If you’ve had the pleasure of viewing the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 hot lop ride along featuring our very own Manoli Katakis, then you already know how special the new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission really is. You can expect to see it as an available option for other models come 2018.
Dan Nicholson, vice-president, GM Global Propulsion Systems, explains the benefits of taking the time to develop such ground-breaking technology:
“With world-class shift times on par with the world’s best dual-clutch transmissions and the refinement that comes only from a true automatic, the 10-speed delivers incomparable performance on and off the track. It also leverages the experience of our other multi-speed transmissions to deliver that performance with greater efficiency as its use expands into other vehicles.”
One of the dual-clutch transmissions Nicholoson is referring to is the Porsche PDK; testing has shown that the the 1-2 upshift is 36-percent quicker than the PDK, while the 2-3 and 3-4 upshifts are 27-percent and 26-percent quicker, respectively.
So, in other words, shifting goes like: SNAP!, SNAP!, BANG!, SNAP!, BANG! in a seemingly seamless scoot to peak velocity.
Thanks to a unique triple-clutch the design, GM was able to fit all the new hardware of the 10-speed in a one-piece aluminum case that’s approximately the same size as the 8-speed and 6-speed transmissions. The integral bell housing helps reduce weight and enhance powertrain stiffness, while a unique 260 mm, integral turbine clutch torque converter design reduces complexity and helps make the converter thinner, which contributes to the transmission’s packaging.
Take a look at the chart below which shows the difference between the 10-speed and eight-speed GM Hydra-Matic transmissions.
|Transmission:||10-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
|Gear ratios (:1)|
The 10-speed has four simple gearsets and six clutches: two brake clutches and four rotating clutches. That’s only one more clutch than the eight-speed, despite having two more forward gears, contributing further to the compact packaging, while also improving spin losses to enhance fuel efficiency. The unit is made even more efficient with ultra-low viscosity transmission fluid also reduces friction, while an internal thermal bypass allows the transmission to warm up faster, which also contributes to greater fuel efficiency over GM’s older transmissions.
Adaptive shift controls such as Performance Algorithm Shifting and Driver Shift Control enhance performance driving. It is the latest transmission to use an all-new, GM-developed control system, meaning it has performance calibrations tailored specifically for different vehicles, such as the 2017 Camaro ZL1.