Report: Chrysler to add 8-speed, 9-speed transmissions across the lineup

So you think electric-cars, hybrids and plug-in hybrids are the only types of vehicles that save you money at the pump? Think again. One of Chrysler Group LLC’s main strategies after coming out of its June 2009 bankruptcy has been to mate gasoline engines with transmissions with a lot of gears.

The system helps increase fuel-economy and improve performance. Chrysler will now start adding its current 8-speed transmissions to most of its cars and will introduce the industry’s first 9-speed transmission by early 2013, said Mircea Gradu, vice president of transmission powertrain and driveline engineering.

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“I’m convinced that, sooner or later, others will come up with similar solutions,” Gradu said. “Hopefully, the time will be as long as possible until they catch up with the technology.”

CEO Sergio Marchionne has been betting on traditional gas engines and better transmissions for fuel-economy increases rather than on hybrids and plug-in hybrids like Chrysler’s competitors.

The move takes little investment and has already helped Chrysler boost sales of cars like the Chrysler 300.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: AutoNews