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Modernized as the C7 Corvette is, automatic models still use a six-speed automatic. That won’t be the case much longer and an SAE technical paper is revealing key details about the new slushbox.
Land Rover will roll out yet another improvement to its Range Rover models next year, introducing an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment in North America. Manufactured by ZF, this is the same unit currently being used by BMW and Audi and is set to be offered in several Chrysler products in the near future.
The manufacturer of British luxury SUVs has already announced that several of its diesel models sold overseas will get the new 8-speed unit for the 2012 model year. Look for the 8-speed transmission to arrive in 2013 model year vehicles here, on sale in late 2012.
With two extra gears, look for the Range Rover models to deliver improved fuel economy, while closer gears could also help improve acceleration, especially for the supercharged models which are starting to fall behind when compared to some of the high-performance German SUVs.
[Source: Car & Driver]
Having just introduced an all new Dodge Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300 for 2011, all three models are set to get an important update for 2012 under the hood. The engine will remain unchanged, but models equipped with Chrysler Corp’s new 3.6L Pentastar V6 will get a significant jump in fuel economy and notably improved drive quality thanks to the addition of an 8-speed automatic.
As for the R/T and 300C models, they will retain the current 5-speed auto-box, as will a budget-priced Challenger SE model.
Chrysler is expected to add a higher-gear transmission to its V8-powered models in the future as well, replacing the current 5-speed unit. There’s also a solid chance the new 8-speed could be used in vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.