By on April 17, 2013

GM and Ford will be working together to bring 9 and 10 speed transmissions to market. Reuters reports that the two companies will jointly develop the gearboxes for both front and rear-drive applications, and expect to use them in cars, trucks and SUVs.

Automotive News reports that GM will take responsibility for a transverse 9-speed gearbox, while Ford will handle the longitudinal 10-speed unit. Production is expected to begin in 2016, and that volumes for each transmission could exceed one million units annually by 2018.

TTAC’s own Alex Dykes outlined the way that OEMs share gearboxes from various parts suppliers. GM and Ford already source many transmissions from third party suppliers. Their new 9-speed design will face competition from ZF’s upcoming 9-speed unit (above), which is expected to be used in Honda products as well as Chrysler’s full line of transverse vehicles.

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78 Comments on “GM, Ford Prepare To Downshift To 8th Gear...”


  • avatar
    Pebble

    This is getting ridiculous; soon cars will have 13 speed trans like an 18 wheeler. I want a 2 speed Powerglide! Screw CAFE regulations that force such abominations on a supposedly free market.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      Better that than a buzzy four-cylinder hooked up to a crappy CVT.

      Then again, I just upgraded from a 3-speed w/OT to two six-speeds, so clearly I’m happy back here on the trailing edge.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Bless you Pebble. CAFE is insane.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      “I got ten forward gears,
      And a Georgia overdrive.
      I’m taking little white pills,
      And my eyes are open wide.
      I just passed a ‘Jimmy’ and a ‘White’:
      I’ve been passin’ everything in sight.
      Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight.”

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Be prepared for many responses trying to convince you CAFE is a “good” thing. This coming from supposed car guys. Industry or enthusiast, both should know better.

      • 0 avatar
        Kinosh

        I agree, if you want to reduce fuel consumption, then just increase the gas tax. People can drive what they want, no need for all the oversight and accounting for CAFE regs, but the onus to increase fuel efficiency would still be there.

        Why put regulations in when the power of higher prices in a free market would work just as well?

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          The reality is that if a gas tax increase were politically possible, it would have been done instead of CAFE. Convince people to back a gas tax increase with more transparent costs to consumers instead of CAFE, and maybe you could change it.

          A gas tax increase has long been necessary for infrastructure purposes anyway. Neglecting our infrastructure, as we have been doing, is a good way to prevent growth.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Right. If a higher fuel taxes were put in place, the consumer would easily correlate the increased cost directly to the politician, which is electoral suicide if you’re seeking to stay in office.

            With CAFE, the bureaucrats get to conveniently shovel their problem onto the manufacturers. If the OEMs cry about it, call them greedy and conspiratory and the public will believe it.

        • 0 avatar
          darkwing

          Gas taxes are not the free market. Gas prices, on the other hand, are.

          Besides, using a regressive tax that impacts nearly everyone, to change the behavior of those well enough off to buy politically incorrect vehicles, seems like horribly bad policy.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Not necessarily, if that tax approximates the externalities caused by the behavior.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            You’ll have to explain to me how funding a bureaucrat’s retirement manages to “offset” the damage from whatever pollutant of the moment my car is spewing.

            And this clumsy and regressive form of social engineering invites even more clumsy and regressive social engineering when it “unexpectedly” fails (i.e. people don’t give up their cars and cram themselves into city apartments the way their limousine-riding betters want them to).

          • 0 avatar
            Kinosh

            Gasoline taxes stay out of the general fund, and are earmarked specifically for infrastructure purposes.

            The “pollutant of the moment” are the same gases of concern that ICEs have always produced; NOX, CO, CO2, and unburnt hydrocarbons. They have health and climate changing effects.

            Raising prices does not fail to change behavior, in fact, it is one of the most effective forms of changing behavior.

            You’re correct about it being regressive, however.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            Where “infrastructure” includes the army of people responsible for handing out the money. (Armies, actually — the federal one to collect and redistribute it, then the fifty state ones to actually spend it.)

            And it would be helpful if you could make up your mind about whether the gas tax is supposed to fund the roads or absolve me of my sin of not taking the bus.

