More gears, the better? It sounds like the auto industry is having its gear selection equal to that of the 10-speed bicycle. Land Rover has just announced that it will show the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission for a passenger car at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The new transmission called the ZF 9HP will be one of the most fuel efficient transmission to ever built, according to Land Rover.
Although increasing the number of gear ratios from six to nine will help reduce emissions and improve efficiency, but were not sure if everyday driving in the city ever reaches 9-speed before the transmission had to downshift at a stop or slow down. The only condition that we could think to use the 9-speed gear is when cruising on a freeway, which a higher gear improves efficiency by lowering engine speed.
Luckily, Land Rover also improved on the lower gears and gear skipping capability. The ZF 9HP has smaller ratio steps to improve response and smooth gear transition during acceleration. And with an adaptive shifting system, a skip-shift function that can skip through the gears without having to sequentially shift through all the gears. There are two “Fast-Off” and “Curve” modes to help manage the upshift timing, by detecting acceleration/deceleration forces and pedal position.
The new Land Rover’s ZF 9HP will first replace the 6-speed transmission in the 2014 Evoque crossover, and other models such as the Range Rover, Land Rover LR4 and Range Rover Sport to follow.