9-Speed Automatic Transmission Confirmed by ZF

Transmissions seem to be adding gears faster than razors are adding blades, with ZF announcing today at the Detroit Auto Show a new 9-speed automatic unit.

9-speed

Described as a “major step for front-wheel drive cars in terms of fuel consumption ” by ZF executive vice president Michael Paul, the new unit will be offered in future Chrysler vehicles.

Little in the way of details were provided, but ZF says it should will provide as much as a 10-mpg improvement in fuel economy over current models (likely those running a 6-speed unit). ZF already makes an 8-speed automatic transmission and this new 9-speed unit is touted to be roughly the same size and weight.

Production of the new transmission will begin in 2012 at the company’s Greenville, S.C. facility, so expect it to be included in new Chrysler brand products starting in 2013.