Nine-speed automatic transmission under development

Kharl Prado July 20, 2010

If you really know your luxury cars, you’ll easily be able to discern a stark performance difference between European premium cars such as Mercedes-Benz, and JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) cars such as Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Heck, you’ll even notice a difference between European and American premiums. In what aspect? Well, the tranny mostly.

Mercedes-Benz cars exemplify true German engineering at its finest in their transmission systems. And it just keeps getting better. To keep up with their new line of powerful and fuel-efficient engines, the company is looking to upgrade their transmission technology. There are already cars that feature eight-speed automatic transmissions, so Mercedes-Benz looking to set a new standard—nine-speed gearbox technology.

It takes a lot of horses and torque to fully utilize all nine speeds, though. That’s why such a development would likely be seen on Mercedes-Benz models with hefty engines. Still, you can seek comfort in the fact that an unnamed senior Mercedes-Benz engineer did confirm that the technology is now under development.

You could say that Mercedes-Benz is looking beyond engine technology to up their emission standards. A nine-speed transmission would allow the engine to operate at lower rpm while still maintaining, or even increasing, the vehicle’s speed. Thus, less emissions will be produced as compared to a car cruising in fifth gear at 4,000 rpm. And with more gear transitions, shifting is going to be a lot smoother.

Sounds very promising, don’t you think?

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