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ZF Friedrichshafen Nine Speed Gear Box
10 January 2010 - Under high pressure - ZF is working on the development of new fuel-efficient transmission generations. The latest innovation: an entirely new automatic passenger car transmission, developed with 9 gears for vehicles with a transverse engine.
Bigger, better, faster, more. Such is the world we live in now that something like the automatic transmission for the passenger car has a composed madness about it. 6-speed? Antiquated. Seven? Passe, man. 8 then? Acceptable enough, sure, but how about nine, eh?
That’s the number ZF Friedrichshafen has come up with for its spanking new nine-speed gearbox, developed for vehicles with a transverse engine, which it says will significantly improve fuel economy in front-engined cars.
Fuel economy and increased performance
With its 9-speed automatic transmission for vehicles with transverse installed engines, ZF will once again establish a benchmark in terms of fuel consumption. Compared to today's standard 6-speed automatic transmissions for front-transverse design, ZF's new 9-speed automatic transmission clearly improves both driving performance and fuel economy. The modern shock absorber systems in the torque converter, which make a rapid lock-up of the converter clutch possible, also mean better fuel economy and lower CO₂emissions.
Just like the 8-speed automatic transmission for longitudinal installation, the new 9-speed front-transverse transmission ensures that the extremely short response and shifting times are clearly below the threshold of perception. This means that double shifts and direct multiple gearshifts are also made possible. Thus, the new transmission system is equipped with the same 'sporty genes' as already its 8-speed automatic transmission predecessors; in conjunction with the excellent shift comfort characteristics, they certainly entail ultimate customer satisfaction.
The company had already presented the case for the box as a concept study at the 2009 IAA in Frankfurt, and now that box has been announced in Detroit as a reality for series development – it will be produced at ZF’s new US plant in Greenville, South Carolina. Chrysler has been named as one of the tranny’s first customers, with the company set to equip its minivans with the gearbox in 2013.
Packaged in a size similar to its eight-speed automatic transmission used in longitudinal installations, ZF says the new nine-speeder ensures extremely short response and shifting times below the threshold of perception, and makes seamless double shifts and direct multiple gearshifts possible. The modern shock absorber systems in the torque converter, which make a rapid lock-up of the converter clutch possible, also mean better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.