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Drew Dowdell

It's the 9-Speed Automatics

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Since the launch of the XT4 with the rather anemic (if more refined) LSY engine, many (including myself) had questioned why GM does not offer the Tripower 310 bhp / 348 lb-ft (L3B) 2.7T 4-cylinder in the XT4 (at least) as an option. To a lesser extent some have also questioned why the LSY is putting out a mere 237bhp / 258 lb-ft whereas the outgoing LTG engine is good for 265~272 bhp / 295 lb-ft. Is it just so that it can have 258 lb-ft arrive @ 1,500 rpm? Now, we have the answer...

It's the 9-speed Automatics.

Adopting the 9-speed automatics is deemed a priority for refinement and fuel economy. The new GM-Ford 9TXX transmissions, jointly developed with Ford promises better fuel economy and better shift quality. There are currently two versions of this transmission:-

  • 9T50   -- 258 lb-ft
  • 9T65   -- 280 lb-ft

The need to pack 9-speeds into a very slim transmission case meant that they have to use an ovoid cross section torque converter, a tension chain coupling and abandon the high torque capability of the previous generation top dog 6T80 (369 lb-ft) transmissions used in the 410 hp / 368 lb-ft 3.6L Twin-Turbo (LF3) powered Cadillac XTS. The lack of torque capability is also in part why Ford abandoned the use of the GM-Ford 9TXX transmissions, choosing instead to develop an 8-speed evolution of the decade old 6T80 for use in their high torque applications like the Ford Edge ST (2.7L Ecoboost V6 with 335 hp / 380 lb-ft). Ford also asserts that the new 9-speed autos did not yield any fuel economy improvement when tested with their engines and the refinement improvements alone did not justify the costs and weight increases.

GM Ford Transverse Nine-Speed Automatic.jpg


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