Man how the times have changed at Chrysler. Automotive News is reporting that beginning in 2013, Chrysler minivans will be the recipients of a 9-speed automatic transmission sourced by German supplier, ZF Friedrichshafen AG. This is pretty amazing, especially when you consider that 40 years ago a Chrysler 727-automatic transmission only had 3-speeds. The purpose of a nine-speed gearbox is simple; improved fuel economy. Keep in mind that we’re not talking about a 1 or 2 mile difference in your cars MPG’s, but an increase that could be higher then 25 percent. ZF management member, Dr. Michael Paul stated, “This will be a major step for front-wheel drive cars in terms of fuel economy,” but also added “To be honest, we don’t think there is very much to be gained by adding even more gears.” Over the past years manufacturers have been doing everything possible to improve fuel economy in their vehicles due to tougher and tougher regulations. The real question though is, when will these conventional transmissions become obsolete and who is working on the next big solution?
Source: Automotive News