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Old 03-24-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Honda To Get Nine Speed ZF Automatic By 2014

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Honda hasnít exactly been at the forefront of the recent industry trend towards automatic transmissions with ever-increasing amounts of gears. However, a new report suggests that Honda will soon make use of an automatic transmission developed by German powertrain supplier ZF with no fewer than nine cogs.

Automobile reports that Honda and its luxury brand, Acura, are set to implement the ZF nine-speed as soon as 2014. Known internally as the 9HP, the gearbox is designed for transverse applications, is good for both front- and all-wheel-drive and can handle up to 354 lb-ft of torque. Those parameters mean it would be a good fit for vehicles such as Hondaís Odyssey and Pilot as well as Acuraís TL and MDX.

ZF claims that the gearbox can help improve fuel efficiency by 10-16 percent, and also enables an engine to spin at just 1900 rpm while propelling a vehicle at 75 mph.
Honda wonít be the only automaker to make use of the ZF nine-speed. Chrysler is also expected to utilize the gearbox for a number of its offerings, such as the Jeep Liberty replacement, over the next few years.
ZF will reportedly begin production of the 9HP at its South Carolina plant in 2013
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:05 PM   #2
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FALSE PROPHET: ...and he shall bear a nine-bladed sword. Nine-bladed. Not two, or five, or seven, but nine! which he shall wield on all wretched sinners and that includes you, sir.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:06 PM   #3
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duplicate post.

Last edited by HipToBeSquare; 03-26-2012 at 12:07 PM. Reason: duplicate post
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Nine speeds? Seriously? At what point do you call it a day and go CVT? You don't need 9 speeds to achieve 39mph/1000 RPM, you just space them farther apart. With the broad power bands of modern engines you really have to wonder how they justify more than 7 speeds. We're not talking about cars powered by 2-stroke engines with expansion pipe exhaust here.

What's more, Honda already has this figured out. The only reason the automatic Civic gets better EPA figures than the manual is the tall gearing. The 5 speed automatic is 32mph/1000 RPM. Tack on a 6th gear and you have your 39mph/1000 RPM figure, add a seventh to reduce the gear spacing for livlier midrange acceleration and you're done. What the heck are the other two gears for?

Oh, and this transmission is heavier than a duck, therefore it must be practicing witchcraft.

Burn it at the stake!!
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:33 PM   #5
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What else floats in water?

Transmissions, transmissions!
Churches, Churches!
Very Small Rocks!

Not going to buy a 9-speed, in the off chance that it might turn me into a newt, whether or not it gets better.

When that thing goes out... it is going to go like the holy hand grenade. In 5th Gear... no, 3rd.

How many gears does a european swallow need to carry a coconut, since african swallows are non-migratory?
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
Nine speeds? Seriously? At what point do you call it a day and go CVT? You don't need 9 speeds to achieve 39mph/1000 RPM, you just space them farther apart. With the broad power bands of modern engines you really have to wonder how they justify more than 7 speeds. We're not talking about cars powered by 2-stroke engines with expansion pipe exhaust here.

What's more, Honda already has this figured out. The only reason the automatic Civic gets better EPA figures than the manual is the tall gearing. The 5 speed automatic is 32mph/1000 RPM. Tack on a 6th gear and you have your 39mph/1000 RPM figure, add a seventh to reduce the gear spacing for livlier midrange acceleration and you're done. What the heck are the other two gears for?

Oh, and this transmission is heavier than a duck, therefore it must be practicing witchcraft.

Burn it at the stake!!
Packaging changes are what allows for many more gears without increasing space or weight. It may have 9 total output gears, but internally it could be using a 3x3 layout (massive simplification) which is more compact than some 6 speeds. Plus these type of designs will skip gears as needed.

And seriously 1900 RPM for 75MPH doesn't sound very impressive at all for a 9 speed box.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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It is made to keep the engine operating in it's sweat spot as much as possible. So yes the gears are closely spaced. 1900 at 75 is probably what a Pilot or Odyssey needs to move effectively. Lugging an engine doesn't do it or MPG any good. So turning it at 1500 at 75 is probably just wrong for the engine.

Some are going CVTs most are going more gears. Either way, everyone is adding more ratios. It is a brave new world.

Peace,

Greg
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:12 PM   #8
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remember that these gearboxes can skip gears easily, and have lock up in most gears. That's part of where the efficiency comes from. Modern automatic transmissions use Ravigneaux gearsets which increases the number of speeds without taking up too much space.

A CVT has its own set of drawbacks, including customer acceptance... CVTs feel weird to people depending on how the "shifting" is calibrated
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by b4wantab View Post
It is made to keep the engine operating in it's sweat spot as much as possible. So yes the gears are closely spaced. 1900 at 75 is probably what a Pilot or Odyssey needs to move effectively. Lugging an engine doesn't do it or MPG any good. So turning it at 1500 at 75 is probably just wrong for the engine.

Some are going CVTs most are going more gears. Either way, everyone is adding more ratios. It is a brave new world.

Peace,

Greg
My point was modern engines have very broad sweet spots and therefore don't need such closely spaced ratios. I suppose they're doing it so that cruising RPM at a variety of speeds can be held to a narrow and low RPM range. I was thinking in terms of performance and never dropping too far off the HP peak.

As to lugging, manufacturers are already doing so. I had a 2012 Focus rental on a recent trip, under light throttle the thing would upshift at 1,600 rpm and it was very reluctant to downshift even when climbing hills. It constantly felt like it was two gears two high. Absolutely atrocious operational behavior.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by arghx7 View Post
remember that these gearboxes can skip gears easily, and have lock up in most gears. That's part of where the efficiency comes from. Modern automatic transmissions use Ravigneaux gearsets which increases the number of speeds without taking up too much space.

A CVT has its own set of drawbacks, including customer acceptance... CVTs feel weird to people depending on how the "shifting" is calibrated
While I admittedly don't drive automatics very often I can tell you of my three most recent rental car experiences the CVT in the 2010 Outback was my favorite. A 2011 Camry and the aforementioned 2012 Focus were the other two. The Camry had very tall gearing, from memory something like 34 MPH/1000 RPM in 6th gear. The Focus less so, maybe 27 MPH/1000 RPM. The Camry is a traditional torque converter auto, the Focus a dual-clutch automated manual.

My pet peeve with automatics is their behavior under cruise control over rolling hills. While climbing a hill, both the Camry and Focus would hold on to 6th gear desperately until they lost ~3mph of speed, then downshift abruptly to 4th gear and accelerate briskly back toward the set speed. Usually this would happen just as we reached the crest and the car would overshoot the set speed by ~2 mph, causing another abrupt change in throttle. Better not be taking a sip of coffee when this happens or it may end up in your lap. I can see this behavior becoming even worse as automatics get more gears and taller top ratios. Let's hope the shifts are smooth and the shift logic improves. Maybe an inclination sensor is in order.

The Outback, on the other hand, would allow the revs to rise seamlessly until the engine had enough torque to pull up the hill and then let the revs fall equally seamlessly once the crest was reached. Much more pleasant for long distance cruising. I realize consumers aren't used to the behavior of CVTs, but I think once they climb the learning curve, they wouldn't want to go back. It only took me a couple of days with the Outback to become a convert.

All of the above is of course from an operational perspective, durability is another question entirely. Who knows how good the new 8+ speed autos will be. The record of dual-clutch and CVTs to this point is decidedly mixed.
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