There’s a transmission arms race happening right now.
While six speeds used to be impressive, the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911 are doing battle with seven-speed manuals, Chrysler is offering a nine-speed automatic on some of its models, and eight speeds is quickly becoming the norm.
Adding gears helps carmakers improve fuel economy as stricter emissions standards take effect, and it gives them something to brag about in ads.
However, only conventional weapons have been deployed so far. The atomic bomb of transmissions may soon be dropped by Ford and General Motors.
The companies are collaborating on an automatic transmission with an unheard of 10 forward gears, and it will find its way into the next-generation Mustang, Automotive News (sub. required) reports.
The 10-speed will debut in large pickup trucks and SUVs, including the next Lincoln Navigator, which is fitting, considering that it will give those trucks enough gears to rival an 18-wheeler.
It will eventually make it into the Mustang too, although Automotive News wouldn’t elaborate on when, or give any further details.
Considering that the all-new 2015 Mustang hasn’t even arrived in dealers yet, it will probably be awhile. That’s fine, as enthusiasts will need time to digest the myriad changes made to the iconic pony car before wrapping their heads around a box with almost twice the gears of the current six-speeds.
The 10-speed automatic will reportedly debut in the F-150 at the end of calendar year 2015, and won’t move to the Mustang until at least that time.