GMI hears the latest regarding GM's plan to roll out eight-speed transmissions.
February 17, 2012
By: Nick Saporito
Much like the six-speed automatic became the new standard across most General Motors products a few years ago, the eight-speed automatic is about to proliferate GM from the top down. Recently many rumors have surfaced regarding the state of eight-speed automatic development at GM; many wondering when the company will first introduce their own. GMI has obtained further details surrounding GM's eight-speed automatic plans, when they will roll out and on which models.
Today GM almost exclusively utilizes their own six-speed automatics, all part of the legendary Hydra-Matic transmission line. GMI hears that exclusive use of internal engineering will likely come to an end with eight-speed automatics. Expect GM to purchase eight-speed units from outside suppliers for certain applications, specifically ones with turbo V-6 engines. With that said, GM is still working on a few home-grown eight's as well.
GMI has learned that the Hydra-Matic line will derive an eight-speed automatic for rear-wheel drive use first. The rear-wheel drive unit will likely first show up in the next-generation Cadillac CTS, but not at launch. According to sources familiar with eight-speed development, the unit will not be ready for production until 2016 model-year. As GMI has reported, the new CTS will land in 2014 model-year.
Expect the eight-speed to quickly trickle down to the Cadillac ATS as well. GMI has also been told the eight-speed will be in the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro, both of which come as no surprise. GMI sources have not been able to confirm if the eight-speeds will also end up in GM's next generation full size trucks, but that is a likely a safe bet as well.
As of now it appears GM's eight-speed strategy is similar to the roll-out strategy of their six-speed automatics; start at the top and work down. Expect to start hearing formal verbiage on the new eight's in late 2014 or 2015.