Ford, GM Partners on 10-speed Transmission

ZF 8-spd

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. 



Too little, too late Ford and GM.
RAM is #1

Where is the point of demininshing returns on adding more gears??? Honestly I feel at times like my 6-speed spends more time changing/hunting between gears than actually moving the truck. I can't image 8 or 10 speeds. No thanks! Feels like the manufactures are just trying to out do each other so they can look better on paper.

Stick with your 6 speeds then. GM and Ford are moving forward.

Agreed. While my six speed helps my suburban move pretty well, my four speed silverado has better drivability.


put a 20-speed transmission in them, who gives a crap! My Tacoma will STILL be running LONG after those domestic heaps are rotting in a junk yard somewhere or running to Washington for another handout. this thing will be an engineering disaster for them and they'll have transmission recalls galore.

I agree, guys. What are they thinking? I'm not happy. Everything today is improving. I hate it. In my day we didn't even have transmissions. We used horse drawn wagons. And that's the way it was and we liked it! We loved it!!!

I like my 5 speed manual in my 93 cummins towing 18,000lbs shifts just right this 10 speed would be in 8th gear trying to tow 1000lbs and still shifting up this is dumb

This is nothing new. Ford and GM collaborate on the 6 speed in the FLex, Malibu and oters way back in 2007-08.

I love how the Dodge guys were all happy with the 8 speeds coming and that they were going to take out everyone with their 8 speeds. The Dodge guys also said they have a 9 speed coming after that. Then GM and Ford says they are designing a 10 speed? Oh, no that is too much and "dumb" the Dodge guys say. LOL.

@Jason I don't like the 8 speed eIther man I have a 93 cummins with 700,000 miles no rebuilds but trany and that's only happened once. She tows like a dream but I don't like anything bigger then a 5 speed inlets it's a semi or a manual 6 speed

This joint effort has a chance for success if both parties stick to what they do best. GM can build it and Ford can brag about it!

The Ram 9 speeds are coming!!!

Posted by: HEMI V8 | Sep 28, 2012 10:26:46 PM

Update: Chrysler will be start by using nine-speeds supplied by ZF during calendar year 2012, made in South Carolina. The figures above appear to be for Chrysler’s in-house (Kokomo) production under license. At this time, no other buyers of the nine-speed have been announced, and given the volumes required by Chrysler, it is possible that this unit will be exclusive to Chrysler until Kokomo has started making them.

The Ram will not be using the 9-speed trannys. That is for transversely mounted engines (ie FWD vehicles)

The only quasi-feasible application for a Ram truck would be the Pentastar V-6 in a FWD setting or possibly AWD, neither of which is likely to occur. I highly doubt they go to this much trouble for a low selling engine configuration

So it looks like GM will cath up to Ford and Ram in 2025, based on that their old body style changes should be matching the 2013 range by 2025

I recently rented a Charger with a v-6 and eight speed. The car was flawless and I had a hard time telling when it shifted gears. Ran like a rocket too. The car was quick. It made me a believer. Lots of gears can be a big plus when you have a low HP or torque motor. I am going to order my next truck with a high (low #) rear axle. I'll get real good mileage empty, but have 6th and 7th for towing. It's a win-win in my book.

Ram the leader. Ford Chevy playing catch up again. Who say's the 8 speed isn't already a 10 speed trans? You think Chrysler is just going to sit still? NOT!!!

Because heavy duty trucks (freight liner, Mack, peterbuilt.. Etc) don't have a very high number of gears as well. It's a smart move, interesting that these companies are joining forces. Thank god there aren't any fiat parts going in. Phew! *whipes head*

I would expect that the torque converter will be replaced with a wet clutch pack.
By the time this arrives, GM should be looking to transition from their own 8 speed auto to this.

while the goal is a good idea, wouldn't it be easier to just go to something like a Hi-Low gear box on the end of the tranny, not only that but make it retro-fit to other trannys from previous yrs. oh but maybe that would take sales from the "new" vehicles. Or on a 2wd they could put it on the drive axle like on HD class 5-6 trucks?

hey everyone WAKE UP! if you runnin a towing rig whats wrong with more gears?????? at a bare minimum every semi has a 9 or ten speed. yes they generally have a split axle for over and unders but they have them. lots of semis run 18 speeds and while they arent all used all the time there is definitely purpose for it.

Some people feel we should still be driving Model T's. Progress is a bad thing I guess.

Is this a contest of who can put the most gears in a automatic transmission? I guess as long as there are no major flaws it is ok, but we have had the horsepower wars and now we have the number of gears war. I am curious if maybe GM will merge with Ford eventually. I could see this happening if GM needs another government loan. Oh well I guess you can speculate but until something happens no one really knows what will happen. I am not trying to upset anyone, but if GM and Ford do more things in the future together this could be a possibility.

to late for ford, g.m.(gimmie more)well its too late for g.m, which in 5yrs, wont be is in real trouble in europe,their truck has failed every saftey test,only one truck passed all saftey tests, and the roof crush test, that would be the #i selling truck, for 40yrs. f-150.nuff said.

