It looks like Ford and GM have decided to put their engineering heads together to combat the strong push Chrysler is making with its newly introduced ZF eight-speed trasnmission called the TorqueFlite 8.
The New York Times is reporting that Ford and GM have entered into a memorandum of understanding — legalese for, "Hey, why don't you and I talk about this?" — to look at an appropriate nine-speed for passenger cars and a heavier-duty 10-speed transmission for larger vehicles, like half-tons and full-size SUVs.
Given the seeming popularity of Chrylser's new ZF transmission and the 2025 fuel-economy targets, it makes sense that everyone who is making big, heavy vehicles would head in this direction. We're also hearing there may also be ways for transmissions to take advantage of duel-set axle gears that can shift from axle ratio to axle ratio like a 10-speed bike.
As with any memorandum of understanding, the results are likely to be quite a ways off, but at least they're beginning to think about what to do next. More to come.