GM Will Debut Its New Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission On 2017

Jan 03, 2017 06:00 AM EST | Joanne Zamora

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At the end of 2017, General Motors will introduce its new nine-speed automatic transmission on 10 models, the automaker announced. Ford and GM co-developed Hydra-Matic 9T50 and will be making its debut on four Chevrolet brand models, including the 2017 Malibu through the end of next year.

The first bow-tie model to offer the nine-speed automatic transmission is the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu. According to msn, the new transmission in the Malibu comes paired with a 2.0-liter turbo-four and increases fuel economy by 3 percent over the 2016 Malibu with the six-speed automatic. Some of the other Chevy models that would be receiving the new transmission include the 2017 Cruze Diesel and 2018 Equinox.

GM has not confirmed which other models will be receiving the new transmission. GM's nine-speed has a wider 7.5:1 overall ratio compared to the 6.0:1 ratio of the six-speed, with the difference between the first gear and the top gear. A "deep" 4.69 first gear will boost off-the-line acceleration, while a "tall" 0.62 top gear is a match for low-rpm highway driving.

This can't be interchanged with GM's new 10-speed auto though, which was developed in conjuction with Ford. The said transmission is used for the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Ford F-150 EcoBoost 3.5 and Raptor. According to GM authority, vehicles equipped with the 10LXX transmission (10 denotes 10 forward gears, L denotes the longitudinal placement within the vehicle's powertrain system, and XX denotes robustness) are expected to benefit from higher fuel economy and performance when compared to the Hydra-Matic 8-speed 8LXX and Hydra-Matic 6-speed 6LXX transmissions it will replace during its lifecycle.

By 2018, a whole host of other GM models will carry the 10-speed, says GM. For now, GM enthusiasts will be waiting in anticipation for the much-awaited nine-speed automatic transmission as it comes nicely packaged with all its gears in line with the crankshaft with GM's first selectable one-way clutch which helps hold torque and conserves space.

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