What’s the cut-off for this gear growth?

Ford Australia’s new 2019 Ranger Raptor has made a splash over the last week with its debut in Thailand for the Asia Pacific market. It packs a 2.0-liter turbodiesel and Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission it co-developed with General Motors. Just a few years ago, the industry thought eight-speed automatics were revolutionary. But according to John Fallu, the transmission and driveline engineering manager for Ford Asia Pacific, his team explored the possibility of 12- and 13- speed automatic gearboxes.

Believe it or Not, Ford Considered a 13-Speed Automatic Transmission for the Ranger Raptor
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Adding more gear ratios to a transmission allows the engine to run in its sweet spot for more amount of time, which means peak horsepower and torque are delivered more often

“We actually did simulations during the exhaustive testing process for the optimum number of gear ratios for a rear-wheel drive truck of this size and power… we looked at seven speeds, nine speeds all the way up to 12 and 13 speeds, to see if – from a performance perspective and an efficiency perspective – what truly is optimal for the design,” he told Australia’s CarAdvice.

Of course, adding more gear ratios to a transmission allows the engine to run in its sweet spot for more amount of time, which means peak horsepower and torque are delivered more often. At 210 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, the 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel needs all the help it can get.

Despite the research, Fallu’s engineering team settled on the 10-speed, most likely because the extra three gear ratios in 13-speed wouldn’t be worth the investment in an entirely new transmission. Ford got to split the developments costs with GM and is spreading that cost over several different vehicles. Automakers, after all, are actually in business to make money.

2019 Ford Ranger Raptor Interior
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But there is a stripe on the steering wheel
and faux suede seats with beefier bolsters
Despite the research, Fallu’s engineering team settled on the 10-speed, most likely because the extra three gear ratios in 13-speed wouldn’t be worth the investment in an entirely new transmission

As for the 10-speed in the Ranger Raptor, Fallu says, “The torque converter is selected specifically for trying to meet – and improve – the launch performance of the engine, so as to meet customer expectations.” He continues lauding the 10-speed with comments of its smoothness and imperceptible shifts that cancel out the “shift busy-ness” expected with so many gears.

And like with the Ford F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor’s shared 10-speed can be controlled via paddle shifters with rev-matching on the downshifts.

Ford has not officially announced a U.S.-spec Ranger Raptor, though nearly every journalist and industry analysts fully expect a version to arrive by 2020. The U.S.-spec, however, will likely come with Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 or even the 3.5-liter EcoBoost. Both engines have far more horsepower and torque than the 2.0-liter turbodiesel founding the Asia Pacific market truck.

References

Ford Ranger

Believe it or Not, Ford Considered a 13-Speed Automatic Transmission for the Ranger Raptor Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor.

2019 Ford Ranger Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger.

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Read more Ford news.

Source: Car Advice

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