Six-speed automatics on way in Grandeur and new Santa Fe.
Korean manufacturer, Hyundai, has developed an all-new six-speed automatic transaxle that can boost fuel economy by more than 12.2 percent.
It’s the third carmaker to design its own six-speed automatic, after Toyota and a General Motors/Ford joint venture.
Project manager, Hong-Min Kim, says the design’s unique layout makes it smaller, more compact and lighter than any other six-speed on the market.
Hyundai has applied for nearly 300 patents related to the technology used in the transaxle which will appear first in the V6 Grandeur where it cuts fuel use by 12.2 percent and shaves 0.2s off the 0-100km/h time, leaving it at 7.8s.
The gearbox is filled for life with automatic transmission fluid and needs no topping up, reducing servicing costs.
Despite the extra gear, it’s 12kg lighter than the five-speed it replaces, is 41mm shorter and considerably simpler with 62 fewer parts.
Adding a sixth gear enabled closer spacing between ratios providing a better balance of performance and fuel economy.
The gearbox has three planetary gearsets and a flat torque converter, which shortens the unit's overall length by 12mm. Four pinion differentials improve durability and further minimise size.
Hyundai began building the six-speed this month and will make it in five variants, fitting it to 16 different models including a redesigned Santa Fe compact SUV due next year.