Mercedes-Benz developing a 9-speed automatic

Posted on Monday, 19 July 2010 , 23:07:46 byAlina

Filed under mercedes-benzmercedes9-speed-automaticMercedes

Mercedes-Benz developing a 9-speed automatic

Seven-speed automatic transmissions are widely used by luxury automakers including Porsche and Infiniti, while Mercedes-Benz and BMW have also adopted the use of eight-speed automatic gearboxes as well. But this wasn't enough, especially for Mercedes-Benz, which is currently working on a nine-speed automatic gearbox and will be introduced on large-capacity engines.

The information comes from a senior source at Mercedes-Benz who revealed that the new gearbox will offer significant improvements to fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

Simply adding an extra gear is no easy task, however, and Mercedes-Benz is unlikely to go further with anymore gears. It appears that a development of a gearbox with more than nine ratios is unlikely, because nine ratios are the maximum that is technically possible and may be the most that buyers will be able to work with.

Rivals like Audi, BMW and Lexus already use eight-speed gearboxes, and some have even faster shifting dual clutch units. Dual clutch transmissions can shift faster than automatics, and are even more fuel efficient. In this case, why Mercedes-Benz bothers to design a new nine-speed automatic? The reason why is that conventional automatics have some clear advantages over dual clutch units as they tend to be lighter, more reliable, less complex and cheaper to manufacture.