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Published on April 17th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown

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GM And Ford To Collaboratively Develop 9 And 10 Speed Transmissions

ZF-9-Speed-TransmissionGeneral Motors and Ford decided to collaboratively develop new 9 and 10-speed automatic transmissions. This might be able to reduce their research and development costs by hundreds of millions of dollars due to economies of scale.

The 9-speed gearbox (transmission), which is designed for use worldwide will be used in front-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicles, and the 10-speed will be installed in rear-wheel-drive vehicles. This will help both Ford and GM catch up to other automakers, like Chrysler, which has already rolled out an 8-speed transmission of its own, and is rolling out a 9-speed automatic as well.

Despite the fact that they compete with each other, they have co-developed transmissions on several occasions in the past. This includes the six-speed automatic used in the Ford Fusion and Chevy Cruze sedans. Still, having two of Detroit’s largest automakers team up underlines the importance of this project.

“Customers don’t care where transmissions come from so there’s no disadvantage to sharing [the technology],” said IHS analyst David Petrovksi in an interview with The Detroit News. Fair enough, but is this alliance a sign of future cooperation between the brands?

Source: The Detroit News



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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.



  • TemK

    Why don’t they just use a CVT? It has many virtual gears. Maybe its some other issue, like towing or something that does better with gears? I don’t know but would like to better understand the trade-offs. thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Watkins/629637578 Daniel Watkins

    Hmm, but why not a CVT with simulated gears. That would be far simpler mechanically speaking I would think

  • Tim Cleland

    As I understand it, CVTs are inherently weak…with current technology anyway. They’re good for small, light vehicles, but that’s about it. Certainly not for trucks or sports cars with powerful engines. It will be interesting to see the MPGs that are possible with these new 9/10-speed trannies. There’s got to be a point of diminishing returns and I’m guessing that comes around 7 or 8.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Miller/100000952005408 Bruce Miller

    Eventually adding to rotating mass will
    reach its limits and the three moving part, designed for simplicity,
    electrics with recent germanium and/or carbon nano structured super
    capacitors, or even better technologies will obviate all efforts made
    in the piston engine fossil fuel regions. We are saying good bye now
    to the piston engine era as much as we said good bye to the
    typewriters and adopted word processors. Building these interim
    transmissions is akin to redesigning “White Out” in the word
    processor age?

  • Roseland67

    Just what we need, a million more little cogs, wheels, gears to fail,
    For what?? I bet if you ask 1,000,000 vehicle owners what additional feature they want in a new car a grand total of ZERO of them will say a 10 speed transmission.
    These guys are so ridiculously out of touch with reality it boggles my mind.
    Really, a 10 speed transmission, really? This could be a Saturday Night Live skit.

    • Christopher DeMorro

      @Roseland

      Consumers want more fuel economy. One way of adding that is more gears in the transmission. That said, most engineers I’ve spoken with say that we are very nearly at peak efficiency when it comes to transmissions. A theoretically “perfect” transmission would only be about 10% more efficient than today’s best transmissions.

  • anderlan

    At what point does it just become a whole lot easier to put a CVT in everything?

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