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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Geneva Motor Show: Range Rover Evoque With A Nine-Speed

    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    February 27, 2013

    The new trend in improving fuel economy is adding gears to the transmission. We've been seeing a number of vehicles equipped with eight-speed transmissions, but Land Rover is one upping the competition by introducing a new nine-speed for the Range Rover Evoque.

    Developed by ZF, the ZF 9HP nine-speed transmission will take the place of the Evoque's current six-speed automatic. The new nine-speed automatic is lighter than the outgoing six-speed, provides better fuel economy and lower emissions, and improves the Evoque's off-road capability (if you decided to take your Evoque off-road).

    The ZF 9HP nine-speedfeatures such tech as a adaptive shifting system that customizes that transmission whatever driving style, skip-shift function that avoids the need to move through the gears sequentially, and "Fast-Off" and "Curve" modes that offer two different ways of upshifting.

    The new nine-speed will be available on the Evoque starting in 2014.

    Source: Land Rover

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected]or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    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 ninewill help reduce emissionsand 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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    With the different modes and skip shift, it will be interesting to see how this drives. I find that even in some small displacement manual shift cars, the low end torque is enough to skip shift during normal driving. In the Sonic RS, if you were driving in normal suburban speeds I would go 1-2-4-6

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    I agree Drew, it will be interesting to see how a CUV 4x4 will handle this kind of tranny with skip shifting. I am wondering how it will handle the torque needs when or if someone takes it off road. Pretty pricing if you have to send in the tow truck on the back 40 of some lumber road or worse a true rock crawling area.

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    Gravel roads/driveways and curb jumping is probably about the only off road action it will see in the real world (same as probably 99% of CUVs and SUVs)..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    Wonder if when you have two very different type of drivers how it will handle the skip shifting since one might be a light foot versus one with a lead foot. This would really change the shift points.

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