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PostSubject: Ford Announces it 9 Speed Transmission.   Ford Announces it 9 Speed Transmission. I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 11, 2011 1:04 pm

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Back in January, ZF Friedrichshafen AG promised a nine-speed transmission, and now the gearbox specialists are ready to deliver some details. ZF claims that the 9HP transmission has been designed for front-wheel-drive vehicles with transversely mounted engines. More importantly for automakers looking to hit ever-increasing fuel economy standards, the transmission will also be able to improve fuel economy by up to 16 percent versus vehicles with the now commonplace six-speed auto. The supplier claims that at optimal fuel consumption speeds the 9HP will allow the engine to run at 1,900 RPM, as apposed to 2,600 revolutions in a typical six-speed-equipped model.

Since ZF is in need of OEMs to include the new 9HP into their products, the supplier went out of its way to make sure the gearbox can adapt to many different applications. The transmission will reportedly be able to handle all-wheel-drive and hybrid duty, and it will be able to handle between 200 and 353 pound-feet of torque. ZF also designed the 9HP to be a "construction kit," with an additional transfer case for all-wheel-drive. It is also stop-start capable, and without the need for an additional oil pump.

ZF hasn't released a timetable detailing when the nine-speed transmission could make its way into production vehicles, but we're guessing some automakers will jump at the chance to feature nine forward gears. For perspective on the 16 percent fuel economy jump, a mid-size sedan that now hits 35 miles per gallon on the highway now could theoretically hit 40 or 41 mpg. Hit the jump to read over the ZF press release, which includes plenty of detail for the engineers among us.

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