Whats the deal these days with gearboxes? It wasn't that long ago that we were all happy with 5 forward gears one of which was an overdrive. You can understand six gears. Not that long ago 6-speed boxes were almost a little bit exotic.
Six gears made sense in this world of ever escalating fuel prices. But what the heck do we want or need with 8 speed transmissions? They are cars, not Mountain bikes or road trains hauling 40 tonnes of pig iron. We are generally just driving around the burbs for goodness sake.
Lexus thinks we need 8 gears and their latest LS model has just that, an 8 speed gearbox. Is it a bit light-on for torque? Maybe they felt they couldn't compete with the Mercedes 6.0 litre turbo-charged V8 or BMW's 5.0 litre V10 so they have smacked them all across the chops with an extra gear...or two.
Unfortunately, it will be a short-lived victory as the new Audi A5 will also offer a CVT transmission with of all things 8 pre-programmed ratios.
I love a good horsepower war amongst the manufactures but a gear ratio war!? It just doesn't have the same ring to it.