In an Automotive News report, dated Sept 28 2012, it was revealed that GM and Ford have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a 9-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive cars, and a 10-speed automatic for rear-wheel drive trucks, SUVs, and performance cars.
It’s of course that last use that use that interests us the most. The transmissions are in the design phase currently and won’t see production until 2015. That makes the 10-speed auto just a bit late for the upcoming new 2015 Mustang, and just in time for the new 2016 Camaro. That may create a slight disparity for a year or two until Ford applies updates to the Mustang.
The specifications are of course not public, but clearly there will be a very wide gear spread from at lest 4.5:1 in 1st and to as low as 0.5:1 in low.
By way of comparison, here are the specs for the ZF ‘8HP’ transmission, as used by Chrysler:
- 1st 4.70
- 2nd 3.13
- 3rd 2.10
- 4th 1.67
- 5th 1.29
- 6th 1.00
- 7th 0.84
- 8th 0.67
When Ford and GM originally collaborated on an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive cars ten years ago, the mechanical design was in common and the electronics were specific to each company. As the electronics will no doubt be considerably more complicated in the 10-speed, we would expect them to be the same, although with shift maps specific to each implementation.
The implementations will differ considerably… with Ford using the transmission behind a fast and high-revving 5 liter direct-injected “Coyote” DOHC 5 liter V-8 with independent variable cam timing in the 2015 Mustang GT, and GM using it behind a slow- and low-revving 5.5 liter OHC V-8 with cam phasing and direct injection in the 2016 Camaro. So yet again, as in the last 20 years, we will have two very different engine powertrain philosophies. Both cars will likely weigh within a hundred pounds of each other (the Camaro being built on the new GM Alpha platform, which in 4-door 4-cylinder Cadillac ATS guise weighs 3415 pounds). And this time, the exact same transmissions (at least in automatic form). The road test comparisons we’ll see in the car magazines in the late fall of 2016 timeframe will be very interesting!