As Allpar reported weeks ago, Chrysler will invest $300 million into the Kokomo, Indiana plant to build a new, highly fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission, aided by a tax abatement on the addition. Special tooling and equipment will modernize both the casting plant and Transmission Plant I, helping retain over a thousand jobs.
The transmission in question was rumored to have been jointly developed by Chrysler and ZF Group, but Chrysler’s press release reported that “Chrysler Group has licensed the manufacturing rights.” Production will, as Allpar reported earlier, begin in 2013, with transmissions to be purchased from ZF (according to rumor, starting in 2012). Reportedly, the transmissions, which have high torque handling capabilities, will be used in SRT cars and some Cummins-equipped trucks.
Allpar reported in May that the torque rating of the new automatic is rumored to be over 800 pound-feet, and that it uses three, tough, expensive planetary gearsets.
Chrysler Group Powertrain engineers benchmarked the industry’s leading automatic transmissions to set functional goals. After working closely with ZF, the result is a seamless shifting eight-speed transmission “without sacrifice.” Specific product information and timing for the new transmission will come at a later date.
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