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It appears that the Japanese automaker could be investing in a nine-speed automatic manufactured by German supplier ZF. Chances are though that we won’t see any Hondas or Acuras on the road equipped with it until 2014 at the earliest.
The transmission is called 9HP by ZF and could be the same unit that Chrysler plans on using in its model lineup. Even though the Japanese automaker has developed its own transmissions over the years, the 9HP is designed for transverse installations, making it ideal for front- and all-wheel drive vehicles. In addition it utilizes planetary gearsets, helping save space.
According to ZF, the transmission is capable of supporting up to 354 lb-ft of torque and could be used in both start/stop and hybrid drive systems.
Of course the Japanese automaker didn’t confirm or deny the reports, but if the rumors are true and Honda is indeed switching to the transmission by 2014, we could see it with the new-generation Acura TL to start.
[Source: Automobile Mag]
Transmissions seem to be adding gears faster than razors are adding blades, with ZF announcing today at the Detroit Auto Show a new 9-speed automatic unit.
Described as a “major step for front-wheel drive cars in terms of fuel consumption” by ZF executive vice president Michael Paul, the new unit will be offered in future Chrysler vehicles.
Little in the way of details were provided, but ZF says it should will provide as much as a 10-mpg improvement in fuel economy over current models (likely those running a 6-speed unit). ZF already makes an 8-speed automatic transmission and this new 9-speed unit is touted to be roughly the same size and weight.
Production of the new transmission will begin in 2012 at the company’s Greenville, S.C. facility, so expect it to be included in new Chrysler brand products starting in 2013.