Land Rover it seems is making the big jump that most of its rivals have already made as the British luxury SUV maker is all set to showcase an Evoque crossover equipped with a ZF 9 speed automatic gearbox at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. This move will make the Evoque the first production car in the world to jump onto to the 9 speed brigade. Eventually, the 9 speed automatic gearbox is expected to replace the 6 speed slushboxes that most Land Rover SUVs feature. Notably, Land rover offers an 8 speed ZF automatic gearbox on the 2013 Range Rover.
The additional three ratios that the 9 speeder ZF gearbox brings to the table will not just make for peppier performance but will also give fuel economy a shot in the arm. The 9 speed automatic gearbox that Land Rover will use for its SUV range has been sourced from German transmission giant ZF. ZF also supplies automatic transmissions to a range of high end car and truck makers across the world. The 9 speed ZF automatic gearbox that’ll be used by Land Rover is called the 9HP. This transmission delivers a 16% improvement in fuel economy over the older 6 speed automatic gearbox. Also, the ZF 9HP tranny is lighter than the 6 speed unit by 7.5 kilograms while measuring 6 mm longer.
The ZF 9HP automatic gearbox designed specifically for Land Rover SUVs will come with a low ratio that is aimed mainly at off roading applications. That said, this transmission will also be used by other car makers like Honda and Chrysler. The 9HP gearbox also features a skip function wherein the transmission skips gears during downshifting for quicker acceleration. The transmission has been designed to be used in engines producing torque figures between 270-480 Nm. The transmission can be used on transversely mounted engines and will be suited for both front wheel drive and all wheel drive applications giving Land Rover enough flexibility to use the 9HP gearbox on a range of future models.
The 9HP ZF automatic gearbox also comes with a rear-wheel disconnect function, through which Land Rover SUVs equipped with the all wheel drive mode can shift seamlessly to front wheel drive mode as a fuel sipping function. A-la-Mitsubishi Outlander, the new 9HP AF transmission features the “Adaptive” mode through which the transmission senses the driver’s throttle inputs and modifies the shift speeds. For instance, if the driver is driving aggressively, The ZF 9HP transmission will shift gears more rapidly while relaxed driving will produce relaxed gear shifting. The exact details on which Land Rover SUVs will feature the new ZF 9HP 9 speed automatic gearbox will be revealed at Geneva. Watch this space.