Unsurprisingly, General Motors has big plans for its eight-speed transmissions, which seems suitable for just about all of its cars with a rear-wheel-drivetrain. At first, it will be offered in the 2015 Corvette Stingray, followed by the 2015 Z06, and as a rolling update for the 2015 GM trucks and SUV models equipped with a 6.2L V8. This includes the 2015 Cadillac Escalade Platinum, 2015 GMC Yukon Denali, and the top-end GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado half-ton trucks. In fact, an IHS Automotive forecast for the transmission predicts that GM will make nearly 200,000 of the eight-speed gearboxes for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups in each of the next two years.
Now, Automotive News is reporting that the eight-speeds will make its way into the likes of the Cadillac ATS and non-Vsport CTS models in the future. IHS also predicts that the eight-speed, built at the Toledo, Ohio powertrain plant will find its way into the upcoming Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups by 2016 and possibly GM’s next generation of cargo vans by 2018. The compact gearbox is also expected for the sixth-generation 2016 Chevy Camaro. Probably the upcoming 2016 Cadillac LTS, too.
General Motors won’t confirm any of this, but global product chief Mark Reuss shared that the mass-produced automatic transmission will be “a big part of our product lineup.”
The transmission, along with faster shifting, should bring increased fuel economy in all applications. The Cadillac ATS, for example, lags in the segment when it comes to miles per gallon, and could greatly benefit from two extra gears. The 2015 Canyon and 2015 Colorado, meanwhile, are already anticipated to bring class-leading fuel economy, and adding a few more gears to the equation will only strengthen their positioning in the segment. It sounds like a win/win, if buyers can wait long enough.
Update: A previous version of this story cited the 8L90 eight-speed transmission as the go-to gearbox for all of these applications. However, we believe that the lighter-duty 8L60 eight-speed transmission will be utilized for the aforementioned vehicles based on our latest intelligence.