Are You Ready For: 10-Speed Hyundais?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Sep 29, 2011

    It goes right along the current tire fad or "ours are bigger than yours" edition. Most people today probably couldn't even tell you what the difference between an OHV vs an OHC engine are or what VVT stands for or how SIDI works. So the marketing geniuses have come up with the more is better syndrome of which today's technology obsessed youth automatically gravitate towards with little regard to the real world. Yes we are quickly approaching 8-10K out of warranty transmission replacement costs!

  • ClutchCarGo ClutchCarGo on Sep 29, 2011

    Dear God, it's the number of blades on a razor competition, only applied to very expensive metal now.

  • Ion Ion on Sep 29, 2011

    They're wasting all this money on a car nobody buys. What they should be spending R&D on is the Sonata hybrid, 35mpg city is waaaayyy below the bar.

  • Faco1000 Faco1000 on Sep 30, 2011

    I don't think is a very bad idea. In my opinion, this has great potential to increase fuel efficiency while at the same time allowing manufacturers to keep building big engines. The way I think this 10 ratio transmissions should be used is the followed: 5 or 6 ratios should be used for regular acceleration under normal conditions, like if it was a normal automatic transmission. The 4 or 5 ratios left should, in my opinion, be used only to cruise at certain speed in order to maximize fuel consumption at such speeds. Let's say you have a ratio that will only be used when you cruise around 30 mph, then another for 45 mph, 55 mph and so on. You get the idea. This way, the transmission won't be busy shifting through 10 ratios just to get you from 0 to 60 or so. You could play around with the ratios and their uses to obtain the desired effect. Giving ratios special uses for certain situations is the way to go. This is just my opinion and I am in no way expert. Just a thought.