ZF, a company whose gearboxes are in many of our cars including that sweet new fast shifting quick locking 6-speed auto in modern BMWs has unveiled a new 8-speed automatic gearbox and presented it at the 28th International Vienna Motor Symposium.
Though some of you may think ZF is yet another automakers who wants to lead in the cog race, which is currently led by Lexus with their 8-speed auto, but ZF says number of gears was not a priority when designing this unit.
“Our main development target was to find a transmission concept which allows for significant additional fuel consumption reduction and thus offers tangible added value to our customers and drivers without making any compromises in terms of performance”, explains Dr. Michael Paul, ZF Executive Vice President, Technology and Group Executive of the Car Driveline Technology division. It just so happened that to achieve those targets, 8 gears was needed.
The new gearbox can also handle larger input torque with the same weight as compared to the previous model, the second generation 6-speed that’s found in the 335i. It was also designed to be modular, which means it can be used in all-wheel drive systems without much modification. The torque converter can be replaced by new clutches or could be omitted completely when an integrated starting clutch is used.
The new ZF 8-speed automatic transmission will be used in the F01/F02 2009 BMW 7-Series in the flagship V12 model, and possibly the Rolls Royce RR4 later.