By on May 11, 2016

The all-new 10 speed automatic transmission is the first 10 speed automatic for a volume production car.  The performance 10 speed transmission transfers power and torque with quick shifts and maintains more engine power after each shift. Image: General Motors

It’s official: the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will have more gears than a typical IROC-Z owner has teeth.

General Motors revealed today the new aluminum-cased beauty, touting 10 forward gears and upshifts quicker than a dual-clutch automated-manual transmission, will make its non-truck debut in the Camaro ZL1.

Did Camaro tell Mustang to step outside for a fuel-economy contest? Maybe not.

The new 10-speed was developed in partnership with Ford and will see its first application at the Blue Oval in the forthcoming Ford Raptor. As the transmission is engineered for rear-wheel-drive applications, there’s nothing holding Ford back from installing it in a Mustang — possibly called Mach I.

However, at General Motors, the 640 horsepower, supercharged, LT4-powered Camaro will be the first car-based recipient of the 10-speed. Other candidates include GM’s full-size pickups and SUVs (which will receive the transmission first, before the Camaro), and possibly Alpha-platform-based Cadillacs and Corvette.

We previously posted an in-depth look of the new cog-swapper if you want to geek out over its engineering.

GM claims the new autobox will increase fuel economy and performance with a wider overall gear ratio spread of 7.39, a short first-gear ratio of 4.70, a tall top gear, and shorter jumps between gears. GM also states the new transmission shifts quicker between the first four gears than Porsche’s much touted PDK. (I still haven’t driven a 911, in case you were wondering.) We’re more than willing to test that claim, GM (and Porsche).

Think 10 gears isn’t enough? Ford has a patent that cranks transmission development up to Spinal Tap-approved levels, but we haven’t yet heard how FoMoCo will apply that development.

[Image: General Motors]

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94 Comments on “GM’s 10-Speed Automatic to Make Car Debut in Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (And It Could Find Its Way Into a Mustang, Too)...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    All Hail CAFE!

    The 8 speed, 9 speed, 10 speed, 14 speed, 21 1/2 speed, and ultimately, 164 speed transmissions will buy the earth time until fully automated, hydrogen fuel transportation pods (driving & flying – Jetson’s style) arrive.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      p.s. – Post-warranty transmission shops rejoice, also, as do the automakers themselves, as the cost of fixing this post-warranty probably will rival a new subcompact car purchase.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Boo efficiency and performance! Bring back the 3 speed auto from the late ’90s Neons.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Maybe Elon can transform the transmission:

          Step 1 – Unveil transmission that can’t be built but looks great (have fake prototype)

          Step 2 – Crowdfund hundreds of millions from Kool-Aid cultists

          Step 3 – Announce technical challenges in finalizing concept but in confident tone that it will be done

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Step 4 – Remind investors that the Tesla transmission cures cancer

            Step 5 – Have Lotus design the transmission, but re-brand their work as ‘Nicola Certified’

            Step 6 – Deliver Job 1 two years late, at which point GM has already gone bankrupt

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I feel like there is some sort of reasonable middle ground between a 120hp 3-speed car and a 640hp 10-speed one.

        • 0 avatar
          shedkept

          “Slip n slide” Powerglide. 2 speed still a good choice in drag racing.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Hah! Powerglide and a 283 in my lightweight, 3800 lb. ’65 Impala was good for 12 MPG on the freeway! It may be great for high torque drag racers, but for street legal cars, it sucks.

        • 0 avatar
          redliner

          Forget the neon, where is my 2-speed Dynaflow! Featuring purely hydraulic propulsion and and full lockup, but only in park.

        • 0 avatar
          Jason

          “Boo efficiency and performance! Bring back the 3 speed auto from the late ’90s Neons.”

          *shudder*

          My wife had one of those. And it was purple.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Tesla did them one better, and brought back the one speed.

          Elon’s Makita powered wonder, is pretty much an 80K fixed gear! No wonder the hipsters are lining up.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        Nothing magical in here to repair/replace.
        Planetaries, clutches, hubs, and shafts, just more of them.
        Being a Chevy there will be plenty of parts long term.
        It’s not like a CVT where there is no availability of internals for rebuilds.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Deadweight – I was there in the thick of it when the 1st “Overdrive” automatics came out. Whoa!! I stayed out of that madness, hanging on to my 3-speed with both hands. Mine was $325 to rebuild, while the insane “1st adopters” were hit with up to $1,200!!

