Adding gears to a transmission can help to improve fuel efficiency and performance, and one American automaker is taking that to heart.
Chrysler has already released the 2014 Jeep Cherokee with a nine-speed transmission, which the company sources from German manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen, and it plans to install the gearbox in many more of its cars.
Next, it will be released in the 2015 Chrysler 200 and Jeep Renegade, but the proliferation of the nine-speed won’t stop there.
Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles CEO, Sergio Marchionne, says that the nine-speed is part of the company’s long term plans, and that it will find its way into the brand’s lineup of fwd-based cars, crossovers, minivans and SUVs, when each vehicle is refreshed or redesigned.
There were a few teething problems with the transmission at first, causing the launch of the Cherokee to be pushed back about two months, but Marchionne is not worried. ”The commitment continues to bring about improvements in the nine-speed and to recognize we keep on getting better at this,” Marchionne said. “Some technical changes were already made, and we’ll continue to make more. It is still the most viable solution moving forward.”