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Having just introduced an all new Dodge Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300 for 2011, all three models are set to get an important update for 2012 under the hood. The engine will remain unchanged, but models equipped with Chrysler Corp's new 3.6L Pentastar V6 will get a significant jump in fuel economy and notably improved drive quality thanks to the addition of an 8-speed automatic.

As for the R/T and 300C models, they will retain the current 5-speed auto-box, as will a budget-priced Challenger SE model.

Chrysler is expected to add a higher-gear transmission to its V8-powered models in the future as well, replacing the current 5-speed unit. There's also a solid chance the new 8-speed could be used in vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.

More: 2012 Dodge Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300 V6 Models Will Get 8-Speed Automatic on AutoGuide.com
 

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Looking forward to testing the 2012 Charger SRT8 with the paddle shifters. It's going to be a beast!!
 

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8 speeds is ridiculous. I'm a hater of trannies with too many gears in them. 4 speeds is plenty for an automatic. 5 at the absolute most. I see no useful need for 8 speeds, the transmission would constantly be shifting and wearing out.

Can you imagine the rebuild cost on one of those? Is it a 4 speed auto with a Gear Vendors splitter bolted on the back? Or some superfantastic true 8 speed inside?
 

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8 speeds is ridiculous. I'm a hater of trannies with too many gears in them. 4 speeds is plenty for an automatic. 5 at the absolute most. I see no useful need for 8 speeds, the transmission would constantly be shifting and wearing out.
I'm in total agreement with you. However I would like to test drive one just to make sure there isn't something I'm missing.
 

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The 8 speed probably can't handle the torque like the NAG1.
If you watch the video demo of the ZF 8-speed transmission or read the pdf, it tells you that it can handle up to 1000Nm of input torque (over 700lb-ft).

The new 8 speed ZF transmission is a whole new design that has some significant benefits. Some basic specs (compared to it's predecessor 6speed transmission):
- 11% fuel savings
- no additional weight
- 8 speeds--improves acceleration
- 200ms shifts (improved from 350ms)
- brand new gear design with only 4 gear sets and only 5 shift elements (2 open per gear)
- handles more torque (up to 1000Nm/700lb-ft)
- same cost

I'd say it's a pretty big engineering success.

ZF Friedrichshafen AG | 8-speed-automatic transmission
 

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Really, what the point? Why not just come out with a CVT? The constant shifting would drive me insane. I already despise the current 6 speed autos in other vehicles
 

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Really, what the point?
+ more fuel efficient
+ higher torque capacity
+ faster shifting + more even gearing gives smoother and stronger acceleration
+ same size
+ same weight
+ same cost
= big win

Why not just come out with a CVT? The constant shifting would drive me insane. I already despise the current 6 speed autos in other vehicles
Becauses CVTs are less reliable, no more efficient (so far), and cannot handle as much torque.

It sounds like what you want is a direct-drive motor that can go from 0-10000 RPM<whatever rpm="" is="" 75mph="" at="" the="" wheels=""> with no transmission in between. Maybe you should ride trains more often. ;)</whatever>
 

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I have a friend that recently picked up a BMW X6 that is equipped with the twin-turbo V8 and this ZF 8-speed auto. I did a quick test drive and, let me tell you, this tranny is awsome. Under normal driving, shifts are imperceivable. Just keeps the engine in the rpm range that works the best. No waiting on acceleration; it just goes. And it gives you great overdrive range to keep the rpm reasonable when you're cruising at 75+ mph. I would love to have this transmission in my '10 R/T.
 

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+ more fuel efficient
+ higher torque capacity
+ faster shifting + more even gearing gives smoother and stronger acceleration
+ same size
+ same weight
+ same cost
= big win


It sounds like what you want is a direct-drive motor that can go from 0-10000 RPM<whatever rpm="" is="" 75mph="" at="" the="" wheels=""> with no transmission in between. Maybe you should ride trains more often. ;)</whatever>
The differences in shifting times wouldn't even be noticeable. More shifting= more wear and tear on the internals. Its more complicated, and there are far more things to fail. . But I don't buy automatic equipped cars anyway.I just feel that this type of trans is completely unnecessary with an engine with a wide torque spread. I personally prefer a wide ratio, and I like a firm shift when driving an automatic.

Not trying to bust your chops, but chrysler needs to put their resources elsewhere because the current trans is just fine.
 

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The differences in shifting times wouldn't even be noticeable. More shifting= more wear and tear on the internals. Its more complicated, and there are far more things to fail. . But I don't buy automatic equipped cars anyway.I just feel that this type of trans is completely unnecessary with an engine with a wide torque spread. I personally prefer a wide ratio, and I like a firm shift when driving an automatic.

