Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

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Thread: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

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    Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic
    It's on-par with dual-clutch in terms of performance, but smoother, cheaper, and easier to package. It's no wonder so many cars use it.
    BRIAN SILVESTRO
    MAY 1, 2019
    Road & Track

    The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. The Toyota Supra. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. The BMW M5. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The Rolls-Royce Phantom. Though these cars are all different, there's one thing they (and many other cars) have in common: ZF's 8HP eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

    First introduced in 2008, ZF's eight-speed gearbox has come to occupy the transmission tunnels of countless new cars, from big American trucks to compact hatchbacks and ultra-luxurious grand tourers. In some cases, it's even replaced dual-clutch transmissions. ZF sold an astonishing 3.5 million units in 2017 alone, according to our colleagues at Car and Driver. How has the 8HP come to conquer the market? Well, it's very good at a lot of things.

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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member Neanderthal's Avatar
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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    Why? Because it's a damn good trannie. I've had two in my Mopars, both linked to the Pentastar. Smooth, seamless, kick down quickly, upshift almost imperceptibly. Someone did their job.
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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    Why? Because it's a damn good trannie.
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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    Why? Because it's a damn good trannie.

    ZF 8HP is the best torque converter automatic transmission ever made for passenger cars and light trucks. No one else has been able to match its combination of smoothness, high performance, and wide range of applications.
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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    I have one in my RAM and it is near as perfect as it can be

    I can NOT tell what gear it is in it is so smooth it will downshift lightning quick when "poked" MUCH better than the LAST few GM electronic trannies I have owned

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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    I had one in my Ram too, smooth as silk. Always keeps the engine in the most efficient powerband, quick and quiet.
    This is one of the things that keeps me looking back at getting another Ram, compared to the Chevy 6 speed. All in the low trims.

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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    Their smooth as butta!

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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    Why? Because it's a damn good trannie. I've had two in my Mopars, both linked to the Pentastar. Smooth, seamless, kick down quickly, upshift almost imperceptibly. Someone did their job.
    Totally agree. It's also most likely a big reason my Challenger GT is averaging 5mpg better than my wife's Camaro despite the GT being driven much harder.

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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post

    ZF 8HP is the best torque converter automatic transmission ever made for passenger cars and light trucks. No one else has been able to match its combination of smoothness, high performance, and wide range of applications.
    Best mass produced transmission on the planet. Period.

    If you produce a good product, people will buy it.
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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    The other thing is that most companies don't have the budget to keep redesigning transmissions all the time. Especially right now while everybody is adding gears, development costs are getting high. Even GM and Ford partner up to save costs. Once the market settles at ~10 gears, companies may decide to design their own. Or at least it would make more sense.
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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    I guess Nissan could knock at ZF door to replace their CVT.

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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    Guess I'll add to the mix with my Ram 8 speed being flawless. Never once had an issue or complaint with it in daily use or towing, even with jumping up to 35's.
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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Stéphane Dumas View Post
    I guess Nissan could knock at ZF door to replace their CVT.
    ZF does great at longitudinal automatics, but after their 9-speed transverse (ZF 9HP) problems I sure wouldn't want them to tackle a CVT.

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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by sydtron View Post
    ZF does great at longitudinal automatics, but after their 9-speed transverse (ZF 9HP) problems I sure wouldn't want them to tackle a CVT.
    ZF actually designed a CVT in the early 2000s, the CFT23/CFT30. It was used in the first generation Ford Focus C-Max, Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego, and Ford Freestyle.

    This transmission proved troublesome, and was in production for only five years or so before being discontinued. There was a class action complaint filed against Ford due to various issues with the unit.
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    Re: Why So Many Carmakers Use ZF's Eight-Speed Automatic

    I absolutely love the ZF in my V6 Charger. When the transmission kicks down you get a smooth surge and power and it holds the gears in the right part of the power band at all times. Combine that with the Pentastar and it's easy to see why the combo works so well.
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