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Old 02-16-2010, 11:50 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Audi Transmissions: Eight-Speed Is The New Six, Seven

According to InsideLine, Audi's looking to put the 2011 A8's new ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission into the rest of its lineup. That may include the entry-level A3 model even when it's equipped with the 2.0T four-banger. Simplicity, FTL! [InsideLine


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Old 02-16-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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Interesting. I know through Avanti's regular news updates that BMW is now utilizing 8 speeds with their 6 cylinder engines. What I find interesting is that Lexus has had an 8 speed trans. for some time now and only uses it with their 4.6L and 5.0L V8 engines. Do they know something the others don't or could it be something like cost benefits, etc.?
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:03 PM   #3
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I hear the Lexus 8 speed has some odd gear spacing. At some point there has to be diminishing returns
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:17 PM   #4
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I don't really see the point. Our Benz has a 5AT that works just fine. In fact, its a 4AT most of the time because I leave it in "comfort" mode which starts in 2nd.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:27 PM   #5
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this would be awesome

our tdi wagon is great...but it needs 2 more gears for the highway....i bet it would get much better mileage (or longer gears)
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:34 PM   #6
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my buddy just picked up a 2007 used amg 55 benz. it has a 7 speed trany no tq converter its as fast as a vett . seems to be no felt lag.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:49 PM   #7
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The point is you get better fuel economy, and performance. The problem is you have more things to break. It actually makes more sense with smaller engines than large ones in terms of the benefits, but the weight penalty might make it hard if you went to small.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:25 AM   #8
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The ZF 8-speed is actually a little lighter than the 6-speed it replaces.

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Old 02-17-2010, 10:51 AM   #9
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8 speed auto in a 2.0T? This could be interesting.. it all depends on how well it's geared I supposed. I was very impressed driving the Lexus IS250 because of it's gearing. I didn't believe the low HP rating when I heard it.
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMPORTIMAGE View Post
this would be awesome

our tdi wagon is great...but it needs 2 more gears for the highway....i bet it would get much better mileage (or longer gears)
Seems like on a lot of newer cars the final gear isn't an overdrive gear. Maybe so people don't complain about having to downshift to accelerate on the highway.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bal00 View Post
The ZF 8-speed is actually a little lighter than the 6-speed it replaces.

Is the weight savings attributed to lighter materials or simpler design?

With a swift enough gear change, this could make any engine feel peppy.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:49 PM   #12
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How long until we have 10 speeds?
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
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How long until we have 10 speeds?
Never. In developing their 8 speed transmission BMW went all the way to 9 speeds before they discovered the fuel economy benefits began to wane instead of increase.
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:53 PM   #14
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Is the weight savings attributed to lighter materials or simpler design?
They use lighter materials and it just has one extra planetary gear set.
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:51 PM   #15
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But that doesn't make it lighter than a 4 speed being put into an econobox.
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
But that doesn't make it lighter than a 4 speed being put into an econobox.
The A3 ain't no econobox and it's Audi, it's about sophistication. They don't want no old school 4 speed.
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:47 PM   #17
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And the Forester still has a 4 speed...
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:49 PM   #18
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A3 is a Golf under the skin which means it is a transverse mounted engine & trans which means it won't be sharing a transmission, particularly the one pictured, w/ the A4.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4wdwrx View Post
The A3 ain't no econobox and it's Audi, it's about sophistication. They don't want no old school 4 speed.
I am aware of that. The point is cars with smaller engines need more speeds than cars with bigger engines b/c their torque curve sucks.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:20 PM   #20
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That's why VW has had a 7-spd DSG for sub 200 hp transverse engines for years, and I'm guessing DCTs will be the way to go for smaller cars, not 8-spd autos.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:29 PM   #21
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The benefits of two more cogs outweighs the added weight of a transmission with said extra cogs. Thus, the Lincoln Navigator gained 2 MPG IIRC when the switch was made from a 4 speed to a heavier 6 speed. Therefore, the 4 speed auto is obselete.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick View Post
I don't really see the point. Our Benz has a 5AT that works just fine. In fact, its a 4AT most of the time because I leave it in "comfort" mode which starts in 2nd.
How many times are we going to go over it? They are more fuel efficient, offer better acceleration, and are lighter than previous 5 and 6 speed units.

With fuel economy standards being upped, the industry must move forward. This is one avenue for improvement.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:46 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLegacy99 View Post
The benefits of two more cogs outweighs the added weight of a transmission with said extra cogs. Thus, the Lincoln Navigator gained 2 MPG IIRC when the switch was made from a 4 speed to a heavier 6 speed. Therefore, the 4 speed auto is obselete.
Everything I've read says they are lighter than 5 and 6 speed units.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:58 PM   #24
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I don't really see the point.
In the U.S. there is no point, but in Europe highway speeds can be much higher.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:16 PM   #25
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My Benz is an S500; it's designed to cruise on the Autobahn. Admittedly it does have a ton of torque so the gears can be pretty widely spread.

Anyway, the future of automatics is in CVTs: do away with gears altogether

Last edited by Mike Wevrick; 02-17-2010 at 09:26 PM.
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