Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
July 10, 2012
In 1939, Oldsmobile introduced the first automatic transmission dubbed Hydra-Matic. Hydra-Matic came four forward gears and a reverse gear. Fast forward 73 years and we have vehicles with six, seven, and even eight-speed automatics. And then there is the talk about vehicles getting nine and even ten speed transmission. This of course has the peanut gallery making comments of when we're going to see an eighteen-speed transmission.
"We are coming close to the limit," said ZF North American president Julio Caspari.
Caspari believes automakers are adding more gears for marketing and not for fuel efficiency gains, citing that there is only an 11% gap between the best transmissions today and a perfect transmission.
"Can we produce a perfect transmission, and what would it cost? We would need to look at things like ceramic ball bearings to reduce friction, which would be expensive," Caspari went onto say.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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.