Land Rover will showcase its new 9-speed automatic transmission in Geneva next week, as a "lead partner" for the ZF-developed shifter.
ZF's new 9HP auto has been developed primarily for transverse engine configurations, accommodating front-wheel-drive models. All-wheel-drive and hybrid applications are also planned.
For Land Rover, the small and light transmission will replace the six-speed unit currently in use, bringing smaller ratio steps, improved efficiency and a more refined drive.
Despite adding more gears, the new shifter is only 6mm longer than the outgoing transmission, while lighter construction means it weighs 7.5kg less.
Land Rover says the upgrade also means the lowest ratio is much lower than in the six-speed transmission, a change developed specifically for off-road use, towing and extreme on-road conditions.
The existing six-speed transmission makes shifts sequentially, while the 9HP has a skip-shift function for quicker downshifting under rapid deceleration or from greater driver input demands.
ZF says the system can also learn from a driver's style, sharpening up during brisk driving then slipping seamlessly into a more economical regime just as quickly when taking a more relaxed approach".
The new auto will handle between 270 and 480Nm of torque, while bringing fuel consumption improvements of up to 16 percent over the more common six-speed option.
In an all-wheel-drive configuration, the 9HP offers a rear-wheel disconnect function that can cut power to the rear wheels, producing a five percent fuel consumption saving compared to a traditional full-time all-wheel-drive arrangement.
Land Rover's take-up of the 9HP transmission will be joined by Honda and its luxury marque Acura, and Chrysler has also confirmed it will use the new transmission.
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