General Motors (GM) announced the launch of its first nine-speed automatic transmission which will make its debut in the 2017 Chevy Malibu and will be available in the 2017 Chevy Cruze Diesel and 2018 Chevy Equinox. The new, General Motors-developed Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed is paired with the available 2.0L Turbo engine in the Malibu, contributing to an EPA-estimated 33 mile-per-gallon (mpg) highway — a 3% increase over the 2016 model with the eight-speed automatic.
“In addition to improved fuel efficiency, the 9T50 offers a strong overall balance of performance and refinement that customers will feel at all driving speeds,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. “By the end of 2017, Chevrolet will offer four models with the new nine-speed.”
The new nine-speed has a wider 7.6:1 overall ratio — the difference between the first gear ratio and the top gear ratio — compared to the eight-speed transmission, with a “deep” 4.69 first gear that supports excellent off-the-line acceleration and a “tall” 0.62 top gear for low-rpm highway cruising. That balance optimizes acceleration and fuel economy and reduces engine noise during cruising.
“The smaller steps between the gears, compared to the eight-speed, enable smooth, almost imperceptible upshifts, for excellent refinement,” said Nicholson. “No matter the engine torque or vehicle speed, the 9T50 is always in the perfect gear.”
The new transmission also supports stop/start technology that can help save fuel by allowing the engine to shut down in certain stop-and-go driving conditions.
GM will rapidly deploy the new Hydra-Matic nine-speed automatic transmission as an option on 10 vehicle models by the end of 2017. It is built at GM’s San Luis Potosi, Mexico plant, after a recent USD131 million investment to accommodate its production.
The 9T50 is filled with DEXRON®-VI fluid that does not require changing under normal driving conditions. It was developed for a more consistent viscosity profile, consistent shift performance in extreme conditions and less degradation over time.