Mercedes-Benz Developing Nine-Speed Automatic

When talking about a contemporary premium vehicle, one of the important components that offers the luxury feel is the gearbox. The transmissions have a difficult job, as modern large capacity engines that are installed in the aforementioned vehicles have a hefty torque output. So, the gearbox must handle all the power and torque while offering a incredibly high level of smoothness.

Some of the top luxury cars sold nowadays use eight-speed automatic transmissions that manage to complete the aforementioned tasks while also delivering prompt reactions that ensure good dynamics.

Now Mercedes Benz plans to up the ante, with the German company working on a nine-speed automatic transmission, as autocar writes.

Senior engineering sources have informed autocar that the product is currently under development, adding that the upcoming transmission will be used for large capacity powerplants.

The new transmission is aimed at improving the efficiency offered by Mercedes’ range of vehicles. The gearbox is expected to offer serious improvements in terms of fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

However, it seems that in the world of automotive transmissions, more ratios doesn’t necessarily mean a better package. Mercedes engineers have determined that nine is the maximum number of ratios that can currently be offered for a gearbox.

The engineers offer two reasons for this. First of all, this is the technical limit of what can be achieved using the current technology (we are talking about efficient, feasible developments). Secondly, a larger number of ratios would not be suitable for most drivers’ abilities and would only lead to more confusion.


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