In an announcement that surprised very few, Ford and General Motors vowed to develop 9 and 10 speed transmissions for their vehicles. By collaborating, Ford and GM save millions on developing, engineering, testing and producing these new transmissions. This is not the first time Ford and GM have collaborated on building/developing transmissions together. A few years back, Ford and GM jointly built a six-speed automatic transmission which can be found in vehicle like the Ford Explorer and GMC Acadia (among many others).
Regarding the 9 and 10 speed transmissions future production: “While we still can be really competitive, we can collaborate where it makes sense,” said General Motors Co. spokesman Dan Flores. “We will still fight every day in the marketplace over every sale.” and “Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions,” said Jim Lanzon, GM vice president of global transmission engineering.
Having extra gears has the potential of returning greater economy from internal combustion vehicles. Just like a 10-speed bicycle, as the gearing increases in size, less rotations from the power provider (the person/chimpanzee peddling the bike) are required to make the wheels turn. It’s pretty much the same in an automobile.
The other benefit of having more gears: there is less fuel squandering as a loss of power (and the subsequent reapplication of power) is encountered when changing to the next gear. Simply put, less fuel is required when moving from one gear to another as they are closely spaced. It should make for a remarkably smooth transmission too.
This announcement follows close on the heels of Range Rover announcing the production of a Range Rover Evoque with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Neither automaker has released any information about which vehicles(s) these transmissions are meant for.
Check out this Ford Explorer Sport video with the aforementioned six-speed automatic transmission!
I bet these transmissions are going into trucks and big FWD vehicles.
But, I could be wrong.