Transmission specialist ZF Friedrichshafen AG has announced the world's first nine-speed automatic transmission
Called the 9HP, the nine-speed automatic has been developed for use in front-wheel-drive cars with transversely mounted engines, although ZF promises easy adaptability for all-wheel-drive and hybrid applications.
The company reports that the new auto will handle between 270 and 480Nm of torque, while bringing fuel consumption improvements of up to 16% over the six-speed option.
In an all-wheel-drive configuration, the 9HP offers a rear-wheel disconnect function that can cut power to the rear wheels, producing a 5% fuel consumption saving compared to a traditional full-time all-wheel-drive arrangement.
ZF has yet to announce orders for the 9HP, but it should only be a matter of time before the big automakers claim bragging rights.