New gearbox will be introduced on large-capacity engines

Mercedes is working on a nine-speed automatic gearbox, according to senior engineering sources.

The new ‘box will be introduced on large-capacity engines, our sources claimed.

The ‘box is said to offer huge improvements in fuel economy and CO2 emissions, but development of gearboxes with more than nine ratios is unlikely.

Mercedes engineers believe nine ratios is the maximum that is technically possible, as well as being the most that customers will be able to cope with.

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19 July 2010

[quote Autocar]The new ‘box will be introduced on large-capacity engines, our sources claimed.
[/quote]

See this is where I think they get it wrong. Small engines surely benefit the most as a well executed set of ratios can mask deficiences in torque. My brother's Lexus has an 8 speed auto and it seems entirely superfluous for a V8 but would probably be very handy in something small. I realise that the 'price point' in small cars is what means it probably won't happen. Pity

19 July 2010

i wonder why they think 9 is the most a driver could cope with? a driver could cope with 900 gears. its automatic the driver does nothing but steer and accelerate and brake....

19 July 2010

I don't see why 9 gears makes such a difference over 6, 7 or 8? I suppose at autobahn speeds it might... In my humble opinion, from what I've driven I prefer a 6 speed manual and a 7 speed auto. Anything more on the auto and the car hunts for gears constantly. I do prefer a 6 speed manual to a 5 speed though, just to take down engine speed at 70mph mainly.

19 July 2010

[quote theonlydt]I do prefer a 6 speed manual to a 5 speed though, just to take down engine speed at 70mph mainly.[/quote]

thats not the number of gears but the ratios. my 6th gear is shorter than many 5th gears.

i expect in a diesel, extra gears mean a longer range of ratios. in sporty petrol cars it gives close a ratio gear box and doesnt lower the engine rpm in top.

19 July 2010

[quote beachland2]thats not the number of gears but the ratios. my 6th gear is shorter than many 5th gears.[/quote] You see I've often found a too large gap between either 1st and 2nd, or 2nd and 3rd in the petrol cars I have owned with 5 speed gearboxes. My opinion on a 6 speed box is that you can have 1st through 5th close than in a normal 5 speed, but still have 6th as a higher (or really lower...) ratio than a traditional 5th gear. That way you get the benefit of more closely stacked ratios, but also with the engine turning fewer revs on the motorway. Right now it seems the trend is towards having 6th even higher than that and leaving the gaps in the lower gears, which is a shame...

19 July 2010

i love my 6 gears as they are, they are so fast and close. but i would also like a motorway/dual carriageway cruising gear, so i need a 7th gear for my manual box.

i hope to see a manual version of the 7 speed DSG come out. but then again i like DSG anyway so would just have that. but manual sporty cars should have 7spd gears.

19 July 2010

How long before the BMW 10 speed auto? Remind anyone of the race between Gillette and Wilkinson Sword to squeeze the most blades in a razor?


19 July 2010

How many Merc owners plough thru the semi auto ... now if 9 gears? The bigger engines meaning more torque...so why more gears ?

Wonder how long this more complicated gear box will last ? Surely expensive replacements due in a few years as with most latter Mer since the w124 era ,,,

Me old e46 318 beemer does fine with 4 gears or is it 5...beautifully ratioed n just enough for daily driving in cruisy mood or enthisiastic mood ...

Shudders ,,,the german cars... over engineered ....over priced n expensive parts...long term ownership means more reliability n cheaper maintainance not more hassles when cost cut electronics act up n break down.

19 July 2010

I love my 6 speed box wouldn't go back to a 5 in a manual. I've driven a 7 speed semi-auto and at say 35mph you do find yourself faffing around wondering wether you should be in 4th/5th or 6th gear! But that was only a 20min drive and I'm sure you soon learn the characteristics of your engine and know where you want to be. I have always wanted a real cruze gear to drop the rpm on the motorway, something my old type r needed. But as for 9 well it does smell a little of mines bigger than yours even though it does probably improve economy a little. But surely after 9 gears your might as well develop a cvt box?

19 July 2010

[quote Johnny English]How long before the BMW 10 speed auto? Remind anyone of the race between Gillette and Wilkinson Sword to squeeze the most blades in a razor?
[/quote]

Which brings me onto the statement from Merc saying drivers could not cope with more than 9 speeds. I guess that is why CVT's don't sell then and an infinite amount of gear ratios is too much for us pea brained humans to cope with.

Can you imagine how nice a small block chevy V8 hooked up to a CVT would sound? The gearbox immediatley getting the engine to sit at its torque peak burbling away. Lovely!

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