        They were saying they saved ‘that’ on gas or something.

        You were gonna lease that ZL1 anyway. But it’s always came down to “hard parts”. Does a 10-speed have much more hard gears and planetaries? Or just more clutch packs and brakes?

        But eventually the rebuild price will ease up, and ‘used’ units will be poping up too. At least it’s a Chevy, not a BMW or some crap. Heck, it might even be *reliable*

        And you’re gonna get a manual trans anyway, ya madman.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    *Shakes head*

    Just getting into an unusable number of gears. The transmission spends so much time hunting around for fuel economy that you’re never in the gear you want.

    Next step after this will be a HD CVT they can use in truck applications, when they get it figured out.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Amount of gears doesnt really bother me, the fact that the computer tries to use all of them all the time.

      If I request a downshift, and you jump from 9 to 5, and were accelerating, hold 5th! Dont do a million calcs and think well darnit, 6th would have been better and while the driver seems happy I think Ill grab the “optimal” gear anyways.

      NO. Just grab a gear and use it! I maintain that programming is the issue in modern transmission.

      Heck, if you consider a 10 speed as two 5 speeds, you could have a light duty and heavy duty gearset. Have a light load kick down gear and heavy load kickdown gear. Shifting one gear only is not allowed!

      Simple programming rules like that might make things better. The ratio spread is there, its just less annoyingly utilized.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Take this trans on a shake down run from Flagstaff, AZ to Santa Rosa, NM on I40 – set the cruise control at a little above 80 mph.

        I doubt even the computer will be able to keep track of the number of shifts based on elevation changes.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        “Heck, if you consider a 10 speed as two 5 speeds, you could have a light duty and heavy duty gearset.”

        Well, it sounds more like a 5 speed + a 2 speed heavy/light duty selector, essentially the same as a bicycle front chain rings + rear cogs–one smaller chain ring for off-road and one larger chain ring for on-road. All 5 rear gears would be used with both chain rings.

      • 0 avatar
        MrMem0ry

        I agree with the notion that this may actually be too many gears and the transmission programming is a serious issue. It seems that the best use of 10 speeds would be a dual-range setup for trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Wingnutty as that may sound, there is a non trivial probability that the only place a passenger car 10 speed provides meaningful benefit over an 8 speed, is during artificial mileage tests. More speeds, turbos, multiple fuel systems etc., does provide a few more degrees of freedom, that can be used to hyper optimize for EPA tests.

      And in totalitarian dystopias, government tests will always trump the real world, since no dude named “real world” has ever hired a lobbyist, nor set himself and his social circle up for a pension paid for by others at gunpoint.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        That sounds like the same sort of reasoning that had people circumventing the skip-shifts in the early GM 6-speed manuals.

        Maybe the aftermarket will find a way to lock out a few gears, so the computer doesn’t waste time deciding between 5 & 6.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Once again, youve figured out that it has major drivability issues before the first one is out of the factory! Great job! Can you also see lottery numbers in your magic crystal ball?

  • avatar
    VoGo

    It would be helpful if TTAC could gain access to the GM-Ford contract for transmission development. This way, we will know whether Camaro or Mustang has the right to ask the other to step outside.

    • 0 avatar
      ilkhan

      It was developed primarily by Ford (GM did most of the work on the 9 speed FWD auto).

      Camaro and F150 get it first for MY2017, then basically everything Ford or GM with RWD will be using this transmission for the 2018 model year.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Throughout history, who has done automatic transmissions better (meaning reliable, good transmissions), Ford or GM?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          They could sure build one during the Jin Dynasty.

          https://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/history/jin_dynasty/

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Probably GM. Ford has had some poopy transmissions, especially FWD transmissions. Working with GM on their last 6-speed really helped.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I was considering how many years the bad AOD was used (?) and also the CVT woes of the Freestyle era.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            The 4R70E had terrible shift quality but lasted a long time in very severe use (F150s, Crown Victorias etc). If that transmission needed a motto it would have been: Shifts like $hit for Hundreds of Thousands of Miles.

          • 0 avatar
            Exfordtech

            Among the horrible Fords I’d put the CD4E, AXOD/AX4S (and the slightly better AX4N), AOD, the LS/Tbird/Explorer 5R55/something or other. The Freestyle/500 CVT was a cost prohibitive unrepairable horrorshow (ZF sourced if I remember correctly). 4R70W is so so,

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          I would argue GM, since they always seemed to be the first to drop the manual option in any particular segment (the full-size pickup, for an example off the top of my head).

