ZF shows off 9-speed

zf nine speed automatic transmission for Chrysler and Dodge cars and minivansZF showed off their nine-speed automatic (9HP) to German magazine Autozeitung, using a Mini Cooper S mule. Three automakers have already agreed to purchase the 9HP, one being Chrysler, and one almost certainly being another traditional ZF customer, BMW. The magazine pointed out that the 9HP is extremely compact — it has to be, to fit into a Mini — and that ZF had worked hard on breaking back into the front wheel drive market, with its eye on the efficient double-clutch transmissions which have been increasing in popularity.

The transmission, to be used in future Chrysler front wheel drive products starting around 2013, weighs under 190 lb, including the transmission fluid; the decision to use nine speeds was, according to the magazine, based on a detailed cost-benefit analysis rather than merely trumping eight-speeds.

The compact size was achieved partly by moving the oil pump, changing two of the switching elements from the usual couplings to new forms. The transmission can go up to 480 Nm input (around 354 lb-ft) which is more than enough for the most capable four-cylinder or V6 engines ever produced by Chrysler, and then some.

The magazine seemed happy with the feel and operation of the transmission. (Thanks, K. Oellinger; see more ZF HP9 details.)

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Ram leading in van growth

With a nearly 47% year-over-year increase as of the end of September, Ram leads the market in commercial van sales.

Nine months into 2016, Ram has sold 39,214 ProMasters — 26,544 full-size ProMasters and 12,649 compact ProMaster Citys.

In September, monthly sales of Chevrolet and Ford vans fell, while Ram van deliveries were up more than 10%. The big ProMaster outsold every full-size van that didn’t wear a blue oval or a bow tie.

Read the full story: Ram leading in van growth  »

What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?

2017 Ram and Jeep diesels are reportedly being delayed — but the same is true of diesel engines from nearly all automakers, as the EPA rushes to crack down on diesel emissions cheats.

So far, according to Automotive News’ groundbreaking report, only Jaguar and BMW have been given permission to sell diesels in the US. Others have to wait, pending testing clearance, thanks to Audi-Volkswagen cheats.

Read the full story: What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?  »

Canadians get cheaper Pacificas

2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans

Chrysler Canada is now selling a complete line of Pacifica minivans in Canada, with the base LX and Touring models added to Touring-L, Touring-L Plus, and Limited.

All 2017 Chrysler Pacificas are made in Canada at the award-winning Windsor Assembly Plant; the plant built 70% of all full-size minivans sold in Canada last year (including Caravan and Town & Country).

The LX lists for C$37,995,

Read the full story: Canadians get cheaper Pacificas  »

Ram Commercial’s relaunch

ram commercial video

Ram’s “Ram Commercial” division made its full public debut yesterday with a multidimensional ad campaign, four years after being established.

The campaign covers television, print, digital, video and social media. The first ad, “Time,” showed up on yesterday’s NFL game, showing the “surprise and delight” of small businesses with Ram vans. Print ads will appear in magazines including Forbes, Professional Builder, and Remodeling.

Read the full story: Ram Commercial’s relaunch  »

What do you think of the “Chief” blue? (updated)

Jeep is set to launch a new color, “Chief,” according to James Mooney — who backed up his assertion with an image from the Jeep brochure available on-line.

The color hasn’t hit the Build & Price system yet. It seems to hearken back to the popular bright blues of the 1970s and 1990s; we have also  seen a 1920s Chrysler in a slightly more aquamarine, but still factory,

Read the full story: What do you think of the “Chief” blue? (updated)  »

Ram leading in van growth

What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?
2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans
Canadians get cheaper Pacificas
ram commercial video
Ram Commercial’s relaunch

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