Mercedes Files 8-Speed Transmission Patent, Could Signal Auto for GLA and CLA

Mercedes wants the right to use the name "8 G-Tronic" for its cars. The only problem is that it doesn't have an 8-speed automatic to go with it. According to Auto Guide, the German automaker has just filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (on August 10th). The publication suggests that this new automatic will plug the gap between the old 7 G-Tonic and the new 9 G-Tronic that replaces it on some models.
Mercedes Files 8-Speed Transmission Patent, Could Signal Auto for GLA and CLA 1 photo
Photo: CarPix
It's also suggested that the 8-speed would be used for sportier applications where the 9th gear isn't needed. But we don't agree with this notion. The new E63 S 4Matic+ uses a 9-speed and is pretty much the pinnacle of current AMG technology. So why would they make yet another gearbox for lesser cars when they could just use the 7-speed.

That's why we think the 8-speed is being trademarked in preparation for the arrival of all-new premium compacts. The A-Class would be the first to be unveiled, but that won't come to the U.S., at least not in hatchback form. But we recently saw the first prototype of the GLA II, and that one is a certainty.

The current roster of front-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz models uses a 7-speed dual-clutch which the company calls 7 G-DCT or 7-speed DCT, depending on the market. If we're right, the name change could signal a change to pure automatics with torque converters.

The move could work to their advantage in two ways simultaneously. First of all, American buyers often say that dual-clutch gearboxes are jerky off the line, so they would welcome smoother changes in their expensive Mercedes cars. Secondly, it might save some money.

As far as we know, the 7G-DCT is developed in-house and not shared with other brands except Infiniti and its Q30. But seemingly every automaker is now switching to an 8-speed automatic for front-driven cars that Japanese company Aisin assemblies. It's on a bunch of Volvo, MINIs and who knows what else. Even Volkswagen, the company best known for using two clutch packs per car, installed automatics in the Tiguan and Atlas models it sells in to Americans.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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