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Kia reveals new eight-speed automatic transmission

Kia has revealed its new eight-speed automatic transmission for use in front-wheel drive vehicles… will debut in Kia Cadenza.

KIA HAS revealed details of its new eight-speed automatic transmission which is designed for front-wheel drive vehicles only and will make its debut in the large car, Kia Cadenza. It’s expected to be rolled out in other medium and large Kias next year.

“The new front-wheel drive 8AT (FWD 8AT) has been developed in-house by the Korean manufacturer, engineered to offer a high level of mechanical efficiency and smooth gearshifts. Crucially, the new FWD 8AT occupies the same space as a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, and weighs 3.5kg less,” Kia said in a statement.

Kia claims the issue with offering an eight-speed automatic is around packaging and getting it to fit under the bonnet, which is already chock full of, well, the engine and other oily bits. “Incorporating the same number of gears into a front-wheel drive car is incredibly challenging, due to packaging constraints and the need to mount the transmission transversely, competing with the engine, suspension and auxiliary components for space under the bonnet,” Kia said.

Kia has been working on the new transmission since 2012 and claims 143 patents for new technologies in its development. To ensure the new transmission wouldn’t blow fuel consumption out of the water, engineers fitted it with the “smallest oil pump of any production transmission in its class”.

Incorporating an additional clutch and gear over the existing 6AT, the “ratio between the top gear and the lowest gear in the new transmission has been increased by 34% over the 6AT, resulting in greater fuel economy and improved NVH in higher gears and faster acceleration and climbing performance in low gears,” Kia said.


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober