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Old 05-12-2008, 03:47 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Audi and BMW to utilize 8-speed gearboxes to take on Lexus

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As we reported last month, it appears BMW and Audi, following the lead of Lexus, will begin to offer eight-speed automatic transmissions in their flagship models. Sources are now saying the transmission will be supplied by ZF Friedrichshafen, a familiar German supplier to both marques. Although we don't know all of the specifics, Audi is expected to debut the new slushbox in the range-topping A8 sedan, Q7 SUV, and their future A7 premium model. BMW will likely debut the new gearbox in their premium 7-Series sedan and the X6 Sport Activity Vehicle, according to company sources.
The current Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series both use six-speed automatics. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class utilizes a seven-speed automatic of their own design, while Lexus debuted their eight-speed transmission (used in their LS models) four years ago. Increasing the number of forward gears offers advantages in smoothness, acceleration, and improves fuel efficiency. Lower fuel consumption equates to reduced emissions, helping the powerful models meet increasingly stringent air quality standards in Europe and the United States.
[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:52 PM   #2
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look at the size of that thing! totally unnecessary. :|
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:26 PM   #3
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Hey, now you have to wait for it to kick down 6 gears instead of 2 when you stomp on it! More is better, right?
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:28 PM   #4
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looks heavy
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:14 PM   #5
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I dun't know. The one in the IS-F I drove this weekend was pretty slick.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:59 PM   #6
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when we gonna see the leman's 10 speed on a street car?
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:28 AM   #7
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...furthering the case for CVTs...
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by FaastLegacy View Post
I dun't know. The one in the IS-F I drove this weekend was pretty slick.
the is-f has an 8-spd gearbox?
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:55 AM   #9
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...furthering the case for CVTs...
thats what I was thinking,at this point-develope an awesome
cvt with sport and economy modes,with paddles.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:48 AM   #10
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The Mercedes-Benz S-Class utilizes a seven-speed automatic of their own design, while Lexus debuted their eight-speed transmission (used in their LS models) four years ago. Increasing the number of forward gears offers advantages in smoothness, acceleration, and improves fuel efficiency.
meh ... my wife's 2003 S-class has a 5AT and it seems to work just fine. The car has a 5L V8 with wide power and torque curves so its not like there is much advantage to narrowing the amounts of the curves that are actually used.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick View Post
meh ... my wife's 2003 S-class has a 5AT and it seems to work just fine. The car has a 5L V8 with wide power and torque curves so its not like there is much advantage to narrowing the amounts of the curves that are actually used.
Point is, you how can downsize the engine, or at least retune it, saving fuel. The IS-F doesn't have a big chested powerplant, I think the engines using these boxes will be either smaller, or at least peakier.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:36 PM   #12
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^^True, but look at the cars they are planning to put 8ATs in:

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Audi is expected to debut the new slushbox in the range-topping A8 sedan, Q7 SUV, and their future A7 premium model. BMW will likely debut the new gearbox in their premium 7-Series sedan and the X6 Sport Activity Vehicle, according to company sources.
I doubt any of those will have small or peaky engines.

BTW I realized my wife's car spends most of its time in "comfort" mode (vs "sport"). In comfort mode it starts the car in 2nd, effectively making it a 4AT. It drives just fine like that; certainly doesn't feel like it needs twice as many gears.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:52 PM   #13
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I'm with Mike on this one. 4 speed automatics with a tall overdrive are totally adequate for these large engines with really big powerbands...5 speeds are pure luxury.
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:13 PM   #14
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if this was for smaller engines, youd find them in smaller cars... that dont have enough room for an 8spd transmission... and would be able to use the low max power holding of a cvt... which would be better. 8spd = fail.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ghosthound View Post
the is-f has an 8-spd gearbox?
Yep, an 8 speed auto with fully operational paddle shifters, ala SMG/DSG etc. Though when you're using the paddle shifters in the manual mode you're locked out of first gear. I presume to keep drivers from doing burnouts with the paddle shifters.

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Point is, you how can downsize the engine, or at least retune it, saving fuel. The IS-F doesn't have a big chested powerplant, I think the engines using these boxes will be either smaller, or at least peakier.
Displacement wise, no it doesn't, the V8 in the IS-F is only a 5.0 liter. But the car has power all over the powerband, it's pretty brutal.
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:20 PM   #16
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