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Chrysler to Offer 8-Speed RWD and 9-Speed FWD Transmissions Beginning in Mid-2011

In his speech to Chrysler dealers at the 2010 Chrysler Group International Dealer Announcement Show earlier this week, CEO Sergio Marchionne said that the company will roll out 8- and 9-speed transmissions beginning in mid-2011.

You and the market have told us that we have uncompetitive power trains, especially at the transmission end. And so we will have eight-speed rear-wheel-drive transmissions in market by mid 2011 and to be followed by a nine-speed front-wheel-drive transmission. They are both all-wheel drive and hybrid capable.

These are leading-edge solutions to the mileage and emissions objectives we have set for ourselves. And I can assure you that there will be no other mass manufactures in the Nafta region, other than some snotty premium manufacturer out of Europe that will be able to match the offering.

—Sergio Marchionne

(A hat-tip to Raymond!)



If they use the silky-smooth Lexus transmissions as the standard of transmission excellence that needs to be exceeded, this plan will be successful.


Excellent goals. Can they do it in the claimed time fram?


Put a new 8 speed in a rear drive Charger and buyers might wonder if it is proven out. Presumably they will down size the engine with the new transmission for better mileage and that goes against the muscle car image as well.


This is simply being pig headed. For the money Chrysler are burning developing 9 speed gearboxes (that do NOTHING to improve energy efficiency) they could be developing EV powertrains that actually achieve the efficiency they're aiming for here.


Quality will make or break this effort. If the teething pains of the new designs are too bad, buyers will stay away in droves.


"For the money Chrysler are burning developing 9 speed gearboxes (that do NOTHING to improve energy efficiency)"

Does "NOTHING" have some alternative definition that I am unaware of? You couldn't be more wrong.

Considering that the existing 545RFE multi-speed automatic is geared more like a 4-speed (3rd gear is a direct drive), upgrading to the ZF 8-speed is going to be significant (along the lines of 20% improvement in combined mileage).

Considering that they are merely licensing the 8-speed from ZF, this sounds like a pretty good way to keep their R&D costs low, not taking away anything significant from their EV development. This was a very cost effective way to provide some immediate results. Exactly what Chrysler needs. They do have to run a business.


Now hopefully their UAW employees will be able to stay sober enough to actually make these work..

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