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http://wardsauto.com/vehicles-amp-technology/gm-ford-make-of...

* No announced timetable for introduction, but GM & Ford have been working on this for a while. It's been six months since the news broke... and typically it seems that the actual work has been going on longer.

* GM to have 8-speed trans by 2016, presumably these are later. I would think it is reasonable to think Ford will have their 8-speed in a similar time frame (article indicates Ford is working on it).

Considering that some vehicles on the road are already 2014 models, this stuff isn't all that far away.

The article mentions that each company will develop their own software to run the transmissions. I hope Ford improves on their prior efforts. My 2011 Edge has a 6-speed and sometimes it'll shift with an alarming clunk if it's starting to upshift and I let up abruptly on the accelerator. That's a customer dis-satisfier! Given the tight timing all programs seem to have these days.... and the tight availability of both prototypes and personnel (gotta save money!).... it's very possible that their will be some disappointments here.

Rob
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Really thought we'd see continuously variable transmissions and rotary engines all over the place by now. I guess pistons and gears are hard to kill.

Richard
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CVTs are out there. It seems Nissan likes them.

I know people tend to be more comfortable with the "feel" of shifting, but that can be simulated with a CVT with some corresponding loss of efficiency.

And CVTs have had application constraints in terms of the maximum vehicle weight, but that's not really a big factor now except for pick-ups.

Bottom line, I don't really know why we don't see more CVTs. Speculation? Maybe cost.... maybe automatic gear designs are cheaper to build than cones and belts. I know that automatic geared transmissions are darn cheap.... a lot cheaper than it will cost you if you have to buy one at the dealer.

Rob
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Well, cheap is important but not as important as reliability. I cringe when I see the complexity and SOFTWARE of technology under development and entering products. Just ask American Airlines...
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