            My argument wasn’t that the market doesn’t adapt to higher taxes; it was in response to the ridiculous assertion that raising taxes for the purposes of social engineering is somehow a pro-free market position.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Gas taxes are specifically dedicated to certain things already, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

            You can keep politicians hands out of certain buckets of money if the systems are designed correctly. For all of California’s crappy systems (many of which were generated by its highly flawed ballot proposition systems), there are several that are good because the money has restrictions.

            I fail to see how paying for externalities is “social engineering” — but then again, “social engineering” is just code word for “someone wants to do something I disagree with.”

          • 0 avatar
            Kinosh

            They are designed to do both. There are costs involved in the infrastructure and the emissions. I’ll use cigarette taxes in New York as an example of taxes playing a dual role.

            Having gas taxes (which pay for the costs of using gasoline) in lieu of CAFE is the very definition of a free market solution.

            CAFE are regulations, decided by politicians. An increase in the price of fuel that covers the cost of producing/using it allows anyone to use it in any vehicle. No laws, no credits, no arbitrary changing of standards.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “Where “infrastructure” includes the army of people responsible for handing out the money.”

            No, it doesn’t. Infrastructure is infrastructure.

            “And it would be helpful if you could make up your mind about whether the gas tax is supposed to fund the roads or absolve me of my sin of not taking the bus.”

            It would be helpful if you didn’t make stuff up.

            “it was in response to the ridiculous assertion that raising taxes for the purposes of social engineering is somehow a pro-free market position.”

            No, in fact, it can be completely harmonious with a free market position (which is a meaningless term anyway…). If everyone must pay for their externalities, then you actually have a more efficient market. However, as we said before, you have to actually use the money to remedy those externalities.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            @corn: I think you have an unrealistically rosy view of how well those restrictions actually work. And I don’t know how much clearer I can make the concept of “overhead”.

            Care to actually quantify some of those “externalities” for me? Or, like “green”, is it code for “there’s always something wrong, so give me money”?

            @Kinosh: I think you’re failing to consider the drag the gas tax necessarily exerts on the market. Going back to my earlier point about indulgences, simply handing money to the government for noble-seeming reasons doesn’t automatically make it good. Would that money have been better off invested in efficiency research rather than in a detachment of lawyers and diversity officers?

            My point was that you can’t call something a free-market solution without at least acknowledging the *entire* market.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            @corn: I don’t think you understand how the federal gas tax works. Or can you demonstrate that the overhead comes entirely out of DOT’s operating budget?

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            And if you don’t think externalities can’t cause distortions in a “free market” (again, whatever that means), then you don’t understand efficient markets. Members of the marketplace can exploit these distortions and make the market less efficient.

            As examples, externalities of driving don’t have to be just pollution. It could be damage to roadways or other costs that driving exerts on others.

            Currently, there is a big distortion for infrastructure because big trucks damage roads far more than passenger vehicles, but they don’t pay more to repair that infrastructure.

            Just because you’re not imaginative enough to figure out how to make it work doesn’t mean it can’t work. No one’s saying hand it over to bureaucrats and politicians so they can spend it on their pet projects.

            We don’t do this, but you could easily earmark cigarette taxes to be used for health problems related to cigarettes. In fact, plenty of people have done economic studies on what the cost of smoking is, and it’s actually far less than many states’ excise tax rate on cigarettes — largely because smokers die earlier and release their Social Security and pension funds to non-smokers.

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      Can’t tell if serious. I had a buddy in high school with an underpowered Ford Falcon with the 2 speed auto. I haven’t seen him in years, but I imagine he’s still pulling away from that stoplight.

    • 0 avatar
      E46M3_333

      Agreed. 10 speed transmissions, engine stop-start, hybrid power trains, cylinder de-activation, electric steering, turbos, etc–all meant to squeeze a few tenths of MPGs while driving up cost and complexity. We’ll be trashing these cars after 10 years because they won’t be able to be fixed economically. Great way to save the planet.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        They said the same thing about fuel injection. How’d that work out?

