According to ZF Friedrichshafen CEO Stefan Sommer, nine gears in a transmission is the “natural limit,” and should be the magic number to end the race to add more gears.
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Given current and future proposals for Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards it probably isn’t surprising that General Motors is focusing on gas mileage when it comes to new product offerings.
Having launched a spate of new passenger cars recently, including the Cruze and Sonic, GM is now turning its attention to trucks, with new full-size pickups due in 2013 for the ‘14 model year, followed shortly by big SUVs and a small crossover for GMC, known as the Granite.
In an effort boost fuel economy, in order to come into line with the 35.5 mpg CAFE regulations, its likely the new generation of big trucks will feature GM’s new eight-speed automatic transmissions as well as turbocharged engines and eAssist light hybrid technology.
Besides the trucks, other new vehicles in the pipeline include a baby Cadillac, the new ATS, along with a XTS sedan, as well as new vehicles for Chevrolet, such as the Korean built Spark mini car and the updated 2013 Malibu mid-size sedan.
[Source: Automotive News]