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News of a new 8-speed automatic for rear-drive Chrysler vehicles has been floating around for a few months now, but it appears as though the American automaker has one more trick – or should we say one more gear – up its sleeve. At Chrysler’s recent dealer meeting (the first in three years) those in attendance heard about a new Viper and a host of other upcoming products. They were also told of a new 9-speed automatic transmission in the works. The new 9-speed auto-box is being built for front drive applications, although Marchionne did say that it will also be adaptable to AWD and hybrid setups. He gave no indication on when the unit would be available in a production model.
As for the 8-speed box, it is a version of the ZF 8-speed unit currently found on many BMW products and will first appear in rear-drive Chrysler products (like the 300C, Dodge Charger and Challenger) in 2012, significantly improving both fuel economy and acceleration.
The new 9-speed automatic would be suitable for AWD versions of cars like the Chrysler 300.
With just 300 units sold globally per year, it was expected that the dawn of a new S-Class in 2012 would see the demise of Mercedes‘ ultra-luxury Maybach brand. Not so says a new report by Automobile Magazine.
According to this latest info, Maybach will use the new S-Class architecture to produce as many as five new models. Included in that list are some less-traditional cars like a 4-door coupe (similar to the Mercedes CLS), as well as a long-wheelbase convertible – inspired by the Ocean Drive Concept.
The 6.0-liter V12 engine will soldier on, but getting a 7-speed transmission (rather than the current 5-speed unit) to deliver improved acceleration and fuel economy. There’s also the possibility that a hybrid option could be included, delivering an extra 20-hp and a 10-mile emissions free driving range. Maybach models might also eventually get a planned 9-speed automatic transmission.
The plan is to build Maybach back up into the brand it was supposed to be, competing with rivals like Bentley and Rolls-Royce.
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.