Ford to introduce six-speed automatic transmission on B-Max, Fiesta

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 11, 2012

Ford Motor Co. will introduce a six-speed automatic throughout its B-segment range as part of its biggest-ever product offensive. Starting with the launch, this gearbox will be offered in facelifted Fiesta and Ford B-Max. The announcement was made by Ford product development chief Raj Nair at the Go Further event of Ford Europe.

The six-speed twin-clutch gearbox will debut in the facelifted Fiesta and B-Max alongside the 103bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine. This option is the replacement for the four-speed ‘box presently used on the 1.4-litre Fiesta. Ford said that the gearbox won’t be offered with steering wheel or column-mounted shift paddles. However, it will feature a button on the gearstick.

It added that many of those who drive an automatic are older and don’t prefer to have the Ferrari experience. Instead, they value “ease of use.”

The insiders said that slicker and smoother gearshifts will be used on the new gearbox. The unit is lighter than the old four-speed by 15kg. Andrew Frazer, the powertrain development manager of Ford, provided confirmation that the company is considering using the gearbox in other powertrains.

He also said that applying this on 1.0-litre Ecoboost models was “possible, for sure.” According to Glen Goold, global chief engineer for Fiesta, there’s a possibility that this will be used in the Fiesta ST. Another possibility are paddles. Engineering it to achieve a single derivative is too costly, making its adoption highly unlikely.

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