New Eight-Speed Tranny Promises Better Fuel Economy; Other Perks

By Trevor Dorchies | September 02, 2011
Chrysler one-upped its domestic rivals today by being the first of the Detroit Three to introduce an eight-speed automatic transmission. The new transmission promises better fuel economy and improved efficiency. There is an asterisk behind the claim though, since Chrysler's newest gearbox wasn't actually developed in-house. Like many of the world's eight-speeds—such as in Audi, Bentley, BMW and Range Rover— it was purchased from the German drivetrain and chassis technology company ZF Friedrichshafen AG. However, Chrysler will build the transmissions in house at its Kokomo facility under a license from ZF. The eight-speed automatic transmission will be mated to the new 3.6 liter V-6 Pentastar engine. It will debut on select 2012 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger models, giving them a 0-to-60 time of 7.2 seconds. While acceleration performance is nice, the real benefit is with fuel economy. Both the 300 and Charger are expected to get a 4 mpg boost in fuel economy and will now be rated at 19 mpg city and 31 highway. Both rear and all-wheel-drive systems can accommodate the transmission but the all-wheel-drive enhances fuel economy by only engaging the front wheels when excess wheel spin is sensed. With more gears, the transmission can operate at lower revs allowing emissions to be reduced by almost 11 percent. While the transmission uses more gears than what Chryslers have until now, the vehicles are otherwise the same. Weighing in at about 6.5 pounds more than the one it's replacing, the new transmission is also "fill(ed) for life." This means that oil changes aren't required during normal driving conditions, improving fuel economy especially in cold start-up environments. The gear selector at the base of the center stack will no longer be a mechanical link to the transmission. Whichever gear is selected by the driver (P, R, N, D) will now be transmitted electronically making shifting gears much easier. This operation known as "shift-by-wire" will allow parking on an inclined surface to be executed smoothly eliminating transmission lock and the jarring sensation that comes along with it. What do you think of Chrysler introducing an eight-speed automatic transmission along with its new engine? Would you consider buying a Chrysler or Dodge product with the new alterations? Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Source: Chrysler
  • 2012 Dodge Charger Interior
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 Driver Side Three Quarters
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 Driver Side Three Quarters 2
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 Interior
  • 2012 Dodge Charger Driver Side Rear Quarter Panel
  • 2012 Dodge Charger Driver Side Three Quarters
 
2 comments
david kirby
david kirby

with awd as an option I can consiider a chrysler product in the north east

Joel A
Joel A

31 mpg for a full-sized sedan? That's...good.

close