Hyundai announced plans to introduce a fuel-smart eight-speed automatic transmission for a yet-to-be-determined 2010 model. The new transmission will serve as a way to improve fuel economy, according to the Korean automaker.
The only automaker already offering an eight-speed is Lexus, but BMW will likely introduce a vehicle with that many gears in the next two years. Hyundai sees a clear advantage in improving overall mileage numbers as new government fuel economy rules come into play.
More gears allow vehicles to save fuel by increasing torque and allowing more efficient power-band modulation. A likely candidate for the improved transmission is Hyundai’s well-received new flagship sedan, the Genesis (read the Genesis review here). This type of transmission would probably be too expensive to be teamed to an inexpensive economy car like the Elantra, but perhaps one day it could make its way to the Sonata.
Hyundai to Debut Fuel-Savvy 8-Speed Gearbox (AutoblogGreen)