Range Rover Evoque will receive a 9-speed automatic transmission

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 28, 2013

Land Rover will be displaying the first nine-speed automatic transmission designed for a passenger car in a Range Rover Evoque development mule at the upcoming 2013 Geneva Auto Show. The auto industry has been attempting to improve fuel economy by adding more gears to transmissions. The ZF 9HP nine-speed transmission, which made its debut in 2011, was created particularly for transverse engine layouts.

Many automakers have tried to get ZF for its new transmission but Land Rover says it was selected as the project’s lead partner. It has collaborated with ZF to jointly tweak the transmission for the specific needs for the brand. Land Rover said that by increasing the Evoque’s present gear ratios from six to nine, the vehicle gets better fuel economy and lowered emissions.

Furthermore, smaller gear ratio steps offer a more responsive acceleration and additional comfort, with ZF referring to shifts as being “below the threshold of perception.” This transmission also has to be strong to adapt to Land Rover’s rugged character and all-terrain driving requirements.

The lowest gear ratio of the 9HP is lower than that of the existing six-speed unit and is created particularly for off-road use. In addition, the transmission was designed to handle towing, climbing grades, and higher altitudes. While majority of transmissions have to shift sequentially, the 9HP has a skip-shift feature that makes downshifting a lot quicker, permitting greater response during acceleration.

The purpose of an adaptive shifting system is to observe and know a driver’s style. As a result, there are sharper shifts when spirited driving is asked for. But when the mood is calm, it leads to smoother and more efficient gear changes. The 9HP has three additional cogs but despite that, the weight is lower. It’s also a bit longer than the present six-speed transmission. We don’t know yet when the 9HP will enter production. But we’ll be sure to watch out for this technology at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

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