General Motors’ new nine-speed automatic transmission will first arrive with the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu, but the automaker is gearing up to offer the transmission in 10 vehicles throughout 2017.
The Detroit News reports the transmission, which is said to increase fuel economy by two percent, will be utilized by vehicles other than Chevrolet. So far, along with the Malibu, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox and 2017 Chevrolet Cruze have been named as recipients. A GM spokesperson said a fourth Chevrolet vehicle will be announced very soon.
The transmission was co-developed with Ford for front-wheel drive vehicles, while a new 10-speed automatic rolls out for rear-wheel drive vehicles. GM is said to have taken the lead on the nine-speed, and Ford took the reigns for the 10-speed.
GM also reiterated the nine-speed auto is not a niche vehicle project and it has high volumes in mind. But, for now, the nine-speed is only available with the 2017 Malibu Premier, which starts around $32,000.
We’d assume the 2017 GMC Acadia is a very likely candidate to introduce the nine-speed auto shortly, seeing as it debuted with a standard six-speed automatic last year at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. In the future, though, nine will certainly be the new six. Just don’t expect gearboxes to add many more cogs than that, at least from GM.