        • 0 avatar
          cgjeep

          Hard to say. In a GM product the motor breaks before the transmission. Ford, the transmission goes first. Who knows how long GM transmission will last.

  • avatar
    shedkept

    Transmission version of variable valve timing. They might as well design a HD CVT and be done with it.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      My opinion is the CVT will never be good enough.
      That’s why you haven’t seen them moving very high on the torque ratings.
      One big problem is the failure mode is catastrophic.
      In a conventional auto you can slip a range clutch inadvertantly and live on.
      Get metal-to-metal on the chain to pulley in a CVT one time and it’s big trouble.

  • avatar
    Dawnrazor

    Damn you! I now have to get through the day with a coffee stain on my shirt after laughing so hard at the first sentence that I choked, well done!

    As for the transmission, I also think the “gear wars” is getting ridiculous. I think the sweet spot for optimum drivability (and likely, long-term reliability) is probably 6-7 gears, though I have yet to drive an 8-speed. The 7-speed boxes in Infiniti and Mercedes products work very well in my experience, and I don’t think either would be improved by adding more ratios.

  • avatar

    Torqueflight 8-speed

    Nothing else even comes close.

    10-speeds sounds nice, but when all you’ve got is less than 707 HP, it’s just not AS nice.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      jmp2006

      I wonder if there exist any comments that you have made that DO NOT in some way reference your ownership of some Hellcat-badged product, its magical 700+ hp, and/or its superiority to any other product on the market. Is it even possible for you to make such a comment?

      Also, by the Torqueflight 8-speed, I suspect that you mean the ZF 8-speed that’s used by everyone and their grandmother, right?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      The eight speed in the Hemi Powered SLT Ram I just rented wasn’t the best.

      It appeared that when I feathered the throttle to maintain a constant speed either the computer or the transmission found it hard to determine where it should be.

      There was a graunching sound and sensation from the transmission in many of these situations.

      So, when you are driving thoughtfully and attempting to maximise engine speed/torque for better FE the transmission was half in and out of gear.

      This is not good.

      The eight speed I found to be wanting. Under full throttle the transmission/computer could manage and “read” what was required of it.

      Is this a great transmission?

      Not.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Are you sure you’re not feeling the effect of the cylinder deactivation in Hemi Rams? Or maybe even that wonder tranny, can’t quite cope with half the engine switching on and off at weird intervals.

        AFAIK, the Torqueflite 8 is just the old ZF8 produced on license by FCA. And that ZF8 has been, in my experience, as good as modern autos get. To get better than that, you have to step out of the toy store, and get a real tranny.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “Are you sure you’re not feeling the effect of the cylinder deactivation ”

          Cylinder deactivation/activation causes a shudder, not a confused transmission.

          The confused transmission is caused by the throttle-position sensor that instructs the engine-management system to match available torque to demand and maximize fuel economy.

          My son’s early 300 5.7L had the same issues. It can be disconcerting until the driver gets used to it.

          It feels downright weird when driving the mountainous twisties where throttle position is constantly changed.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        FCA’s ZF-clone 8 speed automatic is an excellent transmission, among the best I’ve experienced.

        (The 9 speed is just bad, with no caveats.)

    • 0 avatar
      Exfordtech

      Talk to livery companies about how poorly the lockup torque converter and its torsional dampers perform after about 100k in Chrysler 300s. Its like being in a stick shift car with someone who doesn’t know how to properly operate a clutch or when to shift. Then ask them how the 6F in the XTS or the MKT is doing. I don’t think you’re going to like what you hear. Also, could you check the level and condition of the fluid in that transmission for me?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        You beat me to it. I was thinking the same thing.

        But hey, then there is the other side of the coin, right? Did you hear about Victor Sheppard of Houma, La, and his million-mile 2007 Tundra pickup?

        Toyota swapped him a brand new 2016 Tundra for it. The whole story is on pickuptrucks dot com.

        At least Toyota still makes decent vehicles these days. It just reinforces my faith in Toyota. No shuddering. No shaking. Just decent vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I’ve yet to experience a single Ford automatic that snaps off shifts as crisply or timely as the aforementioned Chrysler ZF-Clone 8 speed.

