As if the world was already just getting comfortable with cog swappers consisting of six to eight forward gears, we were thinking that if there were any more, soon there’d be more forward gears than a mountain bike. Well, it just so happens that another brand will be introducing use of the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission.
The world’s first seven-speed transmission was brought to us by Mercedes-Benz. The world’s first eight-speed automatic transmission was brought to us by Lexus. And the world’s first nine-speed automatic will be introduced by Land Rover.
The British SUV and crossover manufacturer has just officially announced that they’ll be the first brand to utilize ZF’s first nine-speed automatic transmission. The new ZF 9HP transmission will see duty in the Evoque for 2014 with hopes that the increase in forward gears will translate to better fuel economy and less CO2 emissions without sacrificing power.
Additionally, the ZF 9HP has been specially designed for transverse-mounted applications while the Range Rover Evoque’s version was specially tuned for off-road use. The new ZF 9HP is said to weigh less than the ZF’s outgoing 6HP six-speed cog swapper while also being smaller in size.
For full details, check out the press release after the jump.
LAND ROVER TO DEMONSTRATE THE WORLD’S FIRST NINE-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
• Land Rover announces new ZF nine-speed automatic transmission for transverse applications
• Increasing the number of gear ratios to nine will help reduce emissions and improve efficiency
• Lower gear ratios enhance all-terrain and all-weather capability
• Adaptive shift system matches and remembers customer driving style for a tailored driving experience
• Land Rover is lead partner on this project with ZF, a world leader in transmission technology
(MAHWAH, NJ) February 26, 2013 – Land Rover will demonstrate the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission for a passenger car at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The ZF 9HP transmission is designed for transverse applications, and is one of the most efficient and technically advanced transmissions ever used in a production vehicle. Land Rover is the lead partner with ZF on this project.
Increasing the number of gear ratios from six to nine will help reduce emissions
and improve efficiency. Smaller ratio steps also give improved response during acceleration, with improved shift quality and refinement. A higher top gear improves efficiency by lowering engine speed, which also improves comfort and reduces noise when cruising at highway speeds.
The 9HP is quite robust and complements the all-terrain capability expected of a Land Rover vehicle while delivering exceptionally high levels of refinement and efficiency. The lowest ratio in the 9HP is lower than the existing six-speed transmission and is designed for off-road use, towing, and on-road conditions like steep gradients.
Whereas the existing six-speed transmission makes downshifts sequentially, the 9HP has a skip-shift function for much swifter downshifting to meet rapid deceleration demands. If the driver requests a downshift when the vehicle is travelling too fast for the selected gear, the transmission will remember the request and make the shift when the speed drops to an appropriate level. “Fast-Off” mode measures the rate of throttle release, anticipates further requests by the driver for high power, then holds the gear if necessary.
The torque converter incorporates a multi-stage damper system for smoother pull away and improved refinement. An innovative adaptive shifting system matches the driver’s mood within seconds, sharpening up during brisk driving and then seamlessly shifting to a more economical program when taking a more relaxed driving approach. Additionally, “Curve Mode,” detected acceleration/deceleration forces, and pedal position all control upshift timing.
The 9HP is masterfully packaged and despite the extra three gear ratios is only 0.24 inches (6mm) longer and actually weighs 16.5 lbs (7.5kg) less than the outgoing six-speed transmission. The compact packaging is achieved by using a number of innovative design features: A new compact hydraulic vane-type pump, two patented dog clutches replacing bulkier conventional clutch packs, and a nested gear set.
Land Rover and ZF are on-going partners in transmission development; having jointly developed fully integrated transmission solutions in the Range Rover, Land Rover LR4 and Range Rover Sport. The new nine-speed transmission will be produced at ZF’s Gray Court facility in South Carolina, USA.
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About Land Rover
Land Rover, the British maker of Land Rover and Range Rover sport utility vehicles, is renowned for providing its’ clientele with some of the most luxurious and capable vehicles in the world. Every Land Rover product is equally at home both on and off road, and in any setting; be it in the heart of the city, or traversing the countryside. Today’s Land Rover lineup includes the legendary Defender, LR2 (Freelander 2), LR4 (Discovery 4), Range Rover Sport, Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque. Land Rover designs, engineers, and manufactures their vehicles in the United Kingdom. Land Rover is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs. For more information visit the official Land Rover website at http://www.landroverusa.com.
About Jaguar Land Rover
• Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturing business built around two iconic British car brands with a rich heritage and powerful consumer appeal and loyalty. Additionally, Jaguar Land Rover is at the centre of the UK automotive industry’s drive to deliver technical innovation in all areas of vehicle development.
• As the UK’s largest automotive employer, JLR has a world class team of nearly 25,000 people.
• In the 2011/12 fiscal year, JLR achieved record profits of £1.5 billion, an increase of £392m when compared to the previous year.
• Jaguar Land Rover is the largest investor in automotive R&D and engineering in the UK.
• Jaguar Land Rover has two state of the art engineering and design facilities and three advanced manufacturing plants in the UK.
• Headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey in the United States, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC has offices across the USA and Canada and is represented by more than 330 retail outlets.
– By: Chris Chin