        Also, by your numbers shouldn’t we expect junkyards to be crammed with 10+ year old Prii that were retired because they couldn’t be fixed economically?

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          Yeah, also Honda Accords with cylinder deactivation, like the one I rented many years ago.

          There’s always a bit of “get off my lawn” on this stuff.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      This is not all CAFE. There are other reasons to have more forward gears but we would need to teach you some physics first I’ll let the Internets do that.

      4-speed turbohydra will own a powerglide on the strip and street any day. Only benefit to the two speeder is the industry built up around it for drag racing. You need to use a super loose convertor to make the most of it through hydraulic torque multiplication…which works like say…a CVT, I bet you hate those too…

      Might need to update the name of this site to “The Truth about Luddites”…

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    A not remarked on consequence of the development of these “super multispeed” transmissions is that the engines designed to be connected to them will be optimized for operation in a very narrow rpm band — for fuel economy and power, most likely using turbocharging. In that sense, cars powered by these combinations will resemble 10-wheel dump trucks powered by slow-turning large displacement, turbocharged diesels. If you pay attention, you can hear the driver of these trucks make two shifts before he even gets across an intersection, after starting from a dead stop. As with these big diesels, engine power will be controlled not so much by varying engine speed, but by controlling the amount of boost fed by the turbo and running the throttle more or less wide open all the time, except when coasting or idling. Under coasting conditions, there’s very likely going to be a complete fuel shutoff (in a warm engine); and start/stop will keep the engine from idling.

    All this is very fine, I suppose, but these engines will not be fun to drive when hooked up to manual trannies which – from an operator usability standpoint — are going to have to be limited to 6 speeds. An engine designed this way is not going to “wind up” in the classic way a normally-aspirated engine does. You can already sample the difference if you compare the “drive” of the new BMW turbocharged 4 cylinder with the classic 3-liter M54 BMW engine, or even its successor the N52.

    Of course, the turbo 4 is a much better drive when hooked up to an automatic than the M54 . . . which, I think, is the point.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “Under coasting conditions, there’s very likely going to be a complete fuel shutoff (in a warm engine)”

      On a modern fuel-injected engine, coasting already results in a complete fuel shutoff at engine speeds above idle.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        DFCO or Deceleration Fuel Cut Off has been around since the early 90′s on Fords with a manual trans. Doing it with automatics and the introduction of ADFCO “Agressive” (keeping it shut off until lower rpm) is a bit newer.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          It’s been around for longer than that. Certainly a lot of manufacturers who had moved to fuel injection realized that it was better than air injection to shut off the injectors on coasting. Check out a early 80s automatic Datsun — they do it too, although I believe the injectors cut back in at a higher RPM.

          Those same 90s Fords you’re talking about with automatics, did you ever ride in one with a trip computer? Put one in “Instant MPG” mode and see what happens when you let off the gas. The number spikes to 99 or whatever the numerical display limit for that car is. It’s really infinity, because no gas was flowing and you’re dividing by zero.

          I’ve definitely seen this happen on a 90s Cadillac, and I’ve seen it happen on a 90s Lincoln too.

          It’s entirely possible that it’s happening until a lower RPM now, but this has been the case on many cars for a long time, even carbureted ones I believe.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            My ’85 4100 Cadillac had this deceleration feature and its trip computer would show 99 on coasting downhill.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      Hmm so the diesel (narrow powerband) lovers should be embracing these 9 and 10 speed trans, but yet something tells me they are going to reject them.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        That’s why the BMW 3-Series diesel has an automatic only, according to what people have mentioned on TTAC — it makes more sense given the limited powerband.

        In any case, what has been theorized (that these gas engines will be optimized with diesel-like characteristics) hasn’t happened yet — they still have full ranges, and are probably better than previous engines in that regard.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          It is interesting if you look at gear ratios over the years, I read an article somewhere about “close ratio” and “wide ratio” gearboxes from the 60s/70s, basically the point was a modern trans is the equivalent of a “super ultra wide” gearbox…todays motor has a much wider power band. Those stump pulling muscle cars were very limited range powertrains.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @DC Bruce
      Heavy duty truck diesels are long stroke engines. A long stroke engine will have a smaller powerband than engine that is more over square.

