Air New Zealand Reschedules Biofuel Test Flight for 30 Dec; 1st of 3 Upcoming Industry Tests Using UOP Green Jet SPK
Ford Fusion Hybrid EPA Certified to 41 mpg City, 36 mpg Highway

Hyundai Develops Own Six-Speed Automatic; 12.2% Improvement in Fuel Economy in First Application

New Hyundai 6-speed. Click to enlarge.

To help meet its goals of improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions of its vehicles, Hyundai Motor Company has completed the development of an all-new 6-speed automatic transaxle for transverse engine applications that it says will boost fuel economy by more than 12.2%.

Despite the extra gear, the 6-speed—which was in development for four years—is 12 kg lighter, is 41 mm shorter and has 62 fewer parts than the 5-speed it replaces. The new 6-speed went into production this month and will see its first application in Grandeur/Azera models equipped with the 3.3-liter V-6 Lambda gasoline engine beginning in January 2009.

In this application, the new 6-speed unit delivers a 12.2% gain in fuel economy (10.1 km/L versus 9.0 km/L; 23.8 mpg US versus 21.2 mpg US) and is 2.5% quicker in zero to 100 km/h acceleration times (7.8 sec versus 8.0 sec). It also delivers an 11% improvement in 60 km/h to 100 km/h passing performance (4.0 sec versus 4.5 sec).

The unit is filled with an automatic transmission fluid that is good for the life of the vehicle thereby reducing maintenance costs. Hyundai has applied for nearly 300 patents on the transmission.

The strength of our design is its totally unique layout which makes it smaller, more compact and lighter than any other 6-speed on the market today.

—Hong-Min Kim, the project manager of the transaxle at Hyundai Motor’s R&D Center

The addition of a sixth gear enables closer spacing between gear ratios providing a better balance of performance and fuel economy while the wide overall gear ratio helps deliver strong acceleration.

The gearbox has three planetary gearsets and a unique flat torque converter which shortens the unit’s overall length by 12 mm. Four pinion differentials improve durability and further minimize size.

Integrated adjustment screws in the solenoid valves enable each of the eight valves to be calibrated at the factory to compensate for slight manufacturing deviations from one solenoid valve to another, which can cause fluctuation in the hydraulic pressure and affect shift precision and quality. This design feature ensures stable hydraulic pressure at any shift point, supporting a high degree of precision and control needed to deliver ultra-fast, smooth and precise shifts throughout the rpm range.

A total of five variants of the 6-speed transaxle will be produced to accommodate a wide range of gasoline and diesel engines. A total of sixteen different Hyundai models will get this transmission including a redesigned Santa Fe, which is due to arrive in late in 2009 and early 2010 in some markets.



w00t, more efficient products for the dealership I work at :D

Can't wait for the details about the BLUE models for the NA market.


One more thing for discussion... does anyone here really believe in "forever" fluid? Are you telling me there's no drain and fill plug on that transmission?!? How expensive can the fluid be?

Andrey Levin

Regular transmission fluid easily last 160K km, but over 80-100K you begin to rob yourself with power and fuel economy.

Proper transmission fluid change should be made by disconnecting trans. fluid cooling loop to radiator, and flushing it until old fluid is gone, with engine idling. This service is routinely performed in oil change shops and is inexpensive. It is possible to do it by yourself, but it is kind of tricky and messy. If you drain fluid by plug, and then fill through trans. fluid level check pipe, about ¼ of old and dirty fluid remains in the system, trapped in torque converter.

Fully synthetic transmission fluid costs about 8$ per liter in hardware stores, and lasts longer.


I for one would love to see this new 6AT unit on these Hyundai/Kia models:

Kia Rondo (especially the I4-powered model)
Hyundai Elantra (all models, including the Touring wagon)

The Kia Rondo with the 165 bhp 2.4-liter I-4 engine and this new 6AT automatic could offer decent performance and very good highway fuel economy.

The comments to this entry are closed.