Land Rover is to show the first passenger car to be fitted with a nine-speed gearbox at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The automatic gearbox, developed by ZF, will be fitted initially to the Range Rover Evoque, and should offer improved economy, reduced emissions and a quieter ride.
It also has the benefit of offering a lower ratio first gear – useful when setting off on inclines, on low grip surfaces or when towing trailers or caravans. Unlike most automatic gearboxes it can ‘skip’ gears – it might shift from sixth to fourth directly, which makes for more responsive throttle response and easier overtaking.
Land Rover already uses the ZF eight-speed gearbox and it’s both smooth, responsive and refined. Despite having three more gear ratios, the nine-speed ZF transmission is only 6mm longer than the six-speed gearbox it’s to replace, and it weighs 7.5kg less. It should be fitted to Range Rover Evoques and other Range Rover models from 2014.