AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
ZF, a leader in automotive tranmissions, has announced a new nine-speed automatic gearbox for passenger cars. This gearbox was designed for a transverse mounted engine and will provide up to 16 percent better fuel economy compared to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The nine-speed is referred to as the 9HP and is extremely flexible, capable of being used in front and all-wheel drive platforms. This gearbox is also compatible with stop-start technology and hybrid drivetrains.
This gearbox can endure between 206-353 lb-ft of torque, perfect for four and six-cylinder engines. This transmission is not yet being used as an OEM part, however the gearbox was designed for “customers in the USA and the Asian markets.”
There is no official date as to when the new gearbox unit will be on the road, however ZF has just propelled themselves ahead of the pack as the new industry benchmark.
According to the Detroit Free Press, all-wheel drive vehicles are increasing in popularity and could account up to 30 percent of all autos sold by 2015.
Increasing numbers of consumers are opting for all-wheel drive in all segments, with luxury vehicles representing a significant part of the upward trend. Even American car companies are following this trend, as Chrysler, Lincoln and Cadillac are all offering all-wheel drive on many of their vehicles.
Car companies are now responding by building lighter all-wheel drive systems and also by developing systems for hybrid vehicles. With gas prices on a continual rise, efficient all-wheel drive systems could save your life and your wallet.
Jaguar is apparently readying an all-wheel drive version of their XJ sedan and the car should be on the market within 2 years. Jaguar is looking to combat their German rivals, each of which offer an AWD variant of their large sedans.
While only a 20 percent of cars in the United States are sold with AWD, that number skyrockets to 70 percent in the Northeast, which has traditionally been Jaguar’s strongest market. Lexus also offers an AWD variant of the LS460 and Audi’s A8 comes standard with the brand’s quattro system.
Subaru has given us a first glimpse at its version of the FT-86/Toyobaru with one major surprise – the proclaimed rear-drive sports car is actually all-wheel drive.
Sharing a chassis with Toyota’s FT-86, the car was repeatedly rumored to use only a rear-drive system; strange indeed considering it has been adapted from the AWD Legacy.
On display at the Geneva Auto Show a day ahead of it’s official debut, we were disappointed that the architecture was not filled out with some stunning sheetmetal, but this revelation is far more important and certain to appease Suby fans around the globe.
As though the driveshaft weren’t enough, on a display plaque next to a scale model of the architecture it goes so far as to call the vehicle a “rear-wheel drive sports car” and then in the very next sentence states that it features “Subaru’s signature Symmetrical AWD system.” No wonder we were confused.
UPDATE: Upon inspection the vehicle, it most certainly does not have front driveshafts and is a RWD platform, leaving only the question as to why Subaru’s plaque says it does. Sorry to get your hopes up, you fans of Symmetrical AWD.
GALLERY: Subaru Boxer Sports Car Architecture
Volkswagen is apparently engineering their small car PQ25 platform to accept all-wheel-drive. The adaptation would allow for a new range of sporty hot hatches, among them the Audi A1 and Volkswagen Polo R.
The all-wheel-drive modification would also allow for quasi SUV versions of the small hatch platform, such as a VW CrossPolo or even an Audi Q1. Audi decided to abandon the S1 moniker for the A1 1.4TFSI after realizing that the car would only be sold as a front-drive vehicle.
All-wheel drive variants of small cars are quite popular in Europe, and the Fiat 500 looks to be the latest recipient of an extra drive shaft and differential.
An eagle-eyed car enthusiast spotted this lifted Fiat 500 in Italy, and went to investigate. Looking under the car, he found all the hardware needed for a compact all-wheel drive system tucked into the undercarriage. According to reports in the Italian motoring press, the car is slated to arrive in 2o12, and we could see the AWD 500 being a great seller here in North America.
Get more Fiat 500 news and info at Fiat500Owners.com
[Source: Autoblog via alVolante]
First the Mazda2 Yozora, then the Chevrolet Orlando. Now Acura has its own Canada-exclusive model with the TL A-Spec. Canada has gotten previous iterations of the TL in A-Spec trim, but this marks the second time the A-Spec is exclusive to the Great White North.
Available with all-wheel drive and either an automatic or manual gearbox, the A-Spec is basically an appearance package that adds 19″ wheels with summer tires, a body kit, darker chrome grille and A-Spec badging. While Honda says that the A-Spec won’t make it to America, optional Acura accessories like spoilers and wheels can emulate the look, minus the badging. The TL A-Spec retails for $51,290 CAD.
Press release after the jump