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Geneva 2013: Land Rover to introduce first nine-speed automatic transmission – because eight just wasn’t enough

Land Rover 9-speed Land Rover has partnered with ZF, a global leader in transmission technology, to introduce the first nine-speed automatic transmission at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

The ZF 9HP transmission, considered one of the world’s most advanced transmissions, increases the number of gear ratios from six to nine for significantly improved fuel economy and a reduction in CO2 emissions.

Land Rover says the transmission will also improve response during acceleration, shift quality and the overall drive and refinement of the vehicle.  In addition, the 9HP is also more versatile with a skip-shift function for swifter downshifting under rapid deceleration or for greater driver demands.

A Fast-Off mode measures the rate of throttle release, anticipates the driver wanting more power, then holds the gear if necessary.  

Land Rover 9-speed display

Even more impressive, is that the engineering teams have managed to pull off a lighter load with the additional gears with efficient packaging.  The nine-speed transmission is only about a quarter of an inch longer than the outgoing six-speed and weighs almost 17 pounds less.  

“We are extremely excited about the 9HP which has been tailored exactly to dovetail with the unique attributes of our vehicles,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director, in an official press release statement. “It will add another layer of performance, refinement and efficiency, further enhancing Land Rover’s world class ability.”  

The Land Rover team is working closely with the ZF engineering team to develop the nine-speed transmission for its vehicles. The company already has experience engineering ZP products having integrated the company’s eight-speed transmission with the Range Rover, Land Rover Discovery 4, and Range Rover Sport.