      If you look at the ‘car’ diesels from Europe like the diesel the Ram will be getting the VM V6. Then look at my 3.2 Duratorqe in my BT50, those two engines have different characteristics due to the stroke length/bore ratios of the engines.

      The VM has a much broader torque band. Valve timing ie lead, lag and overlap along with inlet and exhuast tuning has an affect of torque as well.

      If you guys are going to use engines as examples, please look at the engine design.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Let me step up to the plates to counterpoint the CAFE bashers.
    IHMO during the last time CAFE really was forcing things was the 80′s. There was some fairly impressive progress in that decade in engineering.
    This story is an indication that technical progress is again being prodded by regulations.
    Seems when CAFE pressures were removed in the mid 90′s through the late 00′s that progress stalled and we had something of the SUV/truck equivalent of the 70′s dark ages in automotive design.
    So, CAFE is easy to target, how about some alternative suggestions?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      What we did end up with after the first implementation of CAFE was smaller cars with less power and content, cars with prices that rose %11 faster than inflation and 34% faster than the average income, and higher traffic fatalities due to impacts between the new smaller cars and legacy large vehicles.

      If anything, we can expect similar results corresponding to these facts.

      Vehicular progress was already under way due to the fuel crisis, it didn’t need to be forced through regulation. Consumers demand the right amount of change at the right time with their buying habits.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Exactly

      • 0 avatar
        Kinosh

        The idea of CAFE is increasing fuel efficiency while still keeping the appearance of an automotive “free market”.

        The idea that consumers demand the right amount of change at the right time is ridiculous. As it stands, the price of fuel does not include all sorts of externalities (pollution, climate changing gases, etc.). Consumers are perfectly happy to ignore those so long as they aren’t being charged for them. Full disclosure, this would affect me a lot! I drive between 20k-25k miles/year.

        If you want to have that be true, then price fuel to the point where it includes those costs.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Emissions are already regulated by a separate regulatory regime. CAFE is supposed to be about gas mileage.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Emissions are already regulated by a separate regulatory regime. CAFE is supposed to be about gas mileage.”

            This. Emissions is a whole other regulatory story, but are correlated in the real world. Manufacturers have found that they can meet CO2 targets simply by meeting fuel economy targets.

            Not so with previously standing emissions regs, where in many cases, the vehicle burns MORE fuel to reduce certain emissions, like NOx. Or in the case of modern diesels, where fuel is injected on the exhaust stroke during a regeneration event to clean the particulate filter.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Vehicular progress was already under way due to the fuel crisis”

        I agree with Danio’s overall comment and progress is still being made today because of the 21st century fuel crisis. Mainstream automakers will never again be able to offer gashogs only and expect to stay in business very long. Forcing automakers into unrealistic corporate fleet mileage figures (or get shaken down) will only hurt the majority of the population who isn’t buying the full size truck or pony car because the 80% or so of mainstream models will have to suck out load to attain those figures.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Those are some impressive sweeping broad brush statements you make in your first sentence. Care to back them up with references?

        I will elaborate on what I meant. Over the 80s we saw increases in vehicle capability in terms of acceleration, handling, fuel efficiency.. We saw a increase in multi valve motors, fuel injection, anti-lock brakes, more sophisticated suspensions and more. The 80s started out with the over sized clumsy extremely inefficient boxy versions of 60s cars and we ended the 80s on a far more European note in how cars were contstituted. Cars were generally far better in all ways than they were in 1979.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Those are some impressive sweeping broad brush statements you make in your first sentence. Care to back them up with references?

