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8-speeds moving closer to production

by David Zatz on

While Chrysler is already using ZF eight-speed automatics in V6-powered Chargers and 300s, many are eagerly awaiting wider use of the fast-shifting transmissions, which have a much wider range than the current Chrysler and Mercedes five and six speeds. That wider use is apparently awaiting Chrysler’s own assembly plant, which will build the transmissions under license.

ZF 8 speed automatic

The Kokomo Tribune reported yesterday (thanks, KCP Worker) that Chrysler has applied for a permit from Indiana to install over $300 million worth of new equipment in its Kokomo plant. The Department of Environmental Management must approve the permit due to air pollution issues in shotblast machines, carburizing furnaces, and other machinery.

Chrysler’s Jodi Tinson was quoted as saying that production should begin in the third quarter of 2012, indicating that wider use of the eight-speeds would begin with the 2013 model year, possibly as a late introduction on some cars.

The eight-speed reportedly raised the gas mileage of V6 models by around 4 mpg on the highway, though the effects with V8s may be lower. They also increased acceleration.

Following production of the eight-speed automatics, Kokomo is set to produce nine-speed ZF automatics. [Original articleZF 8-speed automatic transmission details]

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