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.

With modern transmissions using electronic controls, the ratio selection can be managed better to minimize fuel consumption by avoiding excessive hunting between gears. The controls can also take advantage of ratio skipping on these transmissions to go from sixth to fourth or even third when needed for acceleration. As the remainder of Chevrolet's lineup is replaced over the next couple of years – including the Aveo, Impala and HHR – all of the new models will be using at least six-speed transmissions.

[Source: General Motors]


PRESS RELEASE

12 Chevrolet Models Offer Fuel-saving, Six-speed Automatic Transmissions for 2011 Model Year
Three out of four Chevrolet cars, trucks, SUVs and Crossovers will be available with six-speed automatics, which offer customers up to four percent better in fuel economy

DETROIT – With the introduction of the all-new Chevrolet Cruze, 12 Chevrolet models will be offered with fuel-saving, six-speed automatic transmissions. Chevrolet has quickly become a leader in six-speed automatics, which will be available on 75 percent of all Chevrolet cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers for 2011. Compared to traditional four-speed automatics, six-speed automatics offer consumers up to four percent better fuel economy, and smoother, more responsive vehicle performance.

"Our advanced six-speed transmissions offer customers wide-ranging benefits," said Charlie Klein, Director, GM Global Mass, Energy and Aerodynamics, "including reduced cost of ownership, improved vehicle performance, lower CO2 emissions, and a lesser dependence on foreign oil. As such, the wide availability of six-speed transmissions is a real advantage for Chevrolet customers."

The Chevrolet Cruze, which goes on sale in the third-quarter of 2010, will be available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. With either transmission, the Cruze will deliver impressive fuel economy and performance. For example, the Cruze Eco model is expected to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 10 seconds and deliver a class-leading 40 miles per gallon on the highway when equipped with the manual transmission (estimates for the Cruze Eco with an automatic transmission will be available closer to launch).

According to Mark Gilmore, global engineering director for manual transmissions, the Cruze lineup represents an example of how six-speed transmissions can provide customers better performance and reduced fuel consumption:

"Six-speed transmissions inherently offer increased flexibility over four- or five-speed transmissions to fine tune the gear ratios to specific engine characteristics and vehicle performance targets. In the case of the Cruze Eco, we have developed a unique combination of speed gear ratios and a final drive ratio that provide very good vehicle launch and low-speed performance along with three overdrive speeds (fourth, fifth and sixth) which enable excellent highway fuel economy and passing performance."

The combination of improved performance and increased fuel economy provided by six-speed transmissions has contributed to consumer demand for many of Chevrolet's best sellers, including:

Chevrolet Malibu, 33 mpg highway

Fifty-four percent of 2010 Malibus sold are equipped with a six-speed automatic and an Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine that delivers 33 miles per gallon on the highway. Through April, 2010, consumer demand for the fuel-efficient Malibu has resulted in seven consecutive months of retail year-over-year sales increases.

Chevrolet Equinox, 32 mpg highway

Eighty percent of 2010 Equinox crossovers sold are equipped with the standard six-speed automatic and Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine with variable valve timing, delivering 32 miles per gallon on the highway. Through April, 2010, consumer demand for the fuel-efficient Equinox has resulted in 10 consecutive months of year-over-year retail sales increases.

Chevrolet Camaro, 29 mpg highway

The 2010 Camaro is available with four powertrain combinations: a 312 horsepower 3.6L, direct-injected V-6 that delivers 29 miles per gallon on the highway with either the six-speed manual or automatic; and a 6.2L V-8 that delivers up to 426 horsepower and 25 miles per gallon on the highway with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The combination of power and performance has helped Camaro outsell its closest competitor, the Ford Mustang, for 11 consecutive months.

The Chevrolet line up leverages the General Motors families of advanced six-speed transmissions, designed for front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive applications. Here is the full list of 2011 model year Chevrolets available with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions:

1. Avalanche Standard six-speed automatic
2. Camaro Standard six-speed manual, available six-speed automatic
3. Cruze Standard six-speed manual, available six-speed automatic
4. Corvette Standard six-speed manual, available six-speed automatic
5. Equinox Standard six-speed automatic
6. Express Available six-speed automatic
7. Malibu Standard six-speed automatic
8. Silverado Available six-speed automatic
9. Silverado HD Standard six-speed automatic
10. Suburban Standard six-speed automatic
11. Tahoe Standard six-speed automatic
12. Traverse Standard six-speed automatic

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