Not trying to bust your chops, but chrysler needs to put their resources elsewhere because the current trans is just fine.
I'd say 11% fuel savings for the same component cost and no weight penalty is a win--this helps the whole fleet with CAFE.

Also, the ZF 8HP transmission is likely equal and possibly even less complicated than the MB 6speed transmission. Couple that with the fact that it can handle even more input torque, and I think the failure rate actually goes down.

More shifting may or may not increase wear and tear on the internals--it depends on which internals are involved. It could actually mean less wear and tear on the internals if the wear is spread across more parts.

As for shift times, a good driver can beat a 350ms shift. The best driver probably cannot beat a 200ms shift. The 8sp auto will definitely be the fastest at the strip.
 

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Really, what the point? Why not just come out with a CVT? The constant shifting would drive me insane. I already despise the current 6 speed autos in other vehicles
I have to agree , test drove a vehicle with CVT & wanted
to jump out while it was moving.

The 2011 Mopar Drag Pak Chally has 2 spds

5 is plenty
 

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It would definitely be a different ride. Not sure if I'd like it or not. Definitely not a selling point for a new car for me.
 

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Really, what the point? Why not just come out with a CVT? The constant shifting would drive me insane. I already despise the current 6 speed autos in other vehicles
CVT's are probably the worse thing I have ever driven. They should have stayed in snowmobiles cause they have no place in a car imo!

Nail the throttle and the engine just sits there at red line, the sound is horrendous and the sensation of the engine and drive-line being dislocated is mind numbing. it reminds me of driving a boat!

I've been hanging on to my old Arctic Cat quad for two years cause I can't find a new replacement that I like that doesn't have a cvt. If cars end up going this way I'll be sticking to trucks from here on!
 

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CVT's are probably the worse thing I have ever driven. They should have stayed in snowmobiles cause they have no place in a car imo!

Nail the throttle and the engine just sits there at red line, the sound is horrendous and the sensation of the engine and drive-line being dislocated is mind numbing. it reminds me of driving a boat!

I've been hanging on to my old Arctic Cat quad for two years cause I can't find a new replacement that I like that doesn't have a cvt. If cars end up going this way I'll be sticking to trucks from here on!
Oh, I agree, if this trans shifts like a previous poster said, it will feel just like a cvt, IMO.

I"ll believe the 11% increase in mileage when I see it, you can only get so good with a 4000 pound car. There is no way this trans is less complicated than the current one, it has more gears. a I def see more wear on clutches, because to get that silky smooth shift, its slipping those clutches. Really, this trans is not something I'd even be slightly interested in, as if they didt have the 6 speed manual in Challengers, I'd probably have a manual trans BMW.
 

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My daughters' E350 has a 7 speed auto. It drives completely normal, with no hunting between gears. The only thing that is noticeable is when you let your foot off the gas, it selects a gear that that gives you engine braking to a small extent. But that is the program controller, and not inherent in the tranny. Dodge is not obligated to program theirs the same way.

One advantage of an 8 speed auto, is that there are so many gear ratios available, that you could have a performance rear axle ratio, that shoots you out of the hole fast, but then as speed increases, it can select a higher gear, to cut the engine rpms back down, to reduce engine wear at freeway speeds. Yes, you can achieve the same ratio spread with fewer gears, but the rpm delta between gears gets larger. 8 speeds can help keep the engine humming quietly, for when you're not hot dogging it. If and when you wanna get on it, it allows the car to pull strong right away, selecting the best gear instantaneously. (I hope!) ;^)
 

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2012 Dodge Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300 V6 Models Will Get 8-Speed Automatic
As for the R/T and 300C models, they will retain the current 5-speed auto-box, as will a budget-priced Challenger SE model.
From what I had heard, no Challenger for 2012 was getting an 8-speed auto. Possible AutoGuide got the info wrong?
If I read that correctly, AutoGuide is saying that there will be a base model SE with a 5-speed auto, but a higher priced SE package with an 8-speed auto option.

I heard from the horses mouth that NO Challenger was getting the 8-speed auto in 2012, but the SE was being slated for it sometime in the future. The R/T and SRT Challengers will never see it.

The 5-speed NAG1 was cancelled by Mercedes and replaced with a 7-speed auto, but the 7-speed doesn't like torque and it's really expensive if it breaks. The 8-speed ZF most likely doesn't like torque either, so it will be interesting to see if Chrysler continues to make the NAG1 on its own and assume the deals with suppliers for parts in the coming years.
 

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FWIW, the BMW X6 uses this ZF 8-speed and it's twin-turbo V8 is rated at 450 ft/lb torque. That said, I don't really think a V8 needs the 8-speed, but the V6 could really use it to great advantage.
 
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