ZF has developed the world's first nine-speed automatic gearbox for FWD cars

German engineering company ZF has developed the world's first nine-speed gearbox for front-wheel drive passenger cars.

The new 'box will be produced in a brand-new manufacturing facility located in South Carolina and could make its first appearance in a Chrysler model.

Read about Merc's nine-speed auto in development

Next to its current six-speed auto' for front-wheel drive cars, the nine-speeder "enhances driving performance and fuel economy". As with the company’s eight-speed automatic gearbox for rear-wheel drive vehicles, the new nine-speed variant "delivers extremely short response and shifting times that are below the threshold of perception".

ZF says the 'box selects the right gear for the driving conditions and eliminates the need for constant shifting. These "sporty attributes" - including "excellent shift characteristics, immediate response to input and exceptional smoothness" - are shared with its eight-speed offering, ZF claims.

Mercedes is also developing a nine-speed gearbox but this will be used for its rear-drive cars with large capacity engines.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka