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 2014.5 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 2014.5 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 2015 timeframe will be very interesting!
WARRENDALE, Pa., May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The LS9 engine in General Motor’s (GM) 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 holds the distinction of being the 100th engine certified through SAE International’s Engine Power Test Code – Engine Power and Torque Certification (J1349). The 2009 Corvette ZR1 engine is certified at 638 hp at 6,500 rpm, with 604 lb-ft torque at 3,800 rpm.
Engine certification is based on a series of self-certification tests conducted by the manufacturer that are witnessed and verified by an SAE-qualified observer. The procedure for certification is outlined in SAE’s standard J2723; the actual horsepower testing procedure is described in J1349.
Although engine manufacturers are free to cite power and torque figures derived from testing conducted outside the scope of the SAE standards, only those that strictly follow all of the SAE procedures can claim to be “SAE J1349 Certified Power.”
In addition to GM’s Corvette ZR1, other GM engines as well as those from Ford and Chrysler make up the first 100 to have been certified.
Another GM engine – the LS7 used in the 2006 Corvette Z06 – was the first engine to be certified under this SAE program.
The full list of certified engines can be accessed by visiting http://www.sae.org/certifiedpower.
ZF Develops Automatic 8-Speed Transmission for Passenger Cars
Presentation to 1,000 engineers at the Vienna Motor Symposium – Consumption savings of six percent thanks to the new transmission concept with improved efficiency – More power with same installation space – Kit system for future hybrid and all-wheel drive
ZF has designed a new automatic transmission generation for passenger cars: With the automatic 8-speed transmission the chassis and driveline specialist succeeds once more in combining seemingly contradictory goals. The automatic ZF 8-speed transmission allows for additional fuel savings of approximately six percent compared with the already optimized automatic 6-speed transmission of the second generation. This is achieved above all by a completely new transmission concept. At the same time, the automatic 8-speed transmission transmits more power in comparison to the previous model, but still gets by with the same installation space and does not require more components. Last week, the new 8-speed transmission was presented for the first time at the 28th International Vienna Motor Symposium.
AutoWeek reports new details on the work Valeo is doing to sell its camless (lectronic actuation) engine technology to automakers, and reaction to that by BMW.
Good news: although the technology isn’t ready yet, Valeo claims it will be offered in just a couple of years.
The Truth about Cars has done it again: an excellent article about how reducing engine displacement in Formula 1 has actually resulted in better – and faster – racecars. I believe the reasoning in this article applies to street vehicles as well. See the link for the article. Note that when the displacement was mandated, engineers worked harder to improve the total package (engine and suspension) to more than make up for the initial loss.
A quick aside: yes, I have been (a bit) inconsistent. I said just the other day that Ford needs a 6-liter V-8 to remain competitive in the truck market. In this current market, in this current day and age.
But that doesn’t speak to tommorrow. Will the upward trend of displacement to make the market-required power continue? We now know that Ford will introduce a new F-150 in 2008 with a 6 liter engine. Will the next one - circa 2016 – requre a 7 or 8 liter engine to make the required power? Or can we make the required power by designing a smarter engine – one with more careful attention given to managing flow thru the engine and total efficiency? One that can be instantly responsive anywhere across a broad rev range - instead of offering a cheap and simple lump of low-end torque?
This was the point of Ford’s 4.6 4-vlave liter V-8 when it was originally introduced. Ford executives put it in these same terms. Of course, development of that engine family died out a few years ago and nothing significant has been done with that engine family since. It doesn’t even have variable timing in the intake side (and the planned 5-valve head with variable intake timing – which has dissappeared from any known plan).
So, yet again, we look to other manufacturers for technology gains. Honda is an excellent example, with VTEC and now i-VTEC (but has yet to create a state-of-the-art 6 cylinder engine). BMW is also an excellrnt example – designing engines first with individual (one per cylinder) throttle bodies and now engines without a throttle body. Lift control on the intake valves provides for throttle control and benefits with much faster response and better emissions.
The carburetor moved to mechanical fuel injection, efficiency and performance improved. The next step was ever-more carefully calibrated fully-electronic fuel injection (going from measuing air flow with a mechanical air vane to mass air flow sensors and much more powerful engine mapping), and we all benefitted again. Direct Injection is another improvement – a benefit that will impact all of us in the next few years with big increases in responsiveness, emissions, and performance.
But this is just a first step. The ultimate goal of the last 20 years of valvetrain research and development is a valvetrain with 100% electronic actuation of the valves - instead of hydraulic actuation. No camshafts, reduced mechanical complexity! Imagine the benefits: infinitiely variable timing and lift control – anywhere in the rev range. Multiple valves – with different timing and lift in every valve. Enormous flexibility.
Most car manufacturers are experimenting with this. Mercedes or BMW will probably be first to market and the technology will then trickle down to the rest of us – starting with performance and high-end luxury cars. They have discussed their experimentation in the press. One of the car magazines recently declared that Mercedes would introduce the technology in 2008 (which is doubtful).
This is an area where emissions and performance can go hand-in-hand. Both emissions and performance are all about engine efficiency. A 100% efficient engine would have the ultimately clean emissions, buringing 100% of the fuel and resulting in the ultimate performance. Of course 100% isn’t possible, there are too many places to loose heat, but as we move in an upward direction both emisisons and performance benefits improve together.
c|net analyses an article in Car.com which predicts how automotive technology will roll out over the next few years. Follow the link for more.
Most notable: camless engine technology will roll out in 2 years – to be seen first in a 2008 Mercedes. I’ll believe it when I see it, because this was alledgedly coming years ago and has been promised ever since. If it finally works, then engines will be able to vary valve events (both “timing”, total lift, and rate of lift) across the entire rev range. Plus simply close valves when needed – such as in engine shut-down. Great benefits all around – especially performance, emissions, fuel conomy,
Scariest: black-box technology will be standarded and required by federal regulations. This is, IMHO, yet another intrusion into our personal lives. Such data could be used for any number of purposes, including penalizing us for driving in open track events and giving us speeding tickets in real time. Lets hope the technology is faulty!
Good article explaining the Bosch piezo technology for direct injection.
This technology will probably end up on all gasoline engines within 5-8 years. It’s more complex and expensive than port injection, but it has enormous benefits to emissions, fuel economy, and horsepower and torque. This is one of the few technologies that contributes across all of these areas because it’s about efficiency.
Newsweek – via MSNBC – reports on lack of economic benefits of buying a Hybrid and owning it over a 5-year timeframe. Hybrids are expensive – and have no viable financial model even with the Federal tax credit (and that law expires as manufacturers reach a certain point). And any kind of savings at all are very dependent on a narrow range of a certain type of driving – which may or may not fit your pattern.
Bad news all around… and only for a political statement? What about the high rate of depreciation? Will there be a crash in this market once further long-term reliability data is available?
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As follow-up to several of my postings: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060313/SUB/60310045/1003