Kia Reveals Eight-Speed Transmission for FWD Cars
It will debut in the 2017 Cadenzaby Ciprian Florea, on
Kia’s recent advancements in the auto business have included not just more refined vehicles, but new technologies too. After four years of hard work, the South Korean automaker has unveiled its very own eight-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive cars. Developed using the experience it gained during the creation of the eight-cog unit for rear-wheel drive vehicles, the new gearbox is ready to hit the road and will do so in the 2017 Cadenza.
To be offered as a no-cost option with the 3.3-liter V-6 engine, the transmission will soon find its way into other front-wheel-drive Kia models in the future, but the company has yet to nominate them.
About the same size as a conventional six-speed automatic, the new eight-speed is said to be 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds) lighter than its old counterpart. The unit also features the smallest oil pump in any gearbox in its class, and an incorporated direct control valve body and increased capacity of the solenoid valves, thus reducing the number of control valves from 20 to 12. All of the above, paired with the additional clutch compared to the previous six-speed auto, improve fuel efficiency and gear shifting. The latter will also deliver faster acceleration.
In all, Kia patented 143 new technologies for this transmission, which is surprisingly compact, meaning it will fit in a wide range of vehicles. For now, the eight-speed is being prepared for the company’s
and full-size passenger cars.
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Why it Matters
Creating a brand-new transmission from scratch is far from easy, and even though Kia has already developed an eight-speed gearbox, the new unit was more challenging to build since front-wheel-drive cars need more compact drivetrain components. On paper, it appears as if Kia managed to put together an efficient eight-cog that will improve both performance and fuel economy, but it remains to be seen if this is the case when the new transmission makes its debut on public roads. Meanwhile, we have to give Kia credit for developing its own gearbox rather than sourcing parts and patents from other automakers.