ZF has developed the world's first nine-speed automatic gearbox for FWD cars
13 January 2011

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

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK