When Mercedes introduced its 7-speed transmission, the German automaker launched a new era of multi-geared auto-boxes with all other luxury automakers taking part in a bid to offer increased performance and fuel economy. Lexus responded with an 8-speed automatic transmission, Infiniti developed a 7-speed box and both BMW and Audi now have 8-speed units as well. So what is Mercedes to do if it wants to stay at the top? Develop a 9-speed of course!
And that is just what engineers at the luxury automaker are doing, reports AutoCar. According to sources inside the company familiar with future engineering products, a new 9-speed automatic transmission is being developed that will drastically improve fuel economy.
According to those same sources, the new slushbox will be used on large displacement engines, meaning that it will most certainly come equipped on AMG models. Anything more than a 9-speed is unlikely though, as engineers believe that along with certain technical obstacles, consumers don’t want that much shifting.
The insider source gave no clues as to how far along in the development phase the new 9-speed unit is, or when we might first see it on a production model.