        I will elaborate on what I meant. Over the 80s we saw increases in vehicle capability in terms of acceleration, handling, fuel efficiency.. We saw a increase in multi valve motors, fuel injection, anti-lock brakes, more sophisticated suspensions and more. The 80s started out with the over sized clumsy extremely inefficient boxy versions of 60s cars and we ended the 80s on a far more European note in how cars were contstituted. Cars were generally far better in all ways than they were in 1979.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I guess it depends on your definition of progress. Transmissions that will never hold a gear for more than 2.5 seconds don’t seem like progress to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @ttacgreg
      So impressive most vehicles in the US are now Euro clones redesigned because of ‘other’ technical barriers.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    I will add this as well. I have been an observer of the automotive market in USA since the 60s. It is a repeated pattern that the government proposes/imposes some standards and regulations and the counterpoint is screaming and yelling from the (especially American) automotive industry saying it is the end of the world, cars are going to awful, this is impossible, yada yada yada . . .
    Time goes by and remarkably innovative ways are found to meet the standards.
    I expect this pattern to repeat itself. If anything I am surprised by the relative lack of resistance by the Industry this time around.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The industry knows it doesn’t look good to vocally counterpoint the regulations as it’s perceived as kicking and screaming. They know that they can eventually meet the standards, and what the ramifications will be, they’ll just make the changes and bill the customer.

      Of course there are certain areas where certain manufacturers will hurt more than others, and they get their lobby involved to make loopholes, exceptions, and credits. This is how we end up with such complicated rules.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    The only way I can see a 10 speed box working is if it is like an off road vehicle with a low & high range. Low range for 5 close ratio speeds in slow speeds and the high range for highway use. If not the CONSTANT gear changes will result in a very poor ride and in that case give me a CVT rather…

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Here is one for the trolls. Fix Or Repair Daily + GM’s legendary “value for money” (read cheap) to make a super complex 10 speed gear box… Give me VW’s DSG rather!

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Just to join the CAFE party . . . my only beef with CAFE is that none of the genisues in Washington get the concept of diminishing returns, with their obliviousness being aided by the deceptive practice of expressing fuel economy in miles per gallon of fuel consumed. If you convert the fuel consumed into dollars, at whatever price per gallon you choose and express fuel economy is amount of fuel consumed per unit of distance travelled (e.g. gallons/mile), it is easy to see that the dollar benefits of going from 30 to 40 mpg are much less than the dollar benefits of going from 20 to 30 mpg. At the same time, heroic efforts to increase fuel economy also come at an increasing cost. In the real world, the fuel saving benefits of buying, say, a Prius over a new Honda Accord with Honda’s new DI four cylinder engine or a new Mazda 6 with its “Skyactiv” engine are really quite small.

    And we all know, the “quick and dirty” way to increase fuel economy would be to eliminate heavy, aerodynamically inefficient SUVs which struggle to do much better than 20 mpg on the highway, unless powered by a diesel engine — which creates its own set of problems. But, for political reasons, that’s not gonna’ happen.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The whole MPG doesn’t tell you the benefit of going from 20 MPG to 30 MPG is less than going from 30 MPG to 40 MPG is so misguided. You only need to have passed about 4th grade math to be able to figure out that in the first case you are getting 50% better MPG and the the second case that you are only seeing a 33% improvement. On the other hand figuring out the improvement from 5 gal/100mi to 3.33 gal/100mi or from 3.33 to 2.5 gal/100mi is not nearly as easy to compute nor as obvious.

      As far as the benefits of choosing say a Prius vs an Accord or Mazda 6 are not that small and easy to compute using MPG. It is pretty easy to see that the Prius’ 50 MPG combined is twice that of the Mazda 6 so you will spend 1/2 as much on fuel or using the data on fueleconomy.gov that Prius will save you over $1000 per year in fuel costs while it will only beat the 30MPG Accord by $700 per year. Keep that car 5 years and that is $5000 or $3500, which at least in my book is not that small.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        The important metric for fuel efficiency is gallons of fuel used, so I prefer gal/100 mi. It’s more transparent for the measure that matters.

        I agree, if you use the percentages, it makes slightly more sense. However, when you move from 40 mpg to 50 mpg, people who can’t do math (which is a lot of people) think that’s better than 16 mpg to 25 mpg, even though it’s not.

