets to transmit drive torque. This provides some benefits, but isn't a perfect system.
Last week, we linked to a CarDomain piece about a lunch that gang had with GM's Bob Lutz. One of their topics of conversation with the product czar was manual transmissions, and it was reported that the '09 Pontiac G8 GT would be offered with an optional Tremec 6-speed manual transmission. This was certainly welcome news, both to us and readers. Unfortunately, it turns out that this information was, in fact, too good to be true. Pontiac's Jim Hopson dropped us a note this morning to clarify. In
The half dozen or so Americans who actually got really excited the other day about the prospect of Nissan selling its new Maxima diesel only with a manual transmission can go back to their routines. The rest of you who abhor the thought of manipulating a third pedal can now go back and re-consider the new compression ignition option. One of the crew from Motive met up with a Nissan engineer at a Maxima media drive and posed the question of transmission choice. It looks like U.S. drivers who opt
It's an unconfirmed rumor that Ford's going to make its Super Duty pickups shiftless, but the mere whiff of a reduction in choices is likely set enthusiasts afire with rage. The merits of standard versus automatic transmissions in trucks that routinely tow and generally work hard is a debate for another time, but the real crux of the biscuit comes down to cost. As it stands now, you can get a Power Stroke diesel with a manual for $1500 less than a self-shifter. If Ford removes the standard trans
On the eve of what could be the revival of GM's "Excitement" division, it comes to light that the new Pontiac G8 will make the trek from Down Under sans stick. For whatever reason, General Motors has decided to offer the G8 – one of its sportiest and most potentially enthusiast-pleasing models – with only an automatic at launch. Granted, it's the General's six-speed slushbox with paddle shifters, but for those of you who prefer to row your own and have a down payment in hand, you'll
Transmission supplier Jatco Ltd. believes that by 2015 the 4-speed automatic transmission will be no more. Shigeo Ishida, president of the company, says that newer transmission technologies, like 6-speed automatics and CVTs, will rapidly replace the quartet of cogs that had for some time been a standard in most autos.
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.
Announcing Tuesday a $170 million investment in GM Powertrain's Ypsilanti Transmission Operations and its satellite vendors and support infrastructure, General Motors made a strong commitment to its new family of six-speed automatic transmissions. The new investment follows the more than $450 million invested in the six-speed development and in the Ypsilanti plant.