        I’m not about to go and “ask a livery driver with a 100,000 mile+ transmission” how it feels nor am I going to check the trans fluid level.

        Ford makes some awful auto slushboxes, whether straight up conventional or, even worse, dual clutch abominations.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Ford’s current traditional automatic transmissions are good transmissions (the DCT is terrible). 6F and 6R are some of the best automatic transmissions that Ford has put in cars. Are they as crisp as the FCA/ZF 8-speed? No, but 6F has been around since 2006 and 6R since 2005. I wouldn’t expect either to be as crisp or timely as the ZF unit, which has been about as good as auto transmissions get. Also, 6R is only in one Ford vehicle that isn’t a truck.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Where are you going to find a livery operator that has a 300 and even if you did where would you find someone stupid enough to have kept patching it together for 100k. Fact is that police agencies mostly dumped their Chargers by 60K due to the problems they were experiencing. Look at PublicSurplus.com and you’ll find that many of the Chargers that trickle through there are either 60k mile examples and if they have mileage much in excess of that they have an announcement that there are either engine or transmission problems.

        • 0 avatar
          Exfordtech

          Try Logan Airport. The 2014 XTS I’m sitting in right now has 123505. Apart from a pair of rear hub and bearing assemblies it’s been pretty much flawless. It’s comfortable, handles well, not a squeak or rattle to be found, and this is true of the rest of these in the fleet. Clients are impressed with it.
          The 300s let you know about every bump in the road, are ponderous to drive, require constant attention to keep on course, the front ends make all sorts of noise (ball joints, bushings, stabilizer links), and the ZF 8 speed (sorry big trucks, but I knew torqueflights, and this ZF is no torqueflight) is a letdown. It does get better fuel economy (typically 27 vs 24) than the XTS, and the pentastar is outstanding, but given the choice the Cadillac beats the 300. I don’t know the price difference but this is no contest in my opinion.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            You’re a liar, sensory deprived or plain stoned.

            A 300 rides better, has a much better transmission, has better steering feel, and is quieter than any XTS.

            I’ve driven many copies of each.

            As an “ex Ford tech,” you’re pretty clueless, which is consistent with nearly every one of my interactions with Ford Stealership “technicians,” who were mainly highly churned and burned flunkies.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I’m with Deadweight on this one.

            I historically lean towards preferring GM products, but when I was shopped the Lacrosse (which is what the 300 really competes with) and Epsilon Impala against the 300 and Charger, the driving experience of the FCA products had the General covered easily. Honestly, I came away not understanding why people were so impressed with the new Impala. The GM offering I liked the most was the Regal, but that has it’s own set of issues.

            Now the build quality of my Charger is Daewoo-level terrible so as the miles roll up the GM stuff might start to compare better while the ChryslerCo car falls apart, but when new the LX wins.

          • 0 avatar
            Exfordtech

            Wow. I’m lying about my opinion. Sorry but spend 300 to 500 miles a day in them and you might have a different opinion. Clueless about cars? I doubt it. 40 years of wrenching under my belt. Probably forgot more about cars than you’ll ever know. And thanks for lumping me in with all your worst dealership experiences and assuming I was a thief. Is the XTS world class? Of course not and I never said it was. Just my personal opinion vs. a 300.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to put a silly 10-speed trans into a Buick or Cadillac, rather than a Camaro?

    Aren’t we at a point that claiming a transmission shifts faster than a PDK is similar to once claiming you had more megapixels? Not to mention we are trying to compare apples to oranges?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I beg your pardon, I have at least 11 teeth. Do I qualify for a special discount?

  • avatar
    rpol35

    “It’s official: the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will have more gears than a typical IROC-Z owner has teeth”

    Ouch! (It’s pretty funny though!)

  • avatar
    Mr. Orange

    And just think of how in the old days of 5 years ago. One of the biggest complaints GM had was having transmissions with to few gears. And making cars that were overweight compared to the competition.

    Now the reverse is true. GM is making transmissions with to many gears. And cars that weigh less or are on pare than most rivals in regards to tonnage. And I don’t know what to make of it.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem wasn’t only that GM had too few gears in their trans…it was that their engines were POWERFUL and they were mated to trans that couldn’t take advantage of it.

      NOW they’ve flipped it.

      Their engines are weak. ALL OF THEM. Including the LT4.

      They have BILLION SPEED transmissions but their engines are trash so the trans are programmed to jump as high on the gear list as soon as possible to make better fuel economy.

