German transmission manufacturer ZF presented their new eight-speed automatic transmission at the Vienna Motor Symposium last week. The new gearbox is designed for use in passenger cars in a longitudinal configuration. The eight speed has greater power capacity than ZF's existing six speed but fits into the same package space. The development focus was improved efficiency both from the extra two gear ratios and also optimizing the mechanical efficiency.
By changing the mechanization of the new unit, ZF managed to reduce the mechanical drag to help reduce losses. Compared to the current six speed, ZF claims fuel consumption reductions of six percent and a fourteen percent reduction relative to a typical five speed. ZF also says the new transmission can be readily adapted to either mild or full hybrid applications by the addition of electric motors.