The title should have read.
10 more reasons the RAM is 3rd place in sales and a 3rd class truck. Sorry RAM girls. At least you where ahead of the game for a couple days

This shows that gasoline technology is at its peak. And you guys are buying this marketing hype.

Wow, I can't believe you guys are so blind.

I guess CVTs are better than any other these and many models have that tranny.

All all the Hybrids have CVT with Toyota planning to sell 21 Hybrid models by 2015. So why investing in more gears.

I don't mind the "Gears War", as long as they are ultra reliable I don't think this is a bad thing. The standard trans in light duty trucks and cars is going the way of the dinosaur because of emissions regulations. That IS a big brother sort of thing, I like using a clutch but cleaner emissions demand automatics. And to their credit the current generation of autos are pretty good. For my daily commute I think a Jetta diesel 6 speed would be a blast to drive. I know that sticks won't totally vanish but I think they are going to get pretty rare in new vehicles. Another factor is that most of the next generation of new vehicle buys don't know how to drive stick. None of my teenagers know how to drive a standard, we haven't had one in years not by choice but by default. Oh well, it will be interesting to see how it will all work out. A ten speed auto, who'd a thunk it?

CVTs have their place but they are limited in the amount of HP/TQ they can handle. I wouldn't want one in a tow vehicle that is for sure.

@Silverado_Driver --Yes manual transmissions are going the way of the dinosaurs. Call me a dinosaur because my 99 S-10 has a 5 speed manual, but my Isuzu is an automatic. I actually know two twins who are 55 and guys that never learned how to drive a manual transmission. My brother taught me how to drive on a manual. I always thought that learning to drive a manual was like learning how to shave, a right of passage in becoming a man. I guess this is no longer true because shaving itself has gone away since a lot of males don't shave or know how to shave. There again I have started to shave with a safety razor again so I guess that goes with the manual transmission.

I really have no problem with these transmissions but I would have to agree with Big Al that this is more of a gimmic. It sounds good but the gasoline technology might very well be at its peak. This is about the same as adding 3 blades then 5 blades to a shaving cartridge. After a while you could add 7 then 10 blades and you have not improved the shave. That is why I went back to the safety razor, they got it right years ago.

This is a sign that they are headed in the wrong direction. They should concentrate on Electric Vehicles with a single speed!

You know that scene in the movie Stepbrothers when they strike each other at the same exact second.

If a 10 speed auto is in the works to improve fuel economy, then somewhere, somehow, somebody has got to be working on a light duty diesel. Even if the manufacturers claim that path is not currently being pursued, it's gotta be happening somewhere. When I trade in my 2011 f-150 in the late 20-teens, I hope someone has the balls to push one to market. I'll be buying.

Lots of changes comeing for the full size truck market over the next 10 years! By then a full size truck will be a mid size truck!! I remember my parents buying a 1986 silverado new with a 305 motor i am guessing that v8 back then had 180 hp look how small a truck that year was compared to my harley truck. We are spoiled now 411 hp gobs of torque that little silverado is our truck future instead of a v8 be a 180 hp 4 banger say what u want i am prepared for it

There probably is a point where you have too many gears. I can see the benefit of multiple gears in a peaky engine with a very narrow powerband.
Gear hunting should be less of a problem with more gears as the odds of the vehicle being in the proper gear for the power/load are much greater.
I think that most "gear hunting" comes more from the automakers trying to program optimal fuel economy into the mix. My F150 rolling along at 40 mph on flat ground under little load will shift into 6th. i can keep it there if I'm careful with the gas pedal. Any load onto the vehicle (slight hill or need to accelerate even a little) will cause a down shift. I know my truck well enough not to avoid "hunting". You either drive faster, or slower or more smoothly. Under heavy load, I've never noticed that kind of behavior with or without the tow/haul engaged.

have any of you thought about where the 2 extra gears would go? they are simply trying to out do chrysler by building basically the same thing with 2 extra gears of bragging rights. think about this; you can only have 2 overdrive gears and even 6 speed autos have those. the ZF 8 speed already has the low gears covered and you hardly use those gears much so basically going to stuff them in somewhere the middle. the Chrysler/ZF 8 speed has 2 real low gears 2 overdrive so that leaves 4 for in the middle. between 50 and 100 mph how many gears do you need? in the 8 speed that is about every 12 mph it shifts between 50 and 100 mph. so why do you need 2 more extra gears in that area? every 8 mph it would shift lol! so you have a 2025 chevy and you are going 60 mph and you need to pass someone, downshift from 10th to say 4th and climb to 8th shifting every 8mph. your motor would stay at high rpms rapidly accelerating and shifting screaming like an indy car lol! for all these gears are for, might as well just go with the 8 speed, the 10 speed at the most would only help better city mpg, highway wouldn't change considering overdrive. as well, anything more than a 5 speed is just a "hold off until we can create a durable CVT or just replace the internal combustion altogether" transmission. the more gears, the less the motor revs, eventually you might only have 2 rpms in a vehicle, just as lawnmowers have automatic chokes, a cvt with maybe 3 rpm settings for your motor cruise, max torque, and max horsepower, all will your infinite ratio transmission is constantly changing ratios.

