Mercedes is rolling out an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission slotted for fitment within the brand’s sedans and wagons, starting with the E 350 BlueTEC . Mercedes says the transmission will not only help conserve fuel, but will decrease in-car NVH levels and reduce exterior noise pollution, while providing smoother shifts at faster intervals than the outgoing seven-speed 7G-TRONIC transmission it replaces.
While its just now becoming available in the E 350 BlueTEC, the 9G-TRONIC will become common across the Mercedes lineup. Expect to see the unit find a home within the S-Class next, followed by C-Class , and possibly the CLA-Class . Engineers designed the transmission to be compatible with rear- and all-wheel-drive application, and even mild and full-hybrid systems. Basically, the 9G-TRONIC will be Mercedes’ bread-n-butter ‘box.
To meet the wide range of demands, engineers built the transmission to shift quickly and smoothly without any overly-perceivable shift points in its normal mode and sharp, direct shifts when placed in manual — and even more so in S mode. The gearbox is also able to shift over multiple gears for fast acceleration and deceleration. For example, the 9G-TRONIC can shift from 9th gear to 5th gear if the driver floors the accelerator. Conversely, the transmission can seamlessly shift from 3rd gear to 9th gear after a hard acceleration run up an interstate on-ramp.
What this means for performance, both on the track and in between gas stations, is simple: more gears equals lower revs when cruising and therefore increased fuel efficiency while faster shifts mean quicker overall performance numbers.
Click past the jump for more info on the 9G-TRONIC and the E 350 BluTEC