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Chrysler to reveal 9-speed automatic gearbox for front-wheel drive models

Chrysler to reveal 9-speed automatic gearboxes for front-wheel drive models

Last week, Chrysler opened the floodgates of information, and revealed an array of upgraded models and began teasing new and improved ones. We saw the 2011 Chrysler Town and Country, the 2011 Jeep Patriot, and caught brief glimpses of the new Chrysler 200.

Among the pieces of data that slipped through was a statement from Chrysler and Fiat overlord Sergio Marchionne, who revealed that alongside the new eight-speed automatic gearbox set to debut on next generation rear-wheel drive models, the Pentastar will launch an even bigger transmission.

According to the Italian boss, Chrysler will begin offering, in 2012, a nine-speed automatic gearbox for its front-wheel drive models. The new transmission will offer improved efficiency, according to the Italian CEO.

Marchionne also revealed that both those gearboxes were designed to be used on all-wheel drive models too, as well as on future hybrid vehicles. Expect both cog-swappers to arrive around 2012 on all new Chrysler cars.

Do you think these new transmissions will attract people or will the thought of nine gears confuse customers? Share your thoughts below.


Another recall and stop sale issued for 2010 Subaru Outback and Legacy models

It seems that two of Subaru‘s best selling models, the Outback and Legacy, are plagued with problems, at least the 2010 model year vehicles.

After being recalled for a leaky CVT gearbox hose and for a wiring issue on the dashboard, a more serious problem has been revealed by the NHTSA.

According to the federal body, specific 2010 and 2011 Subaru Outback and Legacy models have a mechanical flaw in the gearbox. It seems that the oil lubrication hole is not present, meaning that the gearbox isn’t properly lubricated. This eventually leads to the gears being smashed together, which can lead to a crash.

Around 800 models are affected, and Subaru has already let its dealer network know about the fixes for this problem. Sales have also been stopped, so that all models can be checked out.


Mercedes-Benz working on nine-speed automatic gearbox

Gearboxes come in all shapes and sizes these days, some boasting as little as four gears, other boasting the maximum (at the moment) of eight. Heck, the CVT transmissions don’t even have conventional gears.

Now, according to Mercedes-Benz engineers, the maximum number of ratios will be bumped once more, as the German company is working a nine-speed automatic transmission.

According to Autocar’s sources, this nine-cog ‘box will be put to use on the company’s ‘large capacity’ engines. Sadly, no other details were offered.

According to many voices, we might see such a transmission featured on the next generation S Class, as well as on the baby SLS AMG, which might get the SSK badge.

Still, it seems that those same sources agree that nine is probably the biggest numbers of gears a transmission could support, from a mechanical standpoint, and the maximum a regular customer could support.

What do you think? Will automakers stop at just nine-speeds? Share your thoughts below.


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Toyota also offers to fix 235,500 2001-2003 RAV4 crossovers over gearbox problem

After revealing at the beginning of the week that it will start to fix over 749,000 2009-2010 Corolla and Matrix vehicles over a steering problem, Toyota has also announced that it will fix another model, for free, but not during an official recall.

The vehicle in question is the 2001-2003 RAV4 crossover. Around 235,500 models are affected by a so called ‘hard shift’ problem. In certain conditions, drivers revealed that the gearbox would shift out of gear or wouldn’t respond to input properly.

According to Toyota, this isn’t a problem that would warrant a recall, but a free fix will be offered in services across the USA. Mechanics are advised to reinstall the engine control module or, if the damage is already done, swap the gearbox altogether.

RAV4 owners that have already paid for such repairs can now file for reimbursement.


Audi adds eight-speed automatic gearbox to A4, A5 and Q5 this fall

Audi first announced its new eight-speed automatic transmission for the 2011 A8 flagship limousine. After that, the 2011 Q7 refresh has also been confirmed to get the new automatic ‘box.

Now, the company announced that the transmission will also be making its way onto specific A4, A5 and Q5 models as soon as this fall. The 2011 A4 2.0-liter TFSI quattro edition, both in sedan and Avant form, will receive the new gearbox, as well as the 2011 A5 2.0-liter TFSI quattro coupe and cabriolet. The Q5, equipped with the … you guessed it, 2.0-liter TFSI engine will receive the new transmission as well.

At the beginning of fall, two versions of the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine will appear in the Q7 range, replacing the older 3.6-liter V6 and 4.2-liter V8. The new units will also be paired with this gearbox.

Don’t go thinking this will just add to the curb weight of the models or make things worse, as Audi guarantees a better performance, a lower fuel average and, thanks to the compact packaging of those eight gears, no extra weight.