The sky just fell in the RAM fan camp.

Whomever says we don't benefit from more gears is simply stupid. I guess you are for the days of the powerglide, and the 3 speeds? Heck, we are getting better gas mileage in the 6 speeds vs the 4 speed autos! They wouldn't be doing this if there wasn't a benefit to it!

"The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!"


"Honestly I feel at times like my 6-speed spends more time changing/hunting between gears than actually moving the truck"

Solution, get a stick! Only handicap folks should be driving automatics, so stop being lazy and drive properly!

engines will eventually be controled with a switch instead of a gas pedal. guys think about it, eventually internal combustion motors will all eventually become just generators and then we will depend on oil even more than ever as we will all use electricity and the government puts it out by generators and they will be the only ones that buy oil or need it for that matter and we will be paralyzed with a monoply on electricity. i promise you it will take more oil than ever to put out all the electricity to run the world and we will all have no other alternative. maybe these shows and movies about the lights going out have some truth to them...

@Josh --You could be right, but I hope your wrong. I would hate to think that we would end up like the new show on NBC called "Revolution". We would be paralyzed as a society without energy which would mean we could not use the technology we have become so dependent on.

@Josh-You could be right. We have become so dependent on our technology which requires the use of a lot of energy. I hope we don't end up like the new show "Revolution where they lose their power and live for 15 years under a dictatorship. It is not enough to tell people to drive 55 mph, turnoff the lights, and turn down the heat and wear a sweater as President Jimmy Carter told us to do in the late 70's during his fireside chats. We are even more dependent upon energy now than we were then.

Well, RAM is a 4 years ahead of the game. Good luck to build factory in 2 years from now. They don't even heave a picture of this 10 speed tranny and have to use ZF - 8 for this article to get Ford and GM fans excited. LOL.Happy waiting. RAM is going to kick your azz next year.

This is great. GM needed a

Hey dodgeguy, how many clutches have you gone through? I tow for a living and every guy with a Dodge with the manual transmission goes through clutches all the time. JUNK!

Actually, I like the idea of a tenspeed automatic transmission, as long it is as tough as an Allison and towing and hauling does not suffer in a truck.

As the basis for my comment, I cite the example of the eight-speed automatic in my wife's LS460. Great transmission, smooth, quiet, efficient, unobtrusive and very competent.

OTOH, if you load down the LS with 5 adults and all their gear and approach max capacity, that transmission is as busy as a one-armed paper hanger.

If you add mildly hilly country to the mix, that transmission gets even busier selecting the right gear for the job.

All that shifting is going to cause extra wear and if you tow or haul with a truck, the added cost of the fancy transmission and added maintenance expense of the increased wear and tear, may not justify replacing the tried and true rugged automatics of today.

The best automatic transmission on the market right now is the Allison. All others, even the Tundra sixspeed automatic, as good as it is, won't last as long, nor will they take as much abuse as the Allison will.


If you drive an automatic, you better be handicapped or your just lazy and or a moron...

put a 20-speed transmission in them, who gives a crap! My Tacoma will STILL be running LONG after those domestic heaps are rotting in a junk yard somewhere or running to Washington for another handout. this thing will be an engineering disaster for them and they'll have transmission recalls galore.
Posted by: Robert | Oct

Tacoma made by General Motors for Toyota until 2011 at NUMMI motor works. The only reason it was good, now it's made by hillbilly's in Texas which ='s junk.

@ Jason: Could it by cause the current 66 RFE/ renamed 545 rfe Dodge only has a second gear that is 56% instead of being closer? With less gear to get it moving? i.e, Ford and GM in the low fours for first gear while Dodge had 3s. That's why the Chevy 5.3 ran almost as quick as the Hemi with a lower axle ratio,in Fords Davis Damn 9,000 pound video. The Chevy nearly beat it to 60. Same for the Fords lower gears making it look so strong. Between this and the fact the crawl ratio in the Ram was not as high as the others in the 2008 light duty shootout.

So, if you can have the better lower gear to get it moving, and have a closer spaced bunch of gear ratios, and end of with a lower numerical drive for when on the interstate or just going faster, why would you not want it? For Years Ram drivers knew the other transmissions were making others trucks get the better mileage and be more driver friendly, smoother while towing heavy, or made those others win alot of these speed contests. The 545 holds the Hemi back. Just a change to a well spaced Tundra transmission with the slightly lower gears would have a good move. But now a person like Fred the man can get 3.21 gears and have darn near the same starting ratio for towing as a Ford with 3.73s. Yet have much better economy at 75 on the interstate. Or simply out tow it with 3.55 gears and still have better economy unloaded on the open highway, and be much closer gears.

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