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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.
Maserati, we hardly knew ye. The one time car of gentlemen, scoundrels and masochists (Maserati is a synonym for “unreliable” in many thesauri) has become positively mainstream, with all kinds of celebrities and nouveau riche types snapping up the GranTurismo and Quattroporte as an alternative to the usual German offerings.
Maserati CEO Harald Wester told Auotmotive News that as part of Maserati’s targets for fuel consumption, V6 and V8 engines will be offered, with the V8 being smaller than the current 4.7L unit. In addition, weight will be reduced by 15 percent and an 8-speed automatic will be the transmission of choice. Combined with a start-stop system, this should help reduce fuel consumption by 25 percent.
The Quattroporte will also move to all-wheel drive as part of a common platform being developed for use across the entire Chrysler/Fiat/Alfa Romeo range. The current Quattroporte and GranTurismo may well be the last “pure” Maserati in the eyes of some aficionados. Better re-mortgage the house before you’re stuck with an eight-cylinder, Sebring based Maser.
[Source: Automotive News]