2011 Audi Q7 gets new V6 engines plus eight-speed automatic gearbox

2011 Audi Q7 gets new V6 engines plus eight-speed automatic gearbox

The AMI Leipzig Motor Show is preparing to open its doors in a couple of days, but already Audi has decided to showcase the new features it will be releasing for the 2011 Q7 SUV, in both Europe and all over the world.

Those with a craving for more power will be extremely happy to hear that the supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6 gasoline engine, formerly found on the S4, is now arriving, in two variants, under the bonnet of the Q7. You can either opt for a base 272 HP 295 lb-ft of torque, or an upgraded 333 HP and 325 lb-ft of torque. This unit is going to arrive both in Europe, this fall, and in North America, around November.

2011 Audi Q7 gets new V6 engines plus eight-speed automatic gearbox

Diesel fans are going to be treated to a revised 3.0-liter TDI V6, which packs 240 HP and 406 lb-ft of torque. The new unit, which develops more power and weighs less will be available only for European customers, as the US-spec Q7 will retain the 225 HP and 406 lb-ft TDI engine.

Last but not least, all of the current engines available for the Q7 will now be mated to a new eight-speed automatic gearbox. It boasts both higher ratios and Tiptronic, as well as a regular and a Sport operating mode. The gearbox will premiere in North America this September.


Renault to introduce its Efficient Dual Clutch transmission on the Megane CC in 2010

French carmaker Renault has just announced that its much awaited Efficient Dual Clutch transmissions system will finally be employed in one of its models, the upcoming Megane CC convertible.

This new type of gearbox, which promises to combine fuel efficiency with performance, will only be available for the 1.5-liter dCi engine, which produces 105 HP, and will make its first public appearance, alongside the new Megane CC at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 2010.

According to Renault, the new gearbox will then make its way onto other new models, including the revamped Scenic people carrier which will arrive in the middle of 2010.


Honda Unveils Its Dual-Clutch Gearbox, First for Bikes, Then For Cars

After seeing just how successful the VAG groups is going with its DSG dual-clutch gearbox, Japanese company Honda has announced that it has also developed its own type of gearbox which will feature two clutches in order to improve reaction time and the speed of the shifts.

But don’t go thinking that the next Civic, Accord or any Acura-branded models will boast it, as at first, the company which also makes motorbikes, will implement it on its two wheel models. This is due to the new systems used by the company, which make it extremely light, and thus great for bikes. More specifically, the two clutches are placed on the same line, and combined with the hydraulic circuits from under the engine, will mean a drastic weight loss for the new box.

In terms of mechanics, it will have six speeds, with each clutch operating a set of three gears, one for the 1,3,5 and the other for the 2,4,6 gears. As you know, bikes don’t have reverse, so these will be all the gears for the first edition of the box. You can be sure that the one made for cars will have plenty of other features in it.

The new box will also have three driving modes, D, for normal driving, S, for sport, and M, which will allow the rider to change the gears how he pleases. There are no details on when the box will be made available for cars, as further research is needed on behalf of the Japanese company, but it seems that dual-clutch gearboxes will play a big part in the future of both bikes and cars.


BMW’s new M DKG seven-speed double clutch transmission

The official announcement of the new BMW M3 Convertible, BMW introduced another premiere, the M DKG seven-speed double clutch transmission. The system has been developed by BMW’s M division and it will be available for all the new M versions: Coupe, Cabrio and Sedan.

The new M double-clutch transmission features BMW’s Drivelogic technology and allows faster gearshifts, resulting in faster acceleration times (from 0 to 100km/h in 4.6 seconds – 0.2 seconds faster than the manual six-speed version) and better mileage (average fuel consumption of 22 mpg or 11.9 litres/100 km).

The new transmission is the world’s first seven-speed double-clutch gearbox developed for a high-torque, high-speed powerplant and offers eleven driver-selectable electronically controlled driving program choices. I’m guessing the manual for this isn’t quite an easy read.

The system “acts to smooth out gearshifts to the point that they are often only discernible by watching the rise and fall of engine rpm on the M3’s tachometer. Each oil-cooled wet clutch activates its own set of ratios – one is used for first, third, fifth and seventh gears, as well as reverse, while the other looks after second, fourth and sixth gears.

Gearshifts are effected by the disengagement of one clutch and the engagement of the other, moving seamlessly from the ratio in use to the next, preselected ratio.The fact that the next ratio is preselected and engaged merely by activation of the clutch is the secret behind the amazingly smooth and efficient transition from gear to gear.”

To fully understand how this works, read the full press release after the jump.