  • avatar
    Mikein08

    “And we all know, the “quick and dirty” way to increase fuel economy would be to eliminate heavy, aerodynamically inefficient SUVs which struggle to do much better than 20 mpg on the highway, unless powered by a diesel engine — which creates its own set of problems. But, for political reasons, that’s not gonna’ happen.”

    Eliminate this type of SUV and what would the federal police types
    drive? Also, the feds are quite addicted to the gasoline tax revenue
    these things generate. So are the states.

    Personally, I see no reason for any tranny with more than 6 speeds,
    and in most cases 5 works very well (drive a Honda 5 speed auto and
    tell me if you disagree). And won’t these newer multi-speed trannys
    be maintenance and reliability nightmares? Doesn’t a CVT do the same
    job a multi-speed conventional automatic does?

  • avatar
    Syke

    My collection of 10 to 24 speed racing bicycles is starting to feel threatened.

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    Now we are going to get the “why not use a CVT” guy. Before we go down that road – keep in mind the ZF 8 speeds will change gear faster. What they can do that people can’t do well (and CVTs absolutely can’t). Is go from say 8th to 2nd very quickly. (2/10 of a second). Yes you can do something similiar with a manual – but its pretty damn hard. I will skip a gear – but not six!

    (BTW why do they use paddle shifters – they should give you a gear shift lever that lets you do the same thing – but I digress).

    BTW the engines that use these transmissions DO NOT have narrow power hands. Whereas a turbo diesel might – the modern turbo DI have very wide power bands.

    For example the VAG 2.0L makes peak torque at 1500 – and stays fairly flat to 6000+. Its not like an electric but its alot more flexible then older non DI no turbo engines.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Give your ZF 8-speed time. By 15,000 miles, the one I drive had completely lost the plot. Car and Driver attributed the 10% increase in standing start acceleration times of their 40,000 mile A8L to transmission wear, and that sounds right to me.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        You said your car has two drivers. Are you sure it hasn’t adapted to either the other driver or an amalgam of the two of you? If one is a leadfoot, and one is not, the adaptive nature of the transmission might be giving you a weird result.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if C&D also has this issue. They have a ton of different drivers.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          I’m not sure why flooring the gas pedal and spending what feels like entire seconds waiting for a gear to be found and torque transfer to occur would suit anyone’s driving style. The other driver has taken to using the shift paddles in the past couple weeks. This won’t end well.

          Previously, he routinely put the car in sport mode while I preferred regular drive mode since I don’t like my head snapping forward when I lift off the gas. One might think that since we didn’t use the same shift programs, we wouldn’t have confused the transmission with our different driving styles.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “(BTW why do they use paddle shifters – they should give you a gear shift lever that lets you do the same thing – but I digress).”

      Some do have a shift lever and some do have both paddles and the shift lever.

      “BTW the engines that use these transmissions DO NOT have narrow power hands. Whereas a turbo diesel might – the modern turbo DI have very wide power bands.”

      Yeah, exactly. This is something that DC Bruce theorized, but it hasn’t happened in practice yet. If anything, the engines attached to these transmissions have larger RPM ranges than older engines and have broader torque plateaus too.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    More disposable transmissions that will force consumers to buy new cars every few years.

    Of course the bureaucrats that made these ridiculous CAFE restrictions that forced manufacturers to offer 8 and 10 speed transmissions to squeeze 1 more mile per gallon will of course NEVER be caught dead buying a used car without a warranty anyway, so it’s no big deal.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Yeah, it’s like Cash for Clunkers. It only hurts poor people, so who gives a fk, as long as it makes us feel green.

      • 0 avatar
        Kinosh

        Is there any reason to believe this is going to be the case?

        Every new technology will have its teething problems, but we work it out in the end.

        As a thought experiment, do you really believe that a brand new 1960′s vehicle would be more reliable/durable/cheaper to own than a vehicle built today just because it is simpler, less efficient, bigger, etc.?

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          Agreed. I don’t see all these Luddites crying for the crank start.