      What they need is to use adequately sized engines: 4-cyl in the Cruze, V6 in the Malibu…and then add turbocharger options for the “sport” version.

      V8 Escalade sounds good.

      TWIN TURBO V8 ESCALADE – sounds nicer.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It’s got a huge case – reminds me of the Dual-Range Hydramatic.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Personally I think its cool that these two giants work together.
    I thin the work Ford and GM did on the F and T series, 6f50/55 and the GM 6T70, 6T75 and 6T80, were all pretty good transmissions.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I understand the need for better FE.

    What I also understand the US pickup could be more aerodynamic in shape.

    Wouldn’t this be a lot cheaper than the use of aluminium, zillion gear ratio’s?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      aerodynamic = unmanly in the suburban pickup truck owner’s dictionary.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Pickup Trucks need a flat nose and all squared off. Not only does it make better, efficient use of footprint or ‘shadow’, with a rounded nose and tail, they would have to be longer, *except* air not slammed up and around will get hung up on the ladder frame, suspension, and box turbulence.

        Might as well make them look rugged. The jellybean F-150 did absolutely nothing for its over all aerodynamics. It likely had to push harder.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          “The jellybean F-150 did absolutely nothing for its over all aerodynamics. It likely had to push harder.”

          Do you have any data (drag coefficients, for instance) to back up this assertion?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Ford ditched the jellybean look for a reason. As far as looks go, every following F-150 has been boxier, while actually improving aerodynamics, without the “jellybean”. It’s estimated 3.5 drag coefficient (CD) for the current F-150, since Ford hasn’t officially revealed its CD. The jellybeans have a 4.5 CD

            GM followed up the next generation of GM trucks, 2000+, with an equal 4.5 CD, except too, without the “jellybean”.

            But CD just explains the “frontal area”. What happens as the wind travels along the frame, suspension, T-case, windshield, huge tow mirrors, behind the cab, inside the bed, etc, etc, is different story, making nose, windshield CD totally irrelevant for pickup trucks.

            They’re pickup trucks, OK? Their over all aerodynamics have to suck, until they become something else entirely.

            cars.com/ford/f150/2000/specifications/

            cars.com/gmc/yukon-xl/2001/specifications/

            Incidentally, GM wont give up the CD specs of the 2000 generation of pickups, try finding them. The 2000 Yukon has the same clip.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I expected a comparison between the jellybean F-150 and an /older/ F-150 model, but okay. Or maybe I misunderstood your statement: “It likely had to push harder”–than what? To which model of vehicle were you comparing it?

            You are correct that places other than the frontal area (esp. the tailgate area) play a large role in determining drag. But saying cd is “totally irrelevant for pickup trucks” is more than a little facetious. If it was, why does it decrease with every new generation?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Point is frontal CD improves with each generation, except without the “jellybean effect”. As BAFO suggests, yes they could further improve ‘nose’ CD, but I’m asking “why bother?”.

            Never mind the nose/windshield for a second. Pickup trucks have is so much “drag” related to just being “pickups”, that by the way, no one is accounting for, (and you can’t truly change/fix anyway), that having a jellybean nose on a modern pickup would likely slow it down from extra wind striking all the things that make it a “pickup” more violently, vs a fairly squared off nose, like you’re seeing on current fullsize pickups.

            Yeah it’s my own theory, but show me where your’s makes better sense. And where’s the modern “jellybean” pickup?

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          We may be having a misunderstanding here. I’m not necessarily disagreeing with any of your assertions, save one: “It likely had to push harder.” Did you mean push harder than the 1996 models? I’m asking what the aerodynamic comparison is between the 1996 and 1997 models, and it has yet to be provided.

          Your general statements seem to be completely backed up by reality. I have no doubts that the 2004 F-150 was more aerodynamic than the 2003, and the 2009 more than that, and the 2015 more than that, even though the nose got more vertical. I’m aware of all the little tweaks done in the intervening years to improve aerodynamics (esp. the air dam and the tailgate spoiler). All I want to know is if the 1997 jellybean F-150 did have to push harder than the 1996, as you claim–or maybe that’s not what you claimed in the first place, and I just misread the question.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Not the ’96 and older but the ’04-’08 F-150 and 2000-06 GMs. The jellybean F-150 was needlessly “jellybean”. All those right-angle surfaces, air pocket, components, etc that followed it, pushing back air, over and under, are further, and needlessly exposed by the super slippery jellybean, compared to a slightly flatter nose.

