With new fuel economy regulations of 35.5 mpg coming into effect in 2016 manufactures are scrambling to try and pull more miles out of their vehicles. One way of doing so is to alter the gearing of a cars final drive ratio and because of this Chrysler will soon be offering a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The new eight-speed automatic is said to offer a 14 percent increase in fuel economy over Chrysler’s current five-speed transmission. Developed by Germany’s ZF the new eight-speed is already in use by such luxury brands as BMW and Audi.
Even though the new ZF unit still uses a torque converter the performance is said to be right up there with new more advanced dual clutch units. Another feature is that the engineers have included in the design the compatibility for it to work with the new stop-start technology. This technology actually allows the engine to shut down when a vehicle comes to a full stop and then restart when the accelerator is pressed again. Chrysler has said that the new transmission will be featured throughout their line-up and will be offered in the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Truck lines. Expect the new eight-speed automatic transmission to make its first appearance on the next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300.