Nine-Speed Transmission to Debut on 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

NineSpeedRangeRover

Land Rover is making a major shift in transmission technology with its new nine-speed automatic, which the British automaker will demonstrate at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show in March. Land Rover told Kicking Tires that the newly developed transmission, a first for passenger vehicles, will be available on the 2014 Range Rover Evoque.

Increasing the number of gears from six to nine will help reduce emissions and improve efficiency, Land Rover said in a statement. The automaker said the nine-speed transmission's smaller steps will also improve acceleration response, as well as shift quality and refinement.

"A higher top gear improves efficiency by lowering engine speed, which also improves comfort and reduces noise when cruising at highway speeds," Land Rover said.

The nine-speed — developed with transmission-manufacturer ZF — will also complement the all-terrain capabilities for which Land Rover is known, the automaker said. The lowest speed is geared lower than the existing six-speed's lowest and is designed for off-road use, towing and steep gradients.

While Land Rover will be the first to officially launch a nine-speed automatic, Chrysler also has plans to include one in several of its vehicles, including the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said last month that a nine-speed also may be added to the Dodge Dart in hopes of making the compact sedan more palatable to American buyers, who reacted tepidly to both the manual transmission and dual-clutch automatic.

Just today, Chrysler announced that it would invest $374 million in its Indiana transmission plants in Kokomo and Tipton, in large part for the assembly of its nine-speed transmissions, adding as many as 1,250 new jobs; work is slated to begin between second-quarter 2013 and first-quarter 2014.

Related
Jeep Liberty Replacement to Use Nine-Speed Transmission, UAW Local Says
Marchionne: Dodge Dart May Get Nine-Speed Transmission
More Land Rover News on Cars.com

Comments 

RT

LandRover, how about instead of a 9th gear, you develop a car that doesn't continuously have issues? Is 9th gear what you shift it into when you are having it towed? :)

Wow..! I must say that the Range rover manufacturers keep surprises stocked up each time I hear something. The move to increase the number of gears from 6 to 9 is indeed a great idea.the slower transmission would ensure that the ride would be smooth with lesser noise produced on off roads.But I think that this might prove a bit of a hassle as well. Increasing the number of gears would ensure a smoother ride but on rougher terrain,it could lead to a hassle in gear shifts too.

Steve

It seems like manufacturers have exhausted all other means of tweeking mpg out of an engine, so now it's the trannies turn. Maybe if they gave these vehicles 18 speeds, do you think it would double the current efficiency? Nope. But seriously, how many gears are too many?

Chris Allen

I liked my Evoque so much when I first saw it. It was not until driving it in city traffic that I realized how much I hate it. Unexpected downshifts that rev up the turbo and give you acceleration you didn't ask for, make this a frustrating vehicle to drive. Mileage is no where near the sticker. Closer to 17/21 than 20/28. I guess that's what they're trying to fix with the added gears, but us fools who purchased on before '14 get what we got.

This vehicle is not worth the money. Land Rover makes that obvious. They want me to pay them $20,000 to take my Evoque back, so I can't afford not to keep driving this horrible vehicle.

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