Mercedes does not plan to go beyond nine gears in its automatic gearboxes, a senior engineer has revealed.
Mercedes, meanwhile, intends to offer no more than nine gears, according to Marcus Sommer, Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system engineer. He said the firm has run 81 billion different computer simulations for gearbox scenarios and believes nine speeds work best.
Mercedes’ nine-speed auto is being introduced across the range, including on the new GLS. The GLS 63 AMG still uses the old seven-speed ’box, but the nine-speeder will replace it. The firm has no plans to offer a more potent GLS 65 AMG version, though.
Plug-in hybrid tech will also have to wait until the next-gen GLS, due in 2018, because housing the powertrain from the GLE 500e would require removing the third row of seats.