The two American car making giants- The Ford motors and GM co had started a new joint venture to produce world’s first 10 speed automatic transmission gear box. The project is considered as an extension of the already existing joint production going on between the two companies. Ford and GM had already introduced a joint 6 speed auto transmission technology which was featured in Ford Fusion, explorer and some Ford cars and in Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu and Equinox in the GM series cars. It is said that the joint venture has given a high economy of scale for both the companies. This step would be important to counter the increasing competition for high efficient auto transmissions and would set the scale higher.
According to the official news from both the companies, the initial design and engineering work had already started. Both Ford and GM have planned to share the same hardware configurations as this would bring down the cost of operations for the companies. However the production will take place separately at the respective companies’ facility. The controlling software would also be different so that to keep the uniqueness of the brands.
There were not much technical details given out from any of the companies. But technicians say that a higher number of gears will result in higher choice of gear ratios and would increase the efficiency of the car at different operating conditions. This new technology would cut down fuel consumptions and emissions drastically making the car more cost efficient to maintain. The technology is to be made fit for Front wheel drive and Rear wheel drive vehicles and also matching SUVs, crossovers, cars and trucks.
As for now JLR has come up with Range Rover evoque which has a 9 speed automatic transmission gear box in passenger cars, which is the highest and was demonstrated in the Geneva motor show 2013. This was again a joint venture by JLR and ZF.