Chrysler Licenses Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission from ZF
Chrysler will build an eight-speed automatic transmission in Kokomo, Indiana, starting in 2013. The transmission is the 8HP model from German manufacturer ZF, variants of which are found in cars like the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Audi A8. Current Chrysler transmissions have no more than six forward ratios.
Initially Chrysler will receive the transmission from ZF’s plant in Saarbrucken, Germany, before transitioning to licensed production in Indiana by 2013. (This suggests the transmission will appear in Chrysler products before 2013.) Chrysler will invest $300 million to prepare the Indiana plants for production of the new transmission.
For now, Chrysler isn’t saying which products will receive the transmission, or when cars with eight-speed boxes will arrive. The transmission will be offered across the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram Truck lineups, and is said to be far more fuel-efficient than the company’s current offerings, something we don’t doubt. It will reportedly boost Chrysler’s corporate average fuel economy by 25 percent by 2014.
By Jake Holmes