GM's 10-Speed Automatic to Make Car Debut in Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (And It Could Find Its Way Into a Mustang, Too)

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
gms 10 speed automatic to make car debut in chevrolet camaro zl1 and it could find

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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4 of 94 comments
  • 05lgt 05lgt on May 12, 2016

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

  • Redav Redav on May 12, 2016

    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?

    • See 1 previous
    • Bball40dtw Bball40dtw on May 12, 2016

      @Drzhivago138 You are correct. The 10 speed can skip shift.

  • Kwik_Shift Oh, just wait until everything is electrified and linked. Then they'll say "Demand is up!", thus raising prices exponentially. They got you under their control now.
  • Cprescott Yawn.
  • 28-Cars-Later Wrangler people are crazy.
  • 28-Cars-Later "Transition" to layoffs, this guy is the Bob(s) from Office Space.
  • Vap65689119 As a release engineer I also worked in quality, if they are serious they should look at Toyotas business model which has their suppliers as genuine partners, thats how you get a quality product