Hyundai to Build Its Own 6-Speed Auto Transmission

The South Korean carmaker Hyundai has just announced plans to design its own six speed automatic transmission, becoming the third company in the world to develop its own system after General Motors and Ford. This is quite an advanced step for Hyundai as the automaker now has the chance to reduce costs and improve performance without the need for part suppliers which have often been criticized for their efficiency, performance and quality.

Hyundai's 6-speed transmission is said to enhance fuel economy by 12 percent and in the same time, to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle by as much as 12 kilos. The whole system has 62 fewer parts than a 5-speed automatic transmission, Hyundai explained in a press statement, “which is a key to increased durability and lower cost.”

“The strength of our design is its completely unique layout, which makes it smaller, more compact and lighter than any other six-speed on the market today,” said Hong-Min Kim, the project manager of the transaxle at Hyundai R&D Centre.

Hyundai Grandeur is the first model to be equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission, being connected to a 3.3-liter V6 petrol engine. According to figures provided by Hyundai, it improved fuel efficiency by 12.2 percent and raised 0 to 100 km/h by 2.5 percent. The vehicle is now capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.8, compared to 8.0 second on the stock model.

One interesting aspect of the new transmission system is that it's maintenance-free, meaning that “the gearbox is ‘filled for life’ with automatic transmission fluid and needs no topping up, reducing servicing costs,” as Hyundai explained in a statement released to the press.

Hyundai says that 16 different models will get the new transmission model, including a redesigned Santa Fe, scheduled to arrive in late 2009 and early 2010, depending on the market.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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