When the Bangled 7-series dropped just a few short years ago (2002), one of its high-tech highlights was the world's first 6-speed automatic by transmission maker to the stars, ZF. Shortly after the Bimmer dropped, Jaguar, Audi, Bentley, Land Rover and Ford (in their Australia only RWD Falcon) adopted the smooth and torque hungry slushbox. But then Mercedes-Benz came out with a 7-speed auto. Worse, Lexus scooped everyone with an 8-speed. For all those fancy marquees a 6-speed automatic ain't going to cut it. And it won't have to, as ZF just announced their new 8-speed autobox. Aside from the two-extra cogs, ZF is claiming about 6% better mileage compared to the old 6-speed. The new transmission will also send more engine power to the wheels, which we salute. Additionally, the 8-speed has been designed with AWD and hybrid applications in mind. As for the bigger question, will we see a 10-speed auto in 2011? Oh yes, we hope so. Unless DSGs replace conventional autos in high end cars.
ZF develops new 8-speed auto [motorauthority.com]
Eight! With Coming ZF Box, BMW Will Match Lexus [Internal]