GM Will Add 9-Speed Transmissions to 10 Models Before 2018

GM plans to introduce its new Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed automatic transmission on 10 models before the end of 2017. 

The transmission, which was jointly developed with Ford, will increase fuel efficiency, while offering more performance over the six-speed it replaces.

Chevrolet has the honor of debuting the new transmission hooked to a 2.0T on the top shelf Malibu Premier. Next year the 2.0T equipped Equinox and the 1.6-liter diesel Cruze will gain the extra planetary gears before the gearbox proliferates through the rest of GM’s lineup.

“This product is not aimed at niche vehicles,” Chris Meagher, executive director of transmission and electrification hardware engineering, told Detroit News. “It’s a high-volume plan.”

Thanks to the new transmission, the 2017 Malibu premier will return an EPA-estimated 33 mpg, a 3-percent bump over the six-speed equipped 2016 model.

GM has withheld which models outside of Chevrolet will gain the new gears, but did say platform siblings of the announced vehicles will take precedence, leaving the most likely candidates the Buick LaCrosse and Envision.