            It’s just a theory. No more no less. But why did the jellybean die off suddenly?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            OK, so it was just a matter of miscommunication. And also “absolutely nothing” may have been a bit of an exaggeration, since there definitely was some improvement from ’96 to ’97.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yeah I highly doubt any aerodynamic consideration went into the 1980 to ’96 design. Anything would’ve been a huge improvement. The 2000+ GMs proved they could be just as aerodynamic without the “jellybean”

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Aerodynamics improves hwy mileage, but does little for city, much less towing.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Not sure where these extra 2 gear slot in. Having 36K miles on my 8-speed equipped Sierra, I’m hard-pressed to see the need for two more. 2nd gear drops about 300 rpm from first gear; 8th gear drops about the same amount from 7th. Most of that mileage has been towing a 7600 lb. trailer. Of course turbo-charging and variable valve timing both flatten an engine’s torque curve, reducing the need to keep the engine operating in a narrow rpm range (unlike, say, a diesel). The problem with my 8-speed is aggressive programming of torque convertor lock-up which sometimes causes harsh shifts under light load. I’m not sure how more gears would fix that.

  • avatar
    ajla

    So am I the only jagoff on TTAC that regularly uses paddle shifters, “sport”, or “manual” mode on his automatic transmission?

    • 0 avatar
      ItsMeMartin

      Back when I still had my 5-speed AT S40 I used them all the time during merging and overtaking. It really helped as I did not have to wait half a second after flooring it for the transmission to drop down that gear or two.
      Then I tried to do that in the new, 8-speed XC90. Jesus, what a failure. In the sequential mode I never knew by how many gears I needed to drop down. In the automatic mode not only did the transmission hunt for gears but also you needed to wait about a second for the turbocharger to spool up before the car bothered to move.
      I loved using the manual mode but I feel that this option is all but redundant in the new, billion-speed transmissions.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I have used mine twice. Didn’t like it, felt like I was forcing it to do something it didn’t want to do (sort of true).

      I honestly forget it’s there.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      That’s how I drove the smart car when I had it. The paddles make the Transmission of Infamy liveable, and almost enjoyable when you wind the engine out.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I do it as well, but my auto car only has 5 gears. Frankly, I think I’d have a hard time keeping track of 10 gears, and trying to find the right one quicker than the computer could do it.

  • avatar
    LD

    The 8 speed on my 2013 Chrysler 300 with the 6 cylinder engine is probably the best transmission around. The car now has 112,000 miles and no issues. In comparison the 6 speed in my 2015 GMC Yukon has perceptible gear changes especially in the lower gears. It becomes smoother as it warms up. The Chrysler is buttery smooth even when cold.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Here is my only beef with ford and gm sharing cost building a component. They then make changes that effectively make them unique. The parts are different (more expensive than common parts would be), repair techniques and special tools are different. My wife’s Buick Enclave supposedly has a 6speed auto that was co developed for ford and gm. But the according to my mechanic (who specializes in fords) the ford version has no interchangeable parts and requires different tools. I can understand programming differences but why not make things easier and cheaper for all concerned and keep the parts, tools and procedures the same?

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Mark, you’re killing me with the 911 disclosures. I’m about 3 drinks from a great time here. Thanks.

  • avatar
    redav

    Given that these new transmissions have smaller gaps between gears, there are more times when multiple gears ought to be ‘skipped,’ such as multiple downshifts for acceleration or sudden changes in grade or upshifts after hard acceleration.

    While modern automatic transmissions do a lot of things very well, they annoy me how they progress through gears rather than just selecting the ‘right’ gear as you would in a manual. When I had an RX-8, accelerating onto the freeway would be in 2nd, and that would get me up to the speed limit, and then directly shift to 6th. Going through each intermediate gear is stupid.

    Do any of these new transmissions do that? When the computer decides a shift is needed, do they compute what the ideal gear would be and shift straight to it rather than move by one, check if it’s right, then move by one again, etc?

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  • Lie2me: “I too choose to live by Faith NOT fear!” Shall we put that on your tombstone? I’ve decided...
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  • PrincipalDan: Some wiseguy suggested that we keep the monuments to Braxton Bragg because he was such a terrible...
  • PrincipalDan: Actually it was the Mazda Navajo (talk about names that would never get past the legal department...

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  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber