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30. January 2012

ZF 8-Speed Automatic Transmission Receives Award in China

  • China Automotive News trade journal nominates 8-speed automatic transmission "Transmission of the Year 2011"
  • Automatic transmission saves six percent fuel compared to the predecessor 6-speed version
  • Series application in all BMW models, Audi A8, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Bentley Mulsanne, and Rolls-Royce Ghost

Award-winning: ZF's 8-speed automatic transmission convinces both OEMs and customers.

ZF Friedrichshafen has received another award for its 8-speed automatic transmission (8HP). In an award ceremony at the Beijing Auto Museum, China Automotive News – one of the top automotive journals in China – declared the 8HP "Transmission of the Year 2011". Crucial for the decision were the fuel savings of the multi-ratio transmission without having to accept any trade-offs in performance. In addition, the jury acknowledged the great shifting comfort and the growing market share of the 8HP.

This award is the second one for the 8HP within only a short time: At the beginning of November, the BMW Group also praised the transmission because it perfectly combines fuel efficiency and driving dynamics. "The award means a lot to us", says Dr. Gerhard Wagner, Member of the Board of Management, ZF Group, responsible for the Powertrain Technology Division. "We developed the 8HP with a consistent fuel-saving philosophy in mind. This means that our customers have a tool at hand to meet the legal parameters for CO2 emissions."

The dynamic gear changes also convince more and more manufacturers so that the 8HP has continuously gained market shares since its launch in 2009: Meanwhile, BMW offers the 8-speed automatic transmission with all its models – from compact to premium class. Also in the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Bentley Mulsanne, and Rolls-Royce Ghost the transmission saves fuel and changes gears comfortably with shift times below the threshold of human perception: Compared to the second-generation 6-speed automatic transmission, the 8HP reduces fuel consumption by six percent; with the start-stop function, potential fuel savings reach eleven percent. This is achieved both by an entirely new wheel set architecture and the considerably reduced transmission drag torque.

The transmission features a modular kit design for further efficiency increases and makes hybridization in a parallel hybrid design easy: In this approach, the torque converter is replaced with a hybrid module, irrespective of installation space. In the full hybrid version – as it is used Audi Q5 hybrid quattro production vehicles – fuel consumption is reduced by roughly 25 percent compared to a conventional transmission.

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