Mercedes-Benz has officially introduced the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission with torque converter in its new E 350 BlueTEC.
The transmission, called 9G-Tronic, will be mated to a six-cylinder diesel engine that will help improve the E 350 BlueTEC’s fuel efficiency. The E 350 BlueTEC will have 252 horsepower from the 3.0-liter, V6 diesel engine.
But the important story revolves around the 9G-Tronic transmission which has a broad ratio spread of 9.15 for gears one to nine, enabling a clearly perceptible reduction in engine speed, enhancing energy efficiency and overall ride comfort in the vehicle. According to the German automaker, the entire package also cuts down external noise by up to four decibels. Technically speaking, the E 350 BlueTEC will be able to travel at 75 mph in ninth gear at an engine speed of around 1,350 rpm.
It wasn’t just all about cramming nine gears into a new automatic transmission however. The engineers also worked on a compact, lightweight construction for the transmission allowing it to require as little installation space as its predecessor and is lighter.
The nine-speed transmission will be available in Europe on the E 350 BlueTEC, but there’s no definitive word yet on when or if it’ll be coming to the U.S.
GALLERY: Mercedes 9G-Tronic Transmission
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