          Current vehicles run far longer with far less maintenance than those idealized cars ever did. Meanwhile, a lot of the people complaining about this stuff trade cars frequently enough that it doesn’t matter.

          “Back in my day, we walked uphill both ways in the snow with holes in our shows, and our automatic transmissions only had 3-speeds.”

          Yeah, but your cars rusted out in 5 years or died early deaths for other reasons, and needed massive adjustments frequently in order to run properly.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            “Current vehicles run far longer with far less maintenance than those idealized cars ever did.”

            The current fleet is competent overall, but it might not be an accurate predictor of the cars being built at the moment, or the ones coming in the next decade. If you want to look at long term ownership of feature laden cars, try looking at resale value of the 10 year old luxury cars had these features. $8K for an average mileage 2002 745i? E32s were more than that when they were 10 years old, and they weren’t particularly reliable themselves. The dollar was worth quite a bit more then as well. We’re leaping into the regulatory fantasyland of a megalomaniacal imbecile too, which means new machinery will be pressed into service on an abbreviated schedule. You’re not applying yourself, if you think the durability of last year’s Camry has anything to do with next year’s 9-speed, video game controlled, turbocharged CAFE special.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Yeah, and people said the same crap about every other technological advance too. Again, let’s go back to crank ignitions — sometimes those fancy ones fail.

            The resale value of those cars is correlated to the buyer’s ability to fix it, not the electronic features. I’m quite happy about those resale values because I do great pre-purchase inspections and have a lot of knowledge about how the cars I’m buying work by reading forums and shop manuals.

            The reality is that if everyone who bought a 7-series kept it and fixed anything that went wrong instead of getting a new 7-series, they’d be financially better off. However people who buy a 7-series usually want a newer car every few years and are willing to spend money for that. The 2nd/3rd/4th owners of these vehicles never had the money in the first place.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            People said the same thing when CAFE was introduced, and the result was a decade and a half of the worst cars since before the Model-T.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Well, you won’t get any argument from me on CAFE. A higher gas tax would be a far better solution and produce a more efficient market if done correctly.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Diminishing the standard of living of the working classes and creating more structural unemployment isn’t one of my objectives, but raising energy costs would get it done even better than CAFE.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Other than maybe the Volt, “GM and Ford” combined with “new technology” is generally not a recipe for short-term greatness.

          Do you really want to be first in line to own their all-new 9-speed transmission?

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Probably more likely to be first in line than if I heard that Honda designed an all-new 9-speed.

            Ford Hybrids also seem do be decent and seem to thrive in livery usage.

  • avatar
    jcisne

    9 and 10 speed transmissions are old tech. Take a look at this GMC Denali, it has a 21 speed transmission!

    http://www.amazon.com/GMC-Denali-Medium-Frame-Yellow/dp/B002GNWPK2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366248820&sr=8-1&keywords=bicycle

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Does anyone think people are demanding fuel efficient cars in this country because of CAFE? People are demanding them because gasoline is expensive, without exorbitant fuel taxes. Whether or not fuel taxes should be raised is irrelevant. Prices are plenty high enough to create demand for fuel efficient cars without raising “petrol” prices to European socialist death watch levels. That’s why people are demanding them. CAFE just forces auto manufactures into various contortions to game CAFE. CAFE should be doused with expensive gasoline and burned.

    CAFE is a market distorting nightmare with no benefit whatsoever. It does not raise taxes for road maintenance. It is not an alternative to fuel taxes. It should not be included in a discussion of fuel taxes. It has nothing to do with fuel taxes.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Seems to me that as CAFE standards have increased fuel economy, the number of cars with 300+ to 500+ horsepower have increased dramatically. You can buy a 300+ HP V6 Mustang for $25k that would blow the doors off (in every way) a Fox-Body 5.0 liter of yore, and get 50% better gas mileage while doing it.

    You just can’t please some people :-)

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Seems to me some people just have never met a government regulation they won’t contort their minds to defend :)

  • avatar
    shaker

    You gotta love it when an article about automatic transmissions will fan the flames of political discourse.

    Which happens a lot here (and on the greater Interwebz) lately.


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