200,000-plus Chrysler, Dodge and Jeeps to get 9-speed auto this year

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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In most mainstream auto segments fuel economy is playing a key sales role, counting much higher on peoples' priority lists than ever before. New multi-speed transmissions are part of a multi-tiered approach to reducing fuel consumption, with new six-, seven- and even eight-speed automatic transmissions getting the nod.

Most of these are found in premium segments, mind you, where pricier components can be absorbed by higher profit margins. Small cars are only starting to get these advanced gearboxes and so far in the compact segment these have maxed out at six forward speeds.

Soon, the all-new Dodge Dart will be available with a nine-speed automatic transmission however, which will certainly shake up the compact sedan market. Likewise the midsize Chrysler 200 will also get this multi-speed gearbox, as will Jeep's Liberty replacement, which is reportedly expected in the second quarter of this year.

Altogether, Chrysler group will outfit more than 200,000 vehicles with the new nine-speed transmission in 2013 alone, says a report in Bloomberg that quotes Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The nine-speed automatic transmission should allow for very smooth operation along with continuously variable transmission levels of fuel efficiency, although unlike the CVT it will feature distinct increments from gear to gear instead of the single-speed "rubber band" effect many critics complain about with CVTs.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, SUV, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, 2013, Liberty, 200, Dart, Transmission, 9-speed automatic transmission, nine-speed automatic transmission,

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