TodayApril 16, 2022

Chrysler First U.S. Automaker with 8-Speed Transmission

Save a tree, create an engine

Mircea Gradu, Vice President and Head of Transmission Powertrain and Driveline Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC, told me that the time when an engine is created on a napkin is gone. It was a business decision to start using the ZF transmission, to go from a 5-speed, or 6-speed transmission, to an 8-speed transmission.

Chrysler has announced a business arrangement with ZF Friedrichshafen AG. ZF produces eight-speeds for luxury brands including Audi, Bentley, BMW, Range Rover, and Rolls-Royce. The transmission initially is being imported from ZF in Germany. Chrysler will begin making the eight-speed next year in Kokomo, Ind.

Chrysler has engaged ZF, the same folks as Audi, BMW and other European car companies. “We could make the drive the same, but it’s not our intention”,

Initially, the eight-speed transmission will be available on 2012 Chrysler 300s and Dodge Chargers powered by Chrysler’s 292-hp 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar Engine.

The vehicles getting the 8-speed transmission will be:

  • 2012 Chrysler 300, 300S (V6) and 300 Limited
  • 2012 Dodge Charger SE, SXT, and R/T models, as well as the high-performance SRT8.
  • Gradu says that Chrysler expects 2012 300 to be certified at 30-31 mpg highway, an 11% increase from the 27 mpg highway for 2011, and a 5%, increase for city driving, from 19 to 20 mpg, and emissions are cut by nearly 11%!
  • There will be an all-wheel-drive version of the 300 and the Charger. The cars will be offered with paddle shifters on the V-6 and V-8 models.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.