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ZF launches 9-speed destined for Chrysler

by David Zatz on

The world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission for cars with transverse-mounted engines will be built in a new factory in South Carolina by ZF of Germany. Chrysler will be one of ZF’s early customers.

The transmission is designed for front wheel drive vehicles (including passenger cars and minivans) and is said to deliver at least 10% greater gas mileage than conventional six-speed automatics. The torque converter clutch can be locked up faster due to an advanced internal shock absorber system, increasing gas mileage and available power. Shifts are extremely fast, “below the threshold of perception,” allowing rapid multiple shifts. Electronics prevent “hunting.”

Groundbreaking for the factory is scheduled for next month.

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