Chevrolet’s first nine-speed transmission debuts

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Chevrolet’s first nine-speed automatic transmission is to make its debut in the MY2017 Malibu, and will be available in the 2017 Cruze Diesel and 2018 Equinox. The new, General Motors-developed Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed is paired with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the Malibu, contributing to an 3% increase its fuel economy, when compared to its predecessor.

“In addition to improved fuel efficiency, the 9T50 offers a strong overall balance of performance and refinement that customers will feel at all driving speeds,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. “By the end of 2017, Chevrolet will offer four models with the new nine-speed.”

The new nine-speed has a wider 7.6:1 overall ratio — the difference between the first gear ratio and the top gear ratio — compared to the six-speed’s 6.0:1 ratio, with a “deep” 4.69 first gear that supports excellent off-the-line acceleration and a “tall” 0.62 top gear for low-rpm highway cruising. That balance optimizes acceleration and fuel economy and reduces engine noise during cruising.

“The smaller steps between the gears, compared to the six-speed, enable smooth, almost imperceptible upshifts, for excellent refinement,” said Nicholson. “No matter the engine torque or vehicle speed, the 9T50 is always in the perfect gear.”

The new transmission also supports stop/start technology that can help save fuel by allowing the engine to shut down in certain stop-and-go driving conditions.

“Everything about the new nine-speed is designed to maximize benefits for the customer,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet Marketing. “It helps offer greater fuel efficiency in the city and on the highway, all with the world-class refinement that makes the drive quiet and smooth.”

GM is planning on introducing the new Hydra-Matic nine-speed automatic transmission as an option on 10 vehicle models by the end of 2017.

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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