It probably won’t help Herr Dr Martin Winterkorn’s indigestion any, but Automotive News [sub] reports that Hyundai Motor Group (the technical umbrella firm that supplies technology to both Hyundai and Kia) is developing a new 10-speed automatic transmission, which
will be for luxury models starting in 2014, possibly including the Hyundai Genesis and Equus luxury sedans.
Hyundai debuted an eight-speed autobox over a year ago, matching the industry standard for luxury cars. But with ZF announcing a new nine-speed box, Hyundai is taking things a step further… or is it a cog too far?
Some reviewers already complain that eight speeds is too many, and that too many cogs create an overly “busy” transmission. Also, ZF’s driveline boss Gerhard Wagner insisted back in 2009
a major step towards the reduction of fuel consumption such as the one we have seen from the automatic six to the eight-speed transmission will not be possible with more gear steps. If there was an ideal transmission, with our current solution we are only about 11 percent away from it.
Which raises an interesting question: is Hyundai leading the industry, or trolling it, taunting the titans of luxury with its extra gear? Or is this misinformation, leaked in hopes of luring the ultra-status-conscious luxury brands into a pointless investment? Either way, it ensures the name “Hyundai” will be echoing through automotive